What to Do if USCIS Loses Your Application


USCIS is a backlogged organization drowning in paperwork. Unsurprisingly, some immigrants get told that their paperwork has disappeared. 

Sometimes, someone is just dragging their feet. Sometimes, the backlog is the problem. 

It’s important not to panic if USCIS has lost your application. 

Preventing Lost Applications

First, let’s talk about how to prevent your application from being lost in the first place.

One of the best ways to prevent lost applications is to file online. Electronic applications are rarely lost, and you can see the status of your case in one place. 

Of course, not everyone has access to the Internet and is comfortable using it. If you must use the mail, use these tips. 

  1. Send photocopies of supporting documents wherever possible. Read the application instructions or ask your lawyer. USCIS rarely requires you to send original documentation through the mail. You usually bring the original documents to your interviews.
  2. Make photocopies of your application so you’re ready to resend them at a moment’s notice.
  3. Mail separate applications separately, even if every family member submits an immigration application. USCIS processes them separately anyway, and you don’t want any application to get lost in the shuffle. 
  4. If your application fee check clears, keep the cleared check and the bank statement so you can prove that you paid USCIS if necessary. 
  5. Use a trackable mail service to know where your application is at all times and to prove that USCIS received your application. 

Remember, you’re launching a legal matter when you put in an immigration application. Respect that fact by being mindful of your evidence. 

Dealing With Lost Applications

In most cases, it will be easiest to take your photographed application and reapply. Sometimes, you might want to meet with an immigration attorney before submitting a second application. 

When USCIS Says They Lost the File Close to Your Interview

Some people find out USCIS has “lost” their application at the interview or get notice of a lost or delayed application just a few days before the interview is supposed to take place.

You should know that missing files are rare. Sometimes, immigration officers are just making excuses for delaying your interview. You may need to file a Mandamus lawsuit to move your case along. This lawsuit demands US government officials do their job and process your file.

Sometimes, something in your file has given USCIS pause, and they’re buying time to investigate whatever they saw.

Don’t panic; find an immigration attorney if you’re not already working with one. Your case is no longer routine, and you might need help to realize your dream of moving to the United States. 

Get Help Today

If you are struggling with your immigration application, don’t delay. Contact Hykel Law to get the help you deserve. 

We’ll be happy to review your case.

See also:

4 Good Reasons to Bring an Attorney to Your Green Card Interview

Who Can Appeal an Immigration Decision?

3 Reasons USCIS Might Cancel Your Interview 


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