The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman hosted a public webinar on February 13, 2020, to inform the public on best practices for filing forms with USCIS. Ombudsman staff presented on the topic, while responding to questions submitted via the chat option during the webinar. The following are the highlights from the webinar.
- USCIS forms are required when applying or petitioning for a benefit with USCIS. The form instructions offer significant guidance and are the authority for filing a complete application or petition. All applicants, petitioners and their legal representatives are reminded that a signature certifies that the signatory has read the instructions. All USCIS forms are available online and free of charge at: www.uscis.gov/forms.
- USCIS routinely posts alerts and updates on its website to inform the public on filing guidelines and requirements. Check the USCIS forms page for any updates before filing with USCIS.
- Certain USCIS forms can be filed electronically. Filing a form electronically is the best way to ensure that you do not miss a required question or submit the incorrect fee. USCIS provides resources for online filing and tools on its website.
- If USCIS rejects your application or petition, we recommend that you remedy the issue that caused the rejection, verify that all information is current and refile with USCIS. If you believe that the rejection was made in error, you may follow the Ombudsman’s processes for filing a a request for case assistance with our Office at: www.dhs.gov/case-assistance. The Ombudsman’s Office cannot, however, toll your eligibility time or fix issues that have other administrative remedies, such as refiling or filing an appeal.
- For more information visit USCIS' website at www.uscis.gov.
Questions and Follow-up
- The Ombudsman's Office received stakeholder questions on how USCIS expects applicants and petitioners to complete a form to avoid rejection as incomplete, several of which were answered during the webinar.
- Questions included how to file a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, when to respond “N/A” or “None” instead of leaving a question blank, and how to file an application or petition online.
- The Ombudsman forwarded these questions to USCIS leadership for its awareness and will report back with any information provided in response.