Frequently Asked Questions - USCIS

F-1 OPT Requirements
1. How do I apply for F-1 OPT? 2. How do I get a 17-month STEM extension of my post-completion OPT?

1. Once you receive a recommendation for post-completion OPT from your Designated School Official (DSO) to pursue OPT, you must apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) with USCIS within 30 days. Additionally, you may file up to 90 days prior to your program end-date and not later than 60 days after your program end date. 

USCIS Immigrant Fee
How Do I Pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 recovers USCIS costs related to immigrant visas granted by the U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.The fee covers the cost of USCIS processing, filing and maintaining immigrant visa packets, plus the cost of producing Permanent Resident Cards.

Foreign nationals who seek permanent residence in the United States and receive an immigrant visa from the Department of State need to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online before departing for the United States.

FAQs on I-864 Affidavit of Support
1. When is the I-864 processing fee paid? 2. When does the NVC send instructions about the I-864, I-864W, I-864EZ and I-864A? 3. Is there a fee I will need to pay for the Affidavit of Support forms? 4. Is there a fee to review the Affidavit of Support at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad?

1. When your immigrant visa case is ready to begin processing at the NVC, the NVC will send an Affidavit of Support processing fee invoice and payment instructions to your petitioner.

Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate
Q1. What is FDNS? Q2. What is the function of FDNS?
Time Taken by USCIS to Respond to a RFE
How much time does USCIS take to respond after the response to a RFE has been submitted?

If the petition was filed  under premium processing, the 15-day clock will restart when the response is received by USCIS.  If the petition was filed under regular processing, it generally takes two to six months for USCIS to respond.

Combining All USCIS Filing Fees In One Check
Can one check be sent, combining all USCIS filing fees?

If you provide all filing fees in one check and have added incorrectly, your petition will be rejected.  USCIS recommends using separate checks for each filing fee, particularly the premium processing fee.

Proof of Speeding Tickets During an N-400 Interview
Should applicants provide proof of speeding tickets during an N-400 interview?

Applicant should try to provide proof of the ticket and proof of payment of any fine or additional penalties for any tickets over the past five years.

Applicants for Naturalization to Demonstrate Ability to Read, Write, Speak,and Understand English
Assuming all other criteria are met, under what circumstances will an application for naturalization be denied where the applicant passed the English test and responded meaningfully to all interview questions, but allegedly does not understand the oath of allegiance? Please provide examples, if possible.

USCIS says that applicants for naturalization are required to demonstrate an ability to read, write, speak,and understand English.  The ability to read and write English is determined byadministering the reading and writing tests to the applicant.  An applicant’s ability to understand and speak English is determined by the applicant’s ability to understand and speak English during the interview.  This includes responding to all questions on the application including und

Application for Naturalization Denied for Lack of Good Moral Character
Assuming no other negative factors, under what circumstances will an application for naturalization be denied for lack of good moral character if USCIS determines that an applicant received benefits for which he or she was not entitled? What if the applicant pays back or is paying back the amount owed? Does it matter the extent to which the benefits were received fraudulently (with intent) vs. inadvertently/unknowingly?

USCIS says that these situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis looking at all of the factors in the case and that intent would certainly be a factor to consider.

Naturalization Cases Involving Outstanding Tax
USCIS notes that naturalization may be denied in the exercise of discretion if an applicant fails to file required tax returns or owes back taxes. Assuming no other negative factors, under what circumstances will USCIS deny an application for naturalization in an exercise of discretion for lack of good moral character where the applicant has filed all required taxes correctly, has a tax debt, has come to a formal agreement with the IRS or other tax authority to repay the taxes owed, and is paying off the debt?

USCIS instructs officers to accept proof that regular tax payments are being made.  USCIS says that all N-400 cases involving an outstanding tax debt will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, looking at the totality of circumstances.

Procedure for Filing the I-824
What is the procedure for filing the I-824?

The I-824 needs to be filed concurrently. Once the I-485 approval is done, the I-824 must be adjudicated. Any further delays should be reported to USCIS.

I-765 combo card
How many photos are required for the I-765 combo card?

USCIS has made it clear that only two photos are required for the I-765 combo card.

Premium Processing for EB-1-3
Has USCIS provided an update on premium processing for EB-1-3 multinational managers and executives. At the AILA conference in Nashville, it was reported that it would be available by the end of the fiscal year.

USCIS does not anticipate expanding Premium Processing Service to include EB-1-3 multinational executives and managers for the foreseeable future.

Naturalization Procedures at Atlanta Office
Will the USCIS Atlanta Office go back to swearing in applicants on the same day as the interview?

It is unlikely that the Atlanta District Office will resume swearing-in applicants on the same day as the N-400 interview, aside from customers who come from Alabama or at least four hours away, who CIS makes every effort to swear in the same day due to the distance traveled for the interview.

