Using Immigration Forms

USCIS provides most public use forms free of charge through its website in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). In order to view, print, or fill out our forms, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader (version 7.0.5 or later). Adobe Reader can be downloaded free from Adobe Corporation.

Forms Pages Contain Important Information

While requirements of Immigration programs may change from time to time, the forms for those programs may not be corrected or changed on the same basis, due to printing or other restrictions. In addition, minor changes, such as mailing addresses, may occur. As such, USCIS offers additional and clarifying information about each form on its Form Entry Page (FEP). The FEP is viewed when you click on the form number (e.g., I-485) on the forms list. To ensure that you complete your application correctly, you should carefully read any notices, warnings, or explanations on the FEP before you print (or download) the form itself, fill it out and send it to USCIS. Be sure to verify the filing location of the forms for the specific benefit you are seeking. Links from the Filing Locations portion of the forms list or the FEP will take you to the State map of Field Offices where you can find the District Office, Sub Office or Service Center with jurisdiction over your place of residence or responsibility for processing your particular petition or application.

Fees and Fee Waiver Information

For many Immigration forms, a filing fee is required. This fee must be mailed in with the completed application. Any fees charged for the particular benefit application or petition that you need to file are indicated on the Forms, Fees and Filing Locations Chart. This chart reflects the latest fees as published in 8 CFR 103.7.

Please be sure to include your payment of all required fee(s), including any fingerprint fees, when you submit your application or petition. Checks should be made payable to Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Do not submit a completed fingerprint card (FD-258) with your request. USCIS will contact you by mail to inform you of the time and place where your fingerprints will be taken.

USCIS knows that there are sometimes situations in which an individual is unable to pay the fee for a particular service. Generally, USCIS has discretion to waive any filing fee if the applicant can prove that he/she is unable to pay the fee. USCIS has a policy that explains when fee waivers might be granted. It also provides information on how USCIS defines "inability to pay." The policy on when fees may be waived, and the process to request such a waiver, are found in our Fee Waiver Guidance and our Fee Waiver Policy Memo of March 4, 2004.

Photographic Requirements

Many Immigration Forms require photographs to be submitted with the form. You will need to know the specifications for these photographs.

"Fillable" Immigration Forms

To further improve customer service, public use forms are being revised and provided in a format that can be filled out on your computer. In order to use the fillable features, please note the following:

  • You will not be able to file an application or petition via the Internet. Rather, these fillable forms will enable you to fill out the form, and print it out - all on your local computer. You must print out the form and mail it to the appropriate USCIS office in order to file for a benefit.
  • In order to make use of all of the features of our fillable forms, you should use version 5 of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a copy of Acrobat Reader from Adobe.

Downloading and Printing Immigration Forms

The forms available for downloading (printing) from the USCIS Website has been approved under the provisions of 8 CFR 299.4. Only approved forms will be accepted by USCIS. Also, specific guidelines for printing forms as well as the electronic generation of the documents also defined in 8 CFR 299.4. must be followed. Forms that do not comply with these specifications will not be accepted for processing by USCIS. In an October 17, 2000 revised rule, these printing requirements were eased to facilitate printing from the Internet. As a result, all Immigration forms may now be printed from the USCIS Website without any special printing requirements (such as head-to-foot, using specially-colored paper, etc.). However, using a dot matrix printer is not advised.

Some of our forms comprise rather large files. To more readily use our forms, we suggest that you download them directly to your local computer, rather than fill out the form through your web browser. In order for most users to do this (using a Windows PC), "right-click" on the link to your specific form and select "Save Link As" (in Netscape) or "Save Target As" (in Internet Explorer).

Caveat Emptor! 

Many non-governmental websites offer Immigration forms. Some will allow you to download them for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with USCIS, and these sites may not have the latest official versions of forms. In some circumstances, use of older forms may result in your application or petition being denied or delayed. Changes made to forms are always reflected on and on the information you'll find on the forms list.


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