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03 June 2010

Did You Know? USCIS Forms and InfoPass Appointments are Free

All too often, free services offered by USCIS are sold to unsuspecting individuals by those seeking to make a quick profit. This is frequently true of forms and InfoPass appointments.

You can download USCIS forms for free on our website. You may also order hard copies by mail free of charge.

Scheduling an InfoPass appointment is also free and you can do so online in a dozen languages.

Don’t be taken advantage of by predators looking to make a quick buck at your expense. When in doubt, check our website for more information on these and other USCIS services.

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72 Comments:

At June 3, 2010 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,

I once took an InfoPass appointment in 2007 at the Chicago Immigraton office but this visit did not help me at all. Though the people at the counter are polite to speak to, it is possible on complicated issues they cannot answer your question. So ultimately I returned back not satisfied with my visit with the feeling that I should have been directed to someone who could have advised me better.

However, I agree sometimes our questions are quite complex. When we don't understand the laws very well we tend to lose on benefits that very law provides. Example, my husband worked as Radio Officer in shipping companies for 20 years. When the job became obsolete, he had to go back to school to upgrade his skills and joined a community college here as F1 student. He didn't know that post Associate Degree he could do upto one year CPT while continuing his undergraduate education. He opted for OPT and was issued a EAD from August 2007 to July 2008. In the interim period the 17 months extension was announced and he didn't know whether he could apply for extension. On OPT he worked with qualified engineers in Baxter though his degree was an Associate degree because he passed their interview and tests because he actually had 20 years working experience in the technical field. The same problem arises where an H1B is concerned because he does not have a bachelor's degree. He went back to school to complete his transfer courses to pursue a dual degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and his current GPA is 3.87.In short, what is the use of having skilled expertise in the STEM field when you cannot get a job just because you don't have a paper degree in hand?

I truly hope someone in the USCIS will address these kind of issues too. Right now, we can see they are doing a good job steamlining the whole immigration process - a real beacon of hope.

 
At June 3, 2010 at 9:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard of predators making a qiuck buck in selling USCIS forms ;)

 
At June 3, 2010 at 10:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard of any stories, but good to know that people charge for something that USCIS provides for free.

BTW, it would be helpful for the readers, if you start a thread to answer questions related to EAD renewals and associated delays. That is kind of a hot topic these days, and the delays directly affects a person's current employment situation. So, please consider starting a thread.

Thanks!!!

 
At June 4, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took an InfoPass appointment a few week ago. The representative was very nice, but couldn’t answer my questions and told me that I had to take up the matter with his manager, who was absent at that time and no one actually knew for how long. And the cherry on top was that the system was down – there were several people trying to wait it out. All that didn’t come as a surprise, unfortunately. Yours life-long fan, also unfortunately. EB3 ROW.

 
At June 4, 2010 at 1:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ahve used the InfoPass appointment many times and I never got my questions answered. They always give the same answer "We do not have any information on this case. You will have to wait". I am not sure I do understand what their job is since they give this answer to every one. They get paid from our tax money and they do not provide any useful information on a case.
InfoPass appointments are unafficient and unfortunately the only service that Field office provide.
You should think of how to improve it or just dismiss these services.

 
At June 4, 2010 at 4:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

"Never heard of predators making a qiuck buck in selling USCIS forms ;)"

There are some shady companies that try to make a quick buck. A bunch of companies that charged money for entries in the visa lottery were shut down a few years ago.
And I have seen advertisements from some company trying to get people to pay money for GC renewals.

 
At June 5, 2010 at 11:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that most of USCIS Officer cannot help you because they said it's not their juridiction (i.e. at Tampa office)???? Did you Know that USCIS Officer at counter treat the Immigrants very rude (i.e. Tampa Office)???? Did you know that after more that 30 min. waiting, the USCIS officer yells at you and make a scene and tells you that he cannot do anything (i.e. Tampa Office... again).

 
At June 5, 2010 at 6:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ USCIS Blog Team

Yes, I am aware that these services are free.

I notice there is minimal feedback from the USCIS Blog Team on here. Remember Communication is a two way process. So, please offer some answers to the questions that many individuals ask here on the Beacon.

Can the Blog team please explain the (Pending Employment-Based I-485 Inventory), specifically r/t EB3 "All Other Chargeability."

