Electronic Filing at the BCIS
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) recently began accepting Employment Authorization Document applications and Green Card Replacement applications electronically. Now, with the option of filing certain immigration applications online, applicants can avoid long waits on the phone and at local offices. In addition to expediting the application process, the technology involved with the new system will also allow the BCIS to verify the identity of individuals in the future.
Submitting Immigration Applications Electronically
At the end of the application process, an applicant pays required fees online using a U.S. savings or checking account. After a receipt is generated from this e-transaction, an applicant must make an appointment at an Application Support Center (ASC) to provide fingerprints, photographs and signatures. The ASC will then transmit the applicant’s information to the BCIS electronically, and the BCIS will use the electronic photographs, fingerprints and signatures to produce either the Employment Authorization Document or Permanent Resident Card.
Presently, supporting documents must still be submitted by mail. However, the BCIS anticipates that applicants will also be able to submit supporting documents electronically in the near future.
The Future of E-Filing
The BCIS is currently working on making the electronic filing of six other forms available:
- Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
- Application for Travel Document
- Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
- Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- Application for Temporary Protected Status
- Request for Premium Processing
Applicants who have a receipt number for an e-filed application can also check the status of a pending case online.
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