Form I-824

Did you lose or misplace an approval notice from USCIS? While your first reaction might be to panic, there is a way to still satisfy your immigration case requirements by filing Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition. The fundamental purpose of Form I-824 is to request “further action on a previously approved application or petition” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This form is not for those whose previous approval is revoked or expired. You also should not use this form to verify the status of a pending petition or application.

Some instances where you would request further action are if you moved since your original petition was filed so you want a different U.S. Consulate to be informed of your approved the USCIS approved petition or waiver. Another reason you would need to file an I-824 is if you are completing a green card application overseas and want USCIS to send your approved I-130 petition  to the National Visa Center (NVC). We will explore additional instances in which filing Form I-824 is the best move later on in this post.

Tips for Filing Form I-824

For those who have a previously approved application or petition from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that was misplaced, stolen or destroyed, you should use Form I-824 to request that Customs and Border Protection issue a copy of your I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant or Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal.

Where Should You File?

Applicants filing Form I-824 with USCIS should do so at the appropriate USCIS lockbox facility, except if they are filing it in conjunction with another USCIS form. If that is the case, then send your I-824 along with the other form to the address in the filing instructions of that form. You can find a full list of USCIS Lockbox facilities online. It is important to mention that USCIS will not process Form I-824 if your petition/application has been denied or is in the pending stage. Moreover, Form I-824 should not be used to check on the status of a pending application, since that is not its purpose.

If you are filing Form I-824 with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, file it at a designated land border port of entry, CBP preclearance office or mail it to the Admissibility Review Office at 22685 Holiday Park Drive, Suite 10, Sterling, Va. 20166-1234.

Form I-824

Filing Fee for Form I-824

The cost to file Form I-824 is $465 and that can be paid with a money order, personal or cashier’s check. You can elect to receive an electronic notification when a USCIS Lockbox facility accepts your I-824 by completing Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.

I-824 Processing Time

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, you should allow at minimum 90 days from when you submit your form for I-824 Processing time. In some cases I-824 processing can take upwards of six months or longer. To check on the status of your application with CBP you can email [email protected]

Reasons to Request Form I-824

The following are requests that can be made via Form I-824:

  • A duplicate approval notice
  • USCIS to notify a new U.S. Consulate (different from the one originally requested) through the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) or Kentucky Consular Center. USCIS will notify the U.S. Consulate about the approval of a nonimmigrant visa petition or about a new Port-of-Entry (Port-of-Entry is different than what you originally requested) about the approval of a waiver application.
  • USCIS to notify a U.S. Consulate through the National Visa Center about your adjustment of status to permanent resident in the U.S. so that your spouse and/or children can accompany you or follow to join
  • USCIS to send your approved immigrant visa petition to the National Visa Center or to notify the Department of State that you are now a U.S. citizen via the process of naturalization

Situations Where You Should Not File Form I-824

As previously mentioned, Form I-824 serves a very specific purpose. If you are requesting additional action from USCIS for a petition or application that was denied, revoked or withdrawn, it is not the appropriate form to do so. Other instances not suitable for filing this form include:

  • Requesting a correction of a mistake on a previous approved petition or application
  • Requesting follow-to-join benefits for your children and/or spouse and your case is one of the following:
    • Were given refugee status after being admitted to the United States or were given status in the U.S. as an asylee
    • Issued an immigrant visa at either a United States Embassy or U.S. Consulate via consular processing and were admitted to the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a lawful permanent resident
    • Were granted lawful permanent resident status via a T or U visa
  • Requesting a copy of an approved I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status or N-400, Application for Naturalization, to have them in your own records
  • Requesting a duplicate approval notice for an approved visa petition naming the children or spouse accompanying or joining you
  • Asking USCIS to send the U.S. Department of State information pertaining to the approval of your expired nonimmigrant petition/application or pertaining to an employment-based application/petition if your employment with the original petitioning employer is over
  • Requesting USCIS to notify the Department of State of an approval of Form I-600A, Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition or Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative or Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
  • Requesting additional action on an approved application which was filed with Customs and Border Patrol or a replacement of any of the following:
    • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (to request a replacement, file Form I-765, Application of Employment Authorization)
    • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (to request a replacement, file Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document)
    • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (to request a replacement, file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card)
    • Form I-512/I-512L Travel Document (to request a replacement, file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document)

You can view all the forms on the USCIS website.