From my understanding, and please correct me if I am misinformed, the current cut-off date for this category is Jun,22 '03, which implies that the Visa Office issued visa numbers to individuals up until that date. Therefore no individuals after the cut-off date with a later priority date could be issued a visa number for his/her Green Card.

Now, if I look at the "Pending Employment-Based I-485 Inventory" tables posted on this site by USCIS, how do you explain that the pending I-485 cases are decreasing in 2004, 2005, 2006,and 2007? Does this mean that people in EB3 have been issued Green Cards after the cut-off date?

I am familar with the "priority date" and the "cut-off" date, and the fact that the VO manages these numbers. Congress sets the number of employment based visas awarded ie 140,000, and each group gets a percentage of the visa numbers. So, in EB3 there should be 28.6% of the 140,000 which translates to about 40,040 visa numbers anually. Each country has a cap of 7%, I am from a country that traditionally seeks a small number of visa numbers each year, so how does USCIS explain these allocations after the cut-off date, and is there a fair distribution of visa numbers for "other chargeability" individuals?

These are the type of questions that the USCIS staff were not able to answer on my Infopass appointment.

Maybe I will get some clarification here.

Thank you.

 
At June 5, 2010 at 11:24:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest posting more important issues like delay in processing applications I765(EAD)or I131(Travel Document) than just posting a matter about free forms available which really does not help much for most immigrants.

 
At June 7, 2010 at 10:35:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS,

You are credible only if you make all the I-140 approved cases to apply I-485, as soon as possible and issue EAD/AP, lot of people are waiting in the USA because of this. And you are not keen to give H1B extension to people who work and live here legally, even though they paid taxes for the past 10 to 14 years as Good as citizens. Please allow all I-140 approved cases to do Adjustment of STatus. You take law on your hands and play with the life of 1 million Legal immigrants. that is real ridiculous thing.

 
At June 9, 2010 at 12:39:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any explanation of the delay on EAD and Parole visa application? Thought, you have enough resources and manpower to do these taks...just wasting our tax money for not being effective and efficient.

 
At June 10, 2010 at 3:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Uscis had the proper systems in place then we wouldn't have to call
By the responses looks like we r getting what we pay for.

 
At June 10, 2010 at 4:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not fair on your part EB3-India never moves past Nov 2001. that is something discrimination. Please move dates as good as EB2-India.

Bulletin date Visa date
9/1/2007 Unavailable
10/1/2007 April 22, 2001
Steadily Advancing
6/1/2008 Nov 01, 2001
7/1/2008 Unavailable
till
9/1/2008 Unavailable
10/1/2008 July 01, 2001
Steadily Advancing
4/1/2009 Nov 01, 2001
5/1/2009 Unavailable
till
9/1/2009 Unavailable
10/1/2009 Apr 15, 2001
Steadily Advancing
7/1/2010 Nov 22, 2001

Next month is going to be ????? that is real depressing USCIS.

 
At June 11, 2010 at 11:50:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Beacon blog team,

Can you shed some light on what to do if the EAD renewal did not come through on or before the end of last EAD validity period? I am hearing that NSC is late processing the EAD.

Thanks you

 
At June 12, 2010 at 5:40:00 AM EDT , Anonymous jamith said...

great to hear that USCIS forms and infoPass appointments are free, outside people are charging but here at USCIS it is free.Now more info need on EAD renewal.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 6:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. For the poor and slow service you offer for your customers you are asking more money to keep all your employees in job !!!

Really are you guys not shame on this fee hike?

We will be happily ready to pay increase in fee, but what do we get finally ??

Keep a dead line for your employee to process an application within 6 months, otherwise demote or fire them. Then, you can stream USCIS as world class organization. Otherwise go to hell for this fee rise.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 2:39:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Rahul said...

Really Funny People are selling USCIS forms.

 
At June 24, 2010 at 4:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any rule on the minimum number of days that an employee needs to work for an employer? I was with the sponsoring employer for 4 years then used AC21 because the sponsoring company was acquired by a bigger company. Now I am with this bigger company for another 1.5 years. Now if I change my job 2 months after getting my green card, will there be any issue? Any guidance from the USCIS blog team on this will be highly appreciated.

 
At June 25, 2010 at 2:11:00 PM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

"Any guidance from the USCIS blog team on this will be highly appreciated."

These guys are not lawyers.
You need to talk to your lawyer.
Please use some common sense.

