USCIS will not accept an application or petition prepared with an out of date and expired form. This error is fatal when you have a deadline to extend status or file for a new status because the error will cause you to miss the deadline and fall out of status!!! Yes, you can beg USCIS to accept a late filed form and plead with them to restore your status. However, by following these best practices you will avoid that extra uncertainty in your applications. Remember, USCIS might have an expired form posted on their website. They do make mistakes…….

1. ONLY USE FORMS PUBLISHED ON THE USCIS.GOV WEBSITE. Do not use form venders because they are notorious for letting their forms expire. Here is the link: http://www.uscis.gov/forms

2. SELECT FORM NUMBER AND REVIEW EDITION DATE. Here is an example of the I-130 forms information page with the expiration dates listed.

screen capture uscis forms 7-2-14

 

Here you can see the first Edition Date listed is 12/18/12. When you open up the form you can find the edition date at the bottom right corner of the first page:

screen capture uscis forms i-130 7-2-14

3. COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE FORM. You can now feel secure that your form will be properly accepted. You may also notice an expiration date at the top of the form. This is also helpful to determine if a new form will be coming out soon.

4. DOULBE CHECK BEFORE YOU MAIL OUT THE FORM!! If you experience a delay between preparing and submitting the form the form could expire. This is always standard practice in our office, so at the time we are making copies of the application we log on and double check the expiration date.