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Filing Tips from the USCIS Office of Intake and Document Production on I-601s and I-212s

Background.  The Office of Intake and Document Production (OIDP) manages USCIS Lockbox operations. The USCIS Lockbox network centralizes and streamlines application receipting and provides secure fee collection and strong financial controls.

Beginning on June 4, 2012, overseas applicants filing Forms I-601 and I-212 began mailing them to USCIS’s Phoenix Lockbox facility. OIDP offers the following tips to help customers avoid common application rejection reasons when filing these forms at a Lockbox facility.

General Filing Tips.  Read the form filing instructions, ensure your form is neat and legible, and keep all entries within the spaces provided on the form. Use a current form version and mail all pages of the form. Forms are available free of charge at www.uscis.gov or by calling USCIS Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. When possible, use the Adobe fillable forms available online at www.uscis.gov. These forms have helpful features, and their use will ensure the most current form version is being used.

If you want to receive an e-notification that your form has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.

When completing forms by hand, use black ink and do not gray any part of the form or use highlighters or correction fluid. Use of these items prevents USCIS Lockbox scanners from reading the forms, possibly resulting in form rejection.

Submit all required documentation or evidence as indicated in the form instructions.

Sign the form in the correct section (see the form-specific tips below). An original signature is required. If there is no signature or if it is signed in the wrong place, the application will be rejected.

Pay the correct fee. Check the form instructions or http://www.uscis.gov/forms for the latest fee information. USCIS cannot refund the amount of any overpayments. If the correct fee is not received, the application will be rejected.

Checks or money orders must be payable in U.S. dollars, otherwise they will be rejected.

Although one check covering multiple applications is acceptable, USCIS recommends submitting separate checks or money orders when multiple applications are filed.

Complete the check correctly.

  • The “Pay to the Order of” line should read: U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Ensure the numerical and written check amounts are the same.
  • Ensure the check date is not postdated or stale (over one year old).

Only applications with fees or fee waiver requests attached should be sent to a USCIS Lockbox facility. Please do not send items such as a response to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to a Lockbox facility; send these documents to the office that requested the information.

Please submit certified translations for all foreign language documents. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate. The certification format should include the certifier's name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:

Certification by Translator I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________. Signature________________________________ Date_________

Typed Name__________________________________________

Address______________________________________________

 

Filing Tips for Form I-601

Use the current form version and pay the correct fee as indicated in the form filing instructions. Current forms, filing instructions, fee information and filing addresses can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/I-601 or by calling USCIS Customer Service.

Complete the entire form as indicated in the instructions. The form will be rejected if any of these fields are missing:

  • Family Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Signature in Part D, Applicant’s Signature and Certification

 

Filing Tips for Form I-212

Use the current form version and pay the correct fee as indicated in the form filing instructions. Current forms, filing instructions, fee information and filing addresses can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/I-212 or by calling USCIS Customer Service.

Complete the entire form as indicated in the instructions. The form will be rejected if these fields are missing:

  • Last Name
  • Address  
  • Signature in Part V, Applicant’s Signature and Certification

Customers may contact Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov with questions regarding applications and petitions that are pending at a USCIS Lockbox facility and those that have been rejected.

NOTE: Filing instructions and filing fees may change. Please ensure you have the most current information, available on www.uscis.gov or by calling the USCIS Customer Service Center.