 
At June 28, 2010 at 9:25:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to let you know there are websites such as this one that charges $30 dollars to download these forms when you can find them for free in the USCIS website. Unbelievable!!!!
https://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/form-i130.html

 
At July 5, 2010 at 5:56:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forms are rather staight forward although calculating the number of days in last five years outside of the US for someone who looking for citizenship based on marriage i.e. 3 years is a redunant question. Also, who at the USCIS decided that the photos must and name and number written lightly in pencil on the back, clearly someone with no clue at all as it cannot be done properly.

 
At July 15, 2010 at 12:03:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Jackster said...

Dumb people do dumb things... There'll always be somebody to pay for something that's really free.

 
At July 25, 2010 at 2:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Andy Kahn said...

"free services offered by USCIS are sold to unsuspecting individuals by those seeking to make a quick profit" ..Well not many may be doing that way but they may be offering some additional value added service and charging for it.

 
At July 26, 2010 at 3:11:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Richard said...

I can't believe that there are people out there who would actually try and charge for the USCIS forms which are free to download.

Surely something should be done about this if people are making money from selling government forms??

 
At July 27, 2010 at 4:38:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Dan said...

You are credible only if you make all the I-140 approved cases to apply I-485, as soon as possible and issue EAD/AP, lot of people are waiting in the USA because of this.

Most of people it is a trust people who come in U.S to make business or for study or for a good job.

 
At July 28, 2010 at 5:20:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Peter said...

Found this by accident and crazy that people sell the forms people get for free. I would say though that there are a lot of comments and no feedback from the blog owner. Maybe buying the forms are a better option if you can get some answers.

 
At August 3, 2010 at 10:24:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Ame said...

If they cannot help out with the form it don't matter if it is free!
Free? Yes. But useless.

 
At August 5, 2010 at 3:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Steve Taylor said...

As someone who makes a living trading commodities, I can assure you that USCIS forms are not a large part of the markets. ;-) Really tho, it is sad to see people scamming free resources.

 
At August 12, 2010 at 11:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Sharky said...

People always find ways to take advantage when there is a breach in the legal statements.

 
At August 25, 2010 at 2:33:00 AM EDT , Anonymous H.P. Jones said...

A lot of individual will do anything for a quick buck at the expense of the uninform. It would be wise to put a watermark that it is free and of no charge :)

But good job for keeping the public inform that it is free

 
At September 21, 2010 at 8:27:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Tony said...

Thanks for the heads up, some people have no shame.

 
At September 21, 2010 at 8:31:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Baz said...

Sometimes people are too trusting or too lazy which allow unscrupulous people to profit.

 
At September 22, 2010 at 10:33:00 AM EDT , Blogger A-King said...

Yes a lot of people know the forms are free, but tend to forget and or appreciate they do cost money.

A little time spent learning how to use computers and the internet would be time well spent. It would help save money somewhere.

 
At November 18, 2010 at 3:26:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard of any stories, but good to know that people charge for something that USCIS provides for free.

BTW, it would be helpful for the readers, if you start a thread to answer questions related to EAD renewals and associated delays. That is kind of a hot topic these days, and the delays directly affects a person's current employment situation. So, please consider starting a thread.

For more post look at Online Training

 
At January 3, 2011 at 1:33:00 AM EST , Anonymous T.C. Parks said...

Some people knows no shame. You should embed it on the form and say that it is free and dont cost a cent. This will help notify the public that the person trying to make a quick buck is doing it at their expense

 
At January 5, 2011 at 6:31:00 PM EST , Anonymous Forex News said...

Thanks for this valuable post. I just want to let you know that I just checked out your site and you rock!. I’m looking forward to read lots more of your articles!

 
At January 25, 2011 at 6:14:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't even know it's free, unbelievable what some people are ready to do. Good thing i found this, tnx.


Selina from napkin rings blog

 
At February 18, 2011 at 10:45:00 AM EST , Blogger USCIS Blog Team said...

@ Chicago jobs

This has nothing to do with the process - we are simply saying the forms themselves cost nothing to download or obtain. You can access them anytime for free on our site or by phone or mail. More at: http://www.uscis.gov/forms

 
At February 26, 2011 at 6:45:00 AM EST , Anonymous jocuri online said...

A very short but well written piece. Its too bad more people, i.e.: immigrants don't know about this. Hopefully your post will help spread the word.

 
At March 4, 2011 at 9:59:00 AM EST , Anonymous Pau SeoWeb said...

