Are you considering filing a petition or application for a U.S. visa or immigration benefit?  These tips may help.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) updated its website with Recommendations for Paper Filings to Avoid Scanning Delays. Published on November 16, 2022, these filing tips are very useful for anyone seeking a visa or immigration benefit.  The recommendations state:

“As we move toward an increasing electronic environment, we now scan and upload many documents into electronic database systems. To avoid delays and improve scanning efficiency, we recommend that you do not:

  • Hole punch, staple, paper clip, binder clip, or otherwise attach documents to one another.
  • Include photos or documents smaller than 4×6 inches for evidentiary purposes. Provide photocopies of these items instead. The only exception is when we request a passport photo with the filing.
  • Include anything that contains electronic chips and batteries (such as musical greeting cards) or any non-paper materials such as cassette tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, toys, action figures, or thumb drives. We will not accept these types of materials. However, we will accept photographs or photocopies of these items.
  • Submit forms or evidence documents bound with a binding or spiral wire/plastic.
  • Submit evidence using photo albums, scrapbooks, binders, or greeting cards.
  • Fold documents.
  • Place sticky notes on documents.
  • Use insertable tab dividers.
  • Print forms on colored paper.
  • Submit more than one copy of the same document or evidence unless required by the form instructions or regulations. If you are required to submit a copy of a complete prior application, petition, or request, clearly mark it as a “COPY” at the top of each page to ensure it is processed as intended.
  • Send original documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, naturalization certificates, except when:
    • Required by the form instructions for the application, petition, or request you are filing; or
    • We specifically issue a request for you to submit an original document.

Avoiding these activities will improve our efficiency as we process your application, petition, or request.”

Many U.S. immigration benefits can be self-filed by the person seeking the benefit for themselves or a family member and these recommendations should be helpful.  Of course, Enterline Immigration is available to help anyone that would like to have professional, experienced assistance in the process. Importantly, some benefits can be complex and the petitioner or applicant will benefit from a lawyer’s help in the preparation and processing of the information, documentation and forms required.

If you want to find out how we can help you, please contact us at and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila.

Copyright 2022. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline Immigration only.