Can I File Form I-824 Online? A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the complexities of immigration paperwork can be daunting, but understanding how to file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, can simplify the process significantly. In this article, we will provide detailed information on whether you can file Form I-824 online, the associated fees, and thorough instructions to help you through the process.

Understanding Form I-824

Form I-824 is used by individuals who have already had an application or petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) but need further action taken on that approval. This could involve forwarding an approved petition to a different consulate or requesting a duplicate approval notice.

Can I File Form I-824 Online?

As of now, Form I-824 cannot be filed online. The form must be completed on paper and mailed to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox. While many forms have moved to an electronic format, the I-824 remains a paper-based process.

I-824 Fee

The filing fee for Form I-824 is $465. This fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application. It’s important to include the correct fee when submitting your form to avoid any delays in processing. Payment can be made by check or money order if you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox, or by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Fee Waivers

It’s important to note that fee waivers are generally not available for Form I-824. Ensure you have the necessary funds to cover this fee when preparing your application.

I-824 Form Instructions

Step 1: Download the Form

Visit the USCIS website to download the most recent version of Form I-824. It is crucial to use the latest version to avoid any processing delays.

Step 2: Read the Instructions

Before filling out the form, carefully read the detailed instructions provided by USCIS. These instructions provide essential guidance on how to complete each section of the form accurately.

Step 3: Complete the Form

Part 1: Information About You

  • Name: Enter your full legal name as it appears on your approved petition.
  • A-Number: Provide your Alien Registration Number (if applicable).
  • Address: Include your current mailing address.

Part 2: Reason for Request

  • Select the appropriate box to indicate why you are filing Form I-824. Common reasons include:
    • Requesting a duplicate approval notice.
    • Requesting to send an approved petition to a consulate.

Part 3: Processing Information

  • Previous Application Information: Provide details about the initial approved application or petition.
  • Consulate or Office Information: If applicable, provide the name and location of the consulate or office where you want your case forwarded.

Part 4: Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature

  • Read the statement carefully, sign, and date the form.

Step 4: Assemble Your Packet

  • Completed Form I-824: Ensure all parts are filled out accurately.
  • Payment: Include a check or money order for $465 payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Supporting Documents: Attach copies of any relevant documents, such as the approval notice of the initial application or petition.

Step 5: Mail Your Application

Mail your completed application packet to the USCIS Lockbox facility indicated in the instructions. Use a reliable mailing service that provides tracking to ensure your application is received.

After You File

Receipt Notice

After USCIS receives your Form I-824, they will send you a receipt notice, officially known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action. This notice confirms that your application has been received and is being processed.

Processing Time

Processing times for Form I-824 can vary. Generally, it takes several months for USCIS to process the form. Check the USCIS website for current processing times specific to the service center handling your case.

Request for Evidence (RFE)

In some cases, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) if additional information is needed to process your application. Respond promptly to any RFEs to avoid further delays.

Approval Notice

Once your Form I-824 is approved, you will receive an approval notice. If you requested to send your approved petition to a consulate, USCIS will forward the necessary information to the indicated consulate.

Common Issues and Tips

Ensuring Accuracy

  • Double-check your entries: Ensure all information is accurate and matches your original application or petition.
  • Follow instructions precisely: Adhering strictly to the USCIS instructions can prevent unnecessary delays.

Keeping Copies

  • Make copies of everything: Keep a complete copy of your application packet for your records before mailing it.

Tracking Your Application

  • Use USCIS tools: Utilize the USCIS Case Status Online tool to track the progress of your application using the receipt number from your Form I-797C.


Filing Form I-824 requires careful attention to detail and adherence to USCIS guidelines. While it cannot be filed online, following the proper steps and ensuring all information is accurate will help ensure a smooth process