Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03052947 (posted May. 29, 2003)"
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Citizenship and
Embargoed until 11:30 a.m. (CDT) Contact: BCIS Press
Phone: (202) 514-2648
May 29, 2003
Electronic Filing (E-Filing) Frequently Asked
Q. What is electronic filing (e-filing)?
A. Electronic filing,
or e-filing, is the filing of an electronic document on a website via the
Internet. The BCIS website currently provides two types of on-line applications
that may be completed and submitted through the website www.bcis.gov.
Q. Who is eligible to participate in e-filing?
Currently, Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and Form
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, can be e-filed. Thousands of
applicants will be eligible to take advantage of this new process. It is
estimated that 750,000 people file Form I-90 each year to renew or replace their
“green card”. It is also estimated that 1.75 million people file for Employment
Authorization, Form I-765, each year. These applications make up approximately
30% of our workload. However, some applicants will not have the option of filing
electronically. Details are provided in each form’s E-filing Instructions and
Eligibility Information, which are accessible at www.bcis.gov. For individuals
who cannot e-file, or for those who choose not to e-file, the BCIS will continue
to accept paper applications.
Q. Will other forms be available for
A. The BCIS is already working on six other forms that
should be ready for e-filing in the future.
- Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker;
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document;
- Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker;
- Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status;
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status;
- Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing.
Additional, high-volume forms will be added in the future.
Q. If I
already filed a Form I-90 or Form I-765 before the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned to the BCIS, do I have to submit
A. No. Any form you previously filed with the INS is
acceptable and you do not have to file another form now that the INS has
transitioned to the BCIS. Furthermore, the eligibility criteria for all
immigration benefits remain unaffected by the transition.
Q. How do
applicants pay the fee associated with these two forms?
will now be able to pay the fees associated with these applications online
through the electronic transfer of U.S. funds from their checking or savings
accounts. At this time customers cannot pay application fees with a credit card.
The BCIS plans to start accepting credit card payments later this
Q. What is the Confirmation Receipt notice?
electronic filing is complete, the applicant receives electronic confirmation
that the application was received. This notice is titled “Confirmation Receipt.”
The Confirmation Receipt notice provides a unique Receipt Number for the
application filed. The Confirmation Receipt notice does not mean that the
application was approved, but it does provide proof that the application was
filed. A paper receipt, Form I-797, will be mailed to the applicant after
filing. It will contain essentially the same information, including the same
Receipt Number. This Receipt Number can be used to check the status of their
pending case using the Case Status Service Online system found at www.bcis.gov.
Q. How do applicants provide supporting documents or evidence
required by BCIS to adjudicate their application?
A. After electronic
submission, applicants are instructed to send supporting documentation or
evidence to the address listed on the Confirmation Receipt notice. Applicants
should attach a copy of the Confirmation Receipt notice to the documents to help
BCIS match them to the e-filed application.
Q. How does BCIS verify
the identity of applicants if a form is filed electronically?
After e-filing, the applicant must make an appointment to visit an Application
Support Center (ASC) by calling the National Customer Service Center at
Applicants who filed Form I-90 should bring a copy of their
application and their Confirmation Receipt notice to their appointment. The ASC
will keep the copy of the application. We encourage applicants to make an
additional copy for their own records.
Applicants who filed Form I-765 need only bring a copy of their Confirmation
At the ASC, the BCIS will confirm the applicant’s identity and electronically
capture a photograph, fingerprints, and a signature. The BCIS will use these
biometrics to produce the Employment Authorization Document or Permanent
Resident Card, if the application is approved.
Q. How can an applicant
get help with e-filing?
A. We recommend that customers first check
the BCIS website (www.bcis.gov.) and review the list of Frequently Asked
Questions on e-filing. If a customer cannot find the information he/she needs,
the customer can call the National Customer Service Center toll-free at
1-800-375-5283 for information.
Q. What happens if I
A. You must submit Form AR-11, Change of Address Form, to the
appropriate address listed on the form. Form AR-11 can be obtained through the
website or by calling the Customer Service Center toll-free at