That is a good thing. I didn't know USCIS forms were free.

 
At March 6, 2011 at 1:42:00 AM EST , Anonymous indiana fha said...

Seriously? Predators making a quick buck in selling USCIS forms? How much money is involved? How much are they really worth?

 
At March 10, 2011 at 12:40:00 AM EST , Anonymous Mpg Green said...

As they say, information is king. People pay for information because they are not informed which is just like most of the people just keep paying higher gas prices because they don't know any better.

It has never been easier to get information about almost anything via the internet. People just have to take advantage of the resources that are available to them and stop waiting for the other shoe to fall. Be proactive!

 
At March 12, 2011 at 4:04:00 PM EST , Anonymous Roland Taxerson said...

I agree Michael. America needs to be the land of opportunity again and not the land of regulation and bureaucracy. When our gov't works it is great and when it doesn't it's a real shame. Keep up the good work as you guys are doing a good job.

 
At March 16, 2011 at 7:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great information here.

 
At April 3, 2011 at 3:24:00 AM EDT , Anonymous reiki said...

Ho preso un appuntamento InfoPass una settimana fa. Il rappresentante è stato molto bello, ma non poteva rispondere alle mie domande e mi disse che dovevo prendere la questione con il suo manager, che era assente in quel momento e nessuno in realtà sapeva per quanto tempo
Jakie reiki master Inforeiki

 
At April 8, 2011 at 11:32:00 PM EDT , Anonymous James said...

See now the latest news comes as the Government is gonna shutdown. I am not sure how Uncle Sam is gonna be on the top of the pinnacle all the time with these crazy ideas. The republicans and the democrats are never going to be at peace with each other and the common joe will suffer

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:57:00 PM EDT , Anonymous James said...

It is great the USCIS provide all these services for nothing.
Nevertheless shame on the people that are using this to attempt to con folks and make themselves rich. Those sort of folk are scum.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 2:15:00 PM EDT , Anonymous ACLS Classes said...

Leave it to a scammer to sell you something the gov gives away for free. In one way it is the buyers fault. You don't pay attention and you really got no one else to blame but yourself.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 3:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Mike said...

From now on I will always get my form from online, it's the best solution. I was untill now unaware that it was free...I do not like beeing abused of, and these "thieves" if caught should be heavily punished with a massive fine.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 5:03:00 AM EDT , Anonymous mississauga locksmith said...

Many courts agree that while they cannot tell USCIS to approve or deny an application, they can tell them to hurry up. However, some courts say that if they can't say anything about the decision, it makes no sense that they could say anything about the pace of the decision either. These courts see the "pace" of the decision as part of the decision itself, and if it can't review the decision, it can't review the pace of the decision either.

 
At April 19, 2011 at 8:23:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Can I Get a Mortgage said...

I find it sad that wealthiest nation in history with the best government in the world for people to take advantage of those least prepared to deal with out of control commercialism.

They may have precious little money or even be completely flat broke. Taking advantage of people in this situation without helping them significantly is just wrong.

If someone's going to offer information to these people they should at the very least perform this as a service and give them links to sites like this one that can truly help those who will help make up our future. Thanks for all the good info.

 
At May 15, 2011 at 12:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Kids picnic table said...

This is definitely a good message to get out. Selling forms to what the government has for free is, unfortunately too common. The process can be overwhelming and, when you add in the "fear factor" that potential immigrants can have, there are unscrupulous people who will try to profit from it.
My niece got married to an El Salvadoran and it was a 2 year process to finally be able to get him into the country.
Fortunately, he did have good support up here with our family and we were able to guide them through the process to help get him here. Psychologically for us, it helped to realize the process, while complex, is structured this way for a reason
They're moving up here to Ohio in 2 weeks!

 
At May 17, 2011 at 5:25:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to make an infopass appoimtment for June. The internet appointment system only shows May appointments available. When do they post the availability for June?
I am out of the country returning in June

 
At May 27, 2011 at 12:30:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Personal Injury Records said...

You're credible only when you are making all of the I-140 approved cases to use I-485, as quickly as possible and problem EAD/AP, large amount of individuals are waiting in the united states due to this. And you're simply not keen to provide H1B extension to individuals who work and live here legally, despite the fact that they compensated taxes within the last 10-14 years just like people. Please allow all I-140 approved cases to complete Adjustment of STatus. You are taking law to deal with and have fun with the existence of just one million Legal immigrants. that's real absurd factor.

