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Does Anyone Still File by Mail?

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Why would anyone apply by paper instead of online? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, D.C, the District of Columbia, the home of president Joe Biden, the home of USCIS, although actually, they moved to Maryland. And we love having our Washington D.C. office. And we love having all of our offices and we love our clients. And we’re shooting this video today to talk about the fact that when you apply for an immigration benefit, you have the ability, in some cases like naturalization or Green Card renewal, certain other applications, you can apply online. You don’t have to fill it out on paper.

And Stanislav asked in the comments, why in the world would anybody still apply on paper? And you know what? We apply every case on paper. And we will continue to apply every case on paper until we are convinced that they know what they’re doing when it comes to the online portal and the online forms. We have been to interviews where USCIS has lost the data from the computer, and nobody has any copy of what happened and what was filed. So the reason that we apply through paper is because we get to keep a physical copy of everything that is sent.

So at our office, since day one back in 2007, we have scanned in every piece of paper that comes into the office. And we have scanned every piece of paper that has gone out of the office. And at least two or three times a year, we have the need to check what was actually physically filed. And if it was all on some online portal, and we were relying on the technological geniuses at USCIS to access that, we would be screwed. Our clients would be screwed. And I believe that it’s almost unprofessional, probably not, but almost unprofessional to rely solely on the electronic portal. I don’t believe their saving capabilities are up to snuff. I don’t think it’s the same as having a physical scanned in copy or a physical copy, because we print it out when we go to the interview.

So there’s lots of reasons why to continue applying on paper. It’s just too risky to apply electronically. And for us, in many USCIS offices, you can’t bring a laptop or an iPad in, so you’re really not going to have access to what you filed unless you print it out anyways. So you might as well keep a digital copy. We attach the Federal Express receipt so that we have proof of delivery and it’s all very well organized. So we suggest that, at least at the present time, that you continue to apply on paper. And I think that might surprise our friend, Stanislav, and it might surprise you.

And it’s probably a little bit more expensive. It’s probably a little bit more of a hassle, but in the long run, you’re going to be better protected, especially if something comes up. Because as you know, we had a case this year where USCIS admitted for the very first time that they’d actually lost an entire family’s Green Card application file. So it was like four family members. And so it does happen and it’s always better to be able to just hit print or save and send it on its merry way.

So if you have questions, give us a call, 314-961-8200. Email us, info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and you subscribe to our YouTube channel. And then don’t forget on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central, you’ll find me live with one of our friends, like Daniel, answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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