As we move toward an increasing electronic environment, we now scan and upload many documents into electronic database systems. To avoid delays and improve scanning efficiency, we recommend that you do not:
- Hole punch, staple, paper clip, binder clip, or otherwise attach documents to one another.
- Include photos or documents smaller than 4x6 inches for evidentiary purposes. Provide photocopies of these items instead. The only exception is when we request a passport photo with the filing.
- Include anything that contains electronic chips and batteries (such as musical greeting cards) or any non-paper materials such as cassette tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, toys, action figures, or thumb drives. We will not accept these types of materials. However, we will accept photographs or photocopies of these items.
- Submit forms or evidence documents bound with a binding or spiral wire/plastic.
- Submit evidence using photo albums, scrapbooks, binders, or greeting cards.
- Fold documents.
- Place sticky notes on documents.
- Use insertable tab dividers.
- Print forms on colored paper.
- Submit more than one copy of the same document or evidence unless required by the form instructions or regulations. If you are required to submit a copy of a complete prior application, petition, or request, clearly mark it as a “COPY” at the top of each page to ensure it is processed as intended.
- Send original documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, naturalization certificates, except when:
- Required by the form instructions for the application, petition, or request you are filing; or
- We specifically issue a request for you to submit an original document.
Avoiding these activities will improve our efficiency as we process your application, petition, or request.
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