When you petition or apply to come to the United States, you are required to fill out immigration forms for your stay. Whether you are coming to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa or an immigrant visa, there will be at least one immigration form that must be completed to lawfully enter the United States.
Throughout this page, you will find immigration application forms listed by category. Let us know if you have any questions about the forms needed for your particular immigration process.
While reading, please note that some of these forms can also be applied to other categories. For example, Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility can be applied under adoption-based forms, but may also be used for a family-based visa. Likewise, Form I-864 is used for adoption as well as most family-based immigrants, and can even be used in some cases for employment-based immigrants. Consult your immigration attorney before submitting your immigration forms to make sure all immigration application forms needed for your case are included.
Immigration and naturalization (INS) is the process by which foreign individuals come to and become a citizen of the U.S. The “immigration” portion deals more with the arrival (how, when, who, etc.) and the “naturalization” aspect refers to the actual steps it takes to become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen. There is a range of options available for those who are planning to enter the U.S. and as long as you have no specific issues in your history, you will likely be able to find a visa that accommodates your needs.
Almost all INS processes are handled by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Regardless of which applications, forms, or documents you require, you will likely need to go through USCIS to access them. Thanks to the USCIS form database, many of these forms can be accessed, completed, and even turned in online.
If you are applying from outside of the U.S. to become a citizen or begin a visa process, certain forms will only be available through the U.S. Department of State. You can access these forms through the State Department’s online portals to begin your process remotely.
As long as you have a device capable of downloading documents in portable document format (PDF) downloading USCIS forms is as simple as going to their website and clicking on corresponding links.
Once you’ve clicked on the form PDF link the file should automatically download onto your computer; now all you need is a printer and you can print this form from the “file” option in your document viewer.
One of the most important documents you will need as an individual residing in the U.S. is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Card, or Green Card. A Green Card indicates that you have undergone the necessary steps to be in the country legally and provides you with certain privileges. This is also often called an adjustment of status. Almost all the forms in this category share the common result of obtaining an LPR card.
The specific forms you need to complete will depend on your initial situation. Some of the employment forms are only necessary if you are entering the country to work; some of the petitions are only necessary if you are applying for your family member or you yourself are a family member; contact an immigration attorney for help understanding the different categories and how they apply.
The following forms are all considered part of the green card category:
There are a variety of costs you may be required to pay when filing a green card application. You might need to cover specific document costs, travel expenses, vaccinations and medical exams, etc. As far as the cost of applying for a green card, the green card application form (Form I-485) costs $1,140 for those living in the U.S. and the biometrics fee costs $85.
If you are living abroad the cost may be less because you are not required to pay the application fee. You are, however, expected to pay for State Department Processing ($325) and a USCIS Immigrant Fee ($220).
The next category of form deals with the adoption of children from countries outside the U.S. Many American citizens decide to have an intercountry adoption each year and USCIS determines who is or isn’t eligible based on the parents and children.
While most children are eligible, there can be extraordinary circumstances that prevent the adoption from occurring regardless of the parents. More often, USCIS is responsible for confirming that the adoptive parents are suitable and, furthermore, eligible to care for the adopted child.
The intercountry adoption process requires a lot of research and documentation. If you’re looking into adopting a child from another country, it may be beneficial to hire an immigration lawyer who knows the USCIS rules associated with adoption and can make sure the process continues smoothly.
The following are included under the USCIS adoption forms category:
Parents who adopt a child from outside the U.S. will have to pay a variety of fees depending on what their child needs.
If an adopted child needs a Certificate of Citizenship, an application filed after December 23, 2016, will cost $1,170. Some children will need a biometrics appointment ($85), others might need to pay the USCIS immigrant fee ($220). Other forms will cost different amounts based on the situation. Forms I-800/I-800A is $775, Form I-800A, Supp. 3 is $385, and Forms I-600/I-600A cost $775. The cost of sustaining a child is also quite expensive, so it’s nice to have some money before beginning the process.
As part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a child adopted from outside the U.S. will automatically acquire citizenship if they meet the following requirements:
The child will receive a Certificate of Citizenship automatically if they meet the qualifications of the IR-2, IR-3, IR-4, IH-3, or IH-4 visas upon being adopted in the U.S. If they do not meet these initial conditions they will be granted a Certificate of Citizenship when they meet the above requirements.
One step beyond a visa or green card is becoming an official U.S. citizen. Depending on your situation, the naturalization process can be much easier than the green card application process. Green cards can be difficult because you are coming over from your own country and the longer you have to wait the more opportunities you might miss. When applying for naturalization or citizenship, you will likely already be in the U.S. as an LPR.