 
At May 31, 2011 at 8:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous John said...

Free for now - the government with their infinite shortage in levying fees on just about anything. Here in minnesota we have fees for about anything there is related to guns, ammo, bows, shotgunts, fishing, hunting etc etc...It is endless

 
At June 14, 2011 at 4:17:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Frank said...

I have paid for info that was free. Problem is, the government isn't very good at letting the people know all the stuff they can do for their citizens. One way we get ripped off, the other way we have to triple the size of government to meet the demand.

 
At June 17, 2011 at 5:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Frank on Monavie Scams said...

I totally cant stand people looking to make a quick buck! And ver awesome that you provided this info!

 
At June 20, 2011 at 9:33:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Gareth said...

Thank you for the warning regarding the USCIS forms. Much appreciated.

 
At June 29, 2011 at 3:50:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Bill said...

I personally got taken advantage of. I appreciate you getting the word out.

 
At July 13, 2011 at 7:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

infopass is a waste of time, the officer is not able to help or provide information beside screen shows, no discussion, no arguments, no reasons for delays, just "it is pending and come back in 90 days" we did it twice in 180 days with no change .this service is a shame for America ,free is expensive they should pay us for our time wasted there and respect us because we are working hard for this country

 
At July 16, 2011 at 5:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Melanie said...

Apparently, charging for a service which people can perform for themselves for free is a widespread practice, and generates enough business to keep some people in business. I recently received a letter offering to collect some money for me. There are a couple of websites that will track money for free. One is missingmoney.com (help find refunds from banks, utilities, etc). The other is hud.gov (helps find money from private mortgage insurance policies, etc). The bottom line is, don't pay someone to do something you can do for yourself. Spend a little time and ask some questions first.

 
At April 13, 2012 at 3:31:00 PM EDT , Anonymous simon said...

"It good to know you are looking after the people"<----yes - feels secure to know that the government has empathy (meant in no sarcastic way at all).

 
At April 15, 2012 at 6:52:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Andrew said...

"I agree that a lot of new immigrants have paid fees for these forms as their English is not good enough"<----yeah, it makes me sad.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous truck factoring said...

The question is how do you get the word out appropriately? I am glad to know that you can come here and download the forms but if a friend had not told me about it how would have ever found it?

 
At August 10, 2012 at 3:53:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Robot news said...

In these days most important is that we look after each other. I'm glad to see USCIS is constantly helping us. Knowing I can get the forms for free, I will pass the info to others for sure. Those people will have a hard time selling this forms. It is not ethical to earn money like this.

 
At October 19, 2012 at 7:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post! keep it up!

Aufsperrdienst Wien

 
At February 27, 2013 at 12:34:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crawford
I don's think that you have to be a citizen to use the USCIS forms. I also don't believe that they are providing USCIS forms and Infopass Appointments free of cost.

 
At August 22, 2013 at 7:14:00 AM EDT , Anonymous تحميل العاب said...

Do you have to be a citizen of the US to make use of the USCIS forms?

 
At October 27, 2013 at 4:55:00 AM EDT , Anonymous cerrajeria noa garcia said...

Nunca he oído hablar de ninguna historia, pero es bueno saber que las personas que cobran por algo que USCIS ofrece de forma gratuita. Por cierto, sería útil para los lectores, si se inicia un hilo para responder a preguntas relacionadas con las renovaciones EAD y las demoras asociadas. Eso es una especie de tema candente en estos días, y los retrasos afectan directamente a la situación actual del empleo de una persona. Así que, por favor, considere comenzar un hilo. ¡Gracias!

 
At November 23, 2013 at 7:46:00 PM EST , Anonymous Cam nartop said...

I ask ? Do you have to be a citizen of the US to make use of the USCIS forms?

 
At December 1, 2013 at 2:15:00 PM EST , Anonymous fat loss factor said...

Yes i believe you do have to be a citizen to use USCIS forms.

 
At July 30, 2014 at 6:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous venus factor said...

infopass is a waste of time, the officer is not able to help or provide information beside screen shows, no discussion, no arguments, no reasons for delays, just "it is pending and come back in 90 days" we did it twice in 180 days with no change .this service is a shame for America ,free is expensive they should pay us for our time wasted there and respect us because we are working hard for this country

 

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