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USCIS Forms Cheat Sheet

A list and explanation of the most common U.S. immigration forms

Nov 17, 2020

A person filling out a USCIS form

If you’re thinking about immigrating to the United States, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) forms. We’ve put together an immigration form cheat sheet to help you make sense of it all. The USCIS forms are listed in alphabetical order, and each entry links to a Boundless guide with more detailed information.

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DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application — K (fiancé(e))
Anyone who plans to visit the United States on a temporary visa, or who is coming to the United States on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, must complete and file Form DS-160.

DS-260 Online Immigrant Visa Application
Anyone who is applying for a marriage-based green card from outside the United States needs to file the DS-260 online form. This form, which is filed by those seeking permanent residence in the United States, is processed by the U.S. consulate or embassy of the country of departure, and the National Visa Center.

DS-261 Online Choice of Address and Agent
An online form that tells the U.S. State Department how to communicate with an applicant during their green card application process.

DS-5540 Public Charge Questionnaire
Form DS-5540 is used to collect information about a green card applicant, including health, financial status, and household size. USCIS officials will use these details to determine whether an applicant can support themselves, and the likelihood of that applicant becoming a public charge (a person that uses public benefits). NOTE: As of August 2020, this form is not mandatory for immigrant visa applications.

F-1 Student Academic Visa
A visa application to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited academic institution or in a language training program in pursuit of a degree or certification.

G-1145 e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
Use this form to request that USCIS send notification(s) by email and/or text message once they have received and accepted an application package for processing.

G-1450 Credit Card Payment Authorization
In 2018, USCIS announced it will accept credit card payments for pretty much almost every type of filing fee. Use this form to pay any fees via credit card, as long as the card is issued by a U.S. bank.

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Use this form to replace or renew a green card.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Travel Record Form
This form tracks non-citizens entering and leaving the United States. It’s an important document because it proves lawful entry, and also shows the departure date.

I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
This form is used to bring a spouse or fiancé(e), and any children, to the United States as the first step to obtaining the appropriate visa. It must be filled out by a U.S. citizen. The I-129F is also the first step in bringing a foreign born spouse to the United States under a K-3 visa. A K-3 visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States with temporary legal status while waiting to obtain permanent residence (a “green card”). Read more about the K-3 visa here.

I-130  Petition for Alien Relative/ Family Sponsorship Petition
The first step in a family-based green card application, this form establishes that a valid family relationship exists between a U.S. citizen or green card holder and a person seeking a green card.

I-130A Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary
This form is for spouses seeking a marriage-based green card. It gathers background information, including the past five years of residential and employment history, as well as family details.

I-131 Application for Travel Document/ Advance Parole /Re-Entry Permit for Green Card Holders
This is the form to use if you need to travel abroad while awaiting completion of your green card application without nullifying the process. The I-131 form is also the form green card holders should use to re-enter the United States after travel. In this role, the form serves as a re-entry permit for green card holders.

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Part of the process in obtaining a green card, after filing Forms I-130 and I-130A, is to fill out Form I-485. It proves that a foreign spouse is eligible for U.S. permanent residency. 

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
This form allows a spouse to upgrade from a conditional 2-year green card to a full 10-year green card.

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
Certain foreign-born residents may file Form I-765 to request employment authorization.

I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
This is the work permit that results from an approved I-765. There are various requirements, depending on the type of visa and green card.

1-864 Affidavit of Support
This is a signed document to accept financial responsibility for a spouse who is seeking a green card. The form is meant to demonstrate adequate means of financial support of the sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident. 

I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency
The I-944 documents an applicant’s age, health, and financial status. USCIS officials will use that information to determine whether an applicant is self-sufficient and not likely to become a public charge in the future. 

IR-2 Visa Information – Child Visa Eligibility
An IR-2 visa allows the child of a U.S. citizen living outside the United States to lawfully enter and live in the country.

IR-5 Visa Information – Parent Visa Eligibility
The IR-5 visa allows the parent or parents of a U.S. citizen to lawfully live and work in the United States.

N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship
This form is for people born outside of the United States but who have at least one parent that is a U.S. citizen and need evidence of their U.S. citizenship.

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