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Tips for filing government immigration forms

When you file any type of immigration form, such as an application for a green card, it's very important to do everything correctly. Forms can and will be rejected based on the smallest mistakes.

As such, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has listed out a few helpful tips. They include:

  • Make sure you're not using an outdated form. These are updated periodically. If you printed it off months ago and took your time filing, there could be a more current version that you must use.
  • Always remember, when you're done, to sign the form. All unsigned forms get rejected, every time.
  • Be sure you don't miss any sections. Fill out the entire form and then double-check.
  • Use a black pen if you're filing out the form by hand.
  • Don't write with illegible penmanship. The form should be neatly written and officials should not have to decipher what you've written.
  • Start over after any mistakes. Don't just cross it out and write in the margins. You need a new form entirely.
  • Don't use white-out or any other type of corrective agent. Again, get a new form.
  • Pay exactly the right amount for your fee. If you don't, the form is rejected outright.
  • Write information exactly the same way on every form. Your date of birth should always be listed out in the proper format. Your name should be spelled the same way; for example, don't write "Alex" on one portion and "Al" on another.

It should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list of everything that you'll need to do when submitting a form to USCIS or any other agency, but just a valuable place to begin. Take your time and be very sure you understand every legal step in the process.

Source: USCIS, "Form Filing Tips," accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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