If you meet all of the naturalization requirements and have not committed any crimes involving moral turpitude, you should be able to naturalize smoothly with the help of an immigration lawyer.
The following USCIS forms all pertain to citizenship naturalization:
The most important form when filing for naturalization is the N-400, Application for Naturalization. The filing fee for an N-400 is $640, $725 if you include the $85 biometric fee. Assuming that you meet all the requirements for naturalization, you can file online or by mail. After you complete the naturalization application you will take the Oath of Allegiance and become a U.S. citizen.
Employment-based (EB) visa applications are one of the most common ways that foreign individuals will enter the U.S. as lawful permanent residents. There are five different preferences of employment-based applications each with their own subcategories. These visas are typically used by sponsoring employers to hire individuals from outside of the country. Many of the EB forms must be filled out by said sponsoring employer.
Along with the regular documentation for entering the U.S. these petitioners will also need to have employment authorization checks to confirm that they are allowed to work. These authorizations will be required across almost all industries for all employees aside from those who meet special requirements or are of particular national interest.
The following forms are related to the employment-based immigration category:
Employment immigration forms can become quite costly for the sponsoring employer. Especially for larger corporations that bring over numerous employees. It is the responsibility of the employer to have their employees authorized and brought to the U.S. There are not as many costs placed on the immigrant workers, however, it’s still important to do research in case there are required fees.
Sometimes individuals who come to the U.S. want to bring family members with them. U.S. citizens have certain rights as to who they can petition for. Spouses, children, and other immediate relatives are typically eligible parties. It’s important to research the regulations because these privileges only extend so far.
Each of the USCIS family forms are included below:
The main form involved in family immigration is USCIS Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The fee for this petition is currently $535. As with the other categories there may be a variety of additional costs associated with bringing over family members from different countries. Consult a family immigration lawyer to get a more accurate estimate of how much your specific petition may cost.
The final USCIS form category indicated on their website is the humanitarian benefits category. These forms are all used to provide something called humanitarian parole, allowing individuals who are normally inadmissible into the U.S. for a temporary period of time in the case of an emergency.
Any Individual is eligible for humanitarian parole under the appropriate circumstances. If there is an emergency of some sort, a time-sensitive humanitarian incentive, or a significant public benefit for your entrance, you can apply for humanitarian parole. It’s important to note that receiving parole is not the same as filing a normal visa, and you will still need to follow regular visa procedures to be granted citizenship.
Additionally, if you have ever been removed from the U.S. or you are presently dealing with removal proceedings, you must send your parole application to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for determination.
Humanitarian parole should only be used as a last resort for entrance to the U.S. If you are otherwise eligible for naturalization you can find better ways to enter the country. However, this might be your only option if there are other issues preventing you from getting a visa.
The following forms fit into the humanitarian benefits-based category:
The basic forms necessary for humanitarian parole are Form I-131 ($575), Form I-134 (no filing fee), and Form G-1145 (no filing fee). The only petition you need to pay for is Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. This is a less expensive category because it’s usually for individuals who are coming to the U.S. to escape an emergency or bad situation.
You can find immigration forms by category below. These links will take you to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) pages containing information about the corresponding immigration forms.
Each immigration form is specified for the purpose of stay in the United States. Which immigration forms you will fill out depends on your reason for immigrating to the U.S. Working closely with an immigration and naturalization attorney can help you figure out which forms are best suited to your individual purpose. Your immigration attorney can also help you fill out immigration paperwork, as the process can be complicated.
Each U.S. immigration form has its own direct filing address. Some forms also have an electronic option. The pages linked below will provide further information on where to mail your particular immigration forms after they are filled out and signed. Other forms, such as the I-830 immigration form for change of address to the Department of Justice (DOJ), need to be sent to the DOJ Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR forms from the DOJ can be found on their website.
When sponsoring immigrant employees the total price will be dependent on the company. If a company has more than fifty employees and at least half of them are foreign nationals, the cost of sponsoring may be $8,000 to $9,000. If the company does not fulfill these requirements, the visa sponsorship should cost roughly $4,000.
The immigration and naturalization attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. have over 70 years of combined experience. As you can see, there are many steps to take in obtaining your green card. Working with an immigration or green card lawyer can help ease the process of applying for immigration status. We also have ample experience confronting a variety of unique situations that may arise. The immigration process can be complex, which is why we are here to help navigate the path with you. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online form for a consultation today.