Recanting of Misrepresentation in Naturalization Application
With regard to any removal risk, how would USCIS view a voluntary recanting of an intentional misrepresentation in a naturalization application? For example, what if the beneficiary brings the issue to USCIS’s attention and formally withdraws the misrepresentation, thereby subjecting him/herself to denaturalization?

USCIS would submit the case to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel for determination.

Misrepresentation in Naturalization Application
If there is a knowing misrepresentation in a naturalization application, as opposed to a simple failure to disclose, would this lead to removal proceedings in addition to denaturalization?

It might.  If Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel proceeds with denaturalization and is successful, removal proceedings may be instituted.

How does USICS handle a situation when, during a marriage-based adjustment application, it transpires that there might have been an eligibility issue with the Naturalization application of the U.S. Citizen (USC) spouse petitioner? For example, it is discovered that divorce proceedings had been initiated after the naturalization application was filed,but prior to the interview and the divorce was finalized soon after the oath, and eligibility being based on three years of residence in marital union with USC. What factual issues arise and what is the standard for proceeding with an action for denaturalization?

If USCIS determines that an applicant for naturalization was not eligible to naturalize, the evidence is obtained and submitted to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel for determination of denaturalization.

Naturalization after Extended Absence
What is the USCIS approach to an application for Naturalization that shows that the applicant has continually resided in the U.S. for several years in addition to the statutory period, but might have had a prior extended absence after becoming an LPR?

These applications are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Evidence of Legal Permanent Resident Status
If a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) needs proof of LPR status, USCIS provides an ADIT stamp in the passport.This is not done often because the card is usually manufactured and delivered very quickly for newly approved applicants. However, for those in removal proceedings, the ADIT stamp is still needed.For those without passports and for those with expired passports, in the past, USCIS issued the ADIT stamp and a seal on an I-94 card to which a photo of the LPR was attached. Has there been a change to this process?Can an attorney with a G-28 attend with an INFOPASS on behalf of the client for ADIT stamp issuance? Is there any requirement for the client to be physically present?Does it make a difference if the LPR has been ordered by an Immigration Judge to be removed but an Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is still pending? (The person is still an LPR until the BIA decision).

There have been no changes to this policy.  USCIS does not issue ADIT stamps routinely as the applicant should be receiving I-551s within several weeks.

Obtaining Asylum in the United States
What are the grounds for qualifying for asylum in the United States?

Qualified asylum-seekers are those who are fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

For more information please visit this link:

The Impact of the NTA Memo
Under new deportation and denial policy 2018, I have following questions if I want to renew green card after 10 years. Can green card renewal I 90 be denied because of some common errors like forgot to submit copy of old green card, or any court document ( removal proceedings canceled without prejudice). Will I get deported if GC is denied due to minor administrative error?
Section 245(k) Protection During AOS/I-485
1. For the Yes/No questions on I-485 form, I have answered all "No" at the time of filing as I was not even aware of this situation. I have no intentions of mis-stating the fact during interview and would like to mention it. But my question is would this be considered as un-authorized employment ? Should I say I'm not sure of this but mentioning it ? 2. Also, after doing some research, looks like there is an exemption based on INA 245(k) and my case seems to be falling into this. Below is the link I was referring to. Am I correct in assuming so ?
RFE and Audit
What is RFE and audit of GC?
Error by USCIS Giving Time Beyond 6 Years on H-1
Error in last H-1B extension- now I-140 approved and I have been working on H-1B since 2005. In between, I changed to -F1 and also spent time outside USA. Cumulatively, I would have completed six years of working on H-1B by March 30 2015, after excluding stays in USA on non-H-1B status and stays out of USA.I changed my job in Feb 2014 and have been working with this employer since then. At the time of change, the current employer filed for a H-1B petition and requested an extension for three years – from Jan-2014 until Jan 2017, even though, if I added up all the time of work on H-1B visa in USA, I would have completed six years by March 30 2015. My I-140 has been approved this month. Now I do not know whether my employer should file for an extension of H-1B (assuming that without the I-140 approval, I was allowed to work until I completed six years of H-1B in USA) or not file for H-1B extension, because, the last extension is valid until Jan 2017.

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.


FAQ Transcript

What happens is sometimes, USCIS by mistake gives you more time than you are entitled soon for your H-1. Let's say your 6 years is getting over in one year and they give you 2 or 3 years by mistake.

USCIS Stamps
What is the difference between a blue or black stamp from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

As of July 1, 2014, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began using a new secure blue ink for many of its secure stamps. The older secure red ink will be retired and no longer used by USCIS on the effective date.

USCIS stamps with secure blue ink:

    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Parole Stamp
    Temporary I-551 Alien Documentary Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) Stamp
    Refugee Stamp (Section 207)
    Asylum Stamp (Section 208)
    Initial / Replacement I-94 Stamp

USCIS Updated Questions &Answers on the H-1B Employer-Employee Relationship
Does this memorandum change any of the requirements to establish eligibility for an H-1B petition?

No. This memorandum does not change any of the requirements for an H-1B petition.