Monday, January 10, 2011

Requesting Return of Original Documents from USCIS

Applicants should not submit original documents to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in support of an application or petition. If original documents such as passports or birth and marriage records were submitted however, USCIS provides a way to get those documents back.  To request that an original document be returned, Form G-884 should be submitted.

A few things to keep in mind when submitting the application:  
  • The application requires a notarized signature;
  • A copy of two identity documents must also be submitted;
  • No filing fee is required; and
  • The application should be filed with the USCIS office or service center that is currently processing the case, or, if a final decision has been issued, Form G-884 should be submitted to the USCIS office or service center that took the last action on the case.  The name and address of the USCIS office that adjudicated or is adjudicating the case will normally be on the bottom left-hand corner of the latest Notice of Action or receipt notice.
Additionally, be sure to specify what documents are specifically being requested along with any additional information that might assist USCIS in locating the file and the specific document requested. If requesting documents from a file not relating directly to the applicant, additional documents such as proof of the relationship or a power of attorney may be required.  

On a different post we will cover the benefits and the how to's of obtaining a copy of an applicant's "A-File" from USCIS through the use of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Form G-639.