If you are requesting from Customs and Border Patrol a duplicate approval notice that was revoked or is expired, a correct of a mistake of an approval notice or action on an approved application or petition filed with USCIS, do not file Form I-824 with your request. Customs and Border Patrol provides information on how to request a correction to your approval notice with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Form I-824 consists of seven total pages. Below are the various sections of the form to be completed.

Section 1: Information About You (Person filing the application)

The top section of the form labeled ‘For USCIS Use Only’ should be left blank by you. If an attorney or BIA-accredited representative is assisting in filing this form, they should complete the section under the USCIS Only box. In black ink or type, complete the first section by indicated if you are the applicant or petitioner, filling in you full name, company or organization, immigration status, certificate of naturalization or citizenship number (if applicable), date of birth, country of birth, IRS tax number (if applicable), U.S. Social Security Number (if applicable), USCIS online account number (if applicable), mailing address, and physical address if different than your mailing address.

Section 2: Reason for Request

What are you trying to achieve? Do you need a duplicate approval notice? Do you want USCIS to notify a different U.S. Consulate than the one you originally requested about the approval of a nonimmigrant visa petition or new Port-of-Entry? Would you like USCIS to notify a U.S. Consulate through the National Visa Center about your adjustment of status to permanent resident in the U.S. so that your spouse and/or children can accompany you or follow to join? Do you want USCIS to send your approved immigrant visa petition to the National Visa Center or to notify the Department of State that you are now a U.S. citizen via the process of naturalization? Select the appropriate box according to the request in section two.

Section 3: Other Information

If the person filing this form is not the principal beneficiary of the previously submitted application or petition, then include their information in this section including the form number of the previously approved application/petition, receipt number on Form I-797, filing date and approval date of that application, full name, date of birth, country of birth, alien registration number, phone number, mailing address and physical address if different than the mailing address. Continued on page three, if you selected your Reason for Request in Section 2 being for USCIS to notify a U.S. Consulate through the National Visa Center about your adjust your status to permanent resident in the U.S. so that your spouse and/or children can accompany you or follow to join then list the dependents in this section that you are requesting follow-to-join benefits from. You will need to provide their full name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship/nationality, relationship to principal applicant, email address, and phone number. There is space to list four dependents and if you need additional space you can write it in Part 7. Additional Information.

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

Before filling out this section it is important to read the Penalties section of Form I-824. After doing so, you need to acknowledge that you can read and understand English, including all the questions on the form or if you had an interpreter help you, check 1.b. and name them in Part 5. If you had the assistance of a preparer, check box 2 and name them in Part 6. Lines 3-5 ask for your contact information (phone number and email address) followed by the applicant’s certification signature line.

Section 5: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If an interpreter was utilized for the preparation of this document fill out their name, mailing address and contact information. The interpreter will also need to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they are fluent in English and the applicant’s native language. In line 7.a. the interpreter needs to sign the form and date it in 7.b.

Section 6: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Application, if other than the Applicant

Was a preparer was used to fill out the form? If so, provide their full, mailing address and contact information. The preparer will also need to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they prepared the form at the request of the applicant and sign in line 8.a. plus date in 8.b.

Section 7: Additional Information

If you need additional space to answer any of the questions, this section is where you include it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Form I-814, Application for Action on an Approved Petition. 

What happens after I 824 is approved? 

If you are seeking follow-to-join benefits for your spouse and/or children then once your I-824 is approved, USCIS will then inform the U.S. Consulate overseas that you are a lawful permanent resident which means that your children/spouse can apply for immigrant visas. Depending on what you are specifically requesting from USCIS or Customs and Border Control, will dictate the next steps after an I-824 approval. The following are things you can request on Form I-824:

  • A duplicate approval notice
  • USCIS to notify a new U.S. Consulate (different from the one originally requested) through the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) or Kentucky Consular Center. USCIS will notify the U.S. Consulate about the approval of a nonimmigrant visa petition or about a new Port-of-Entry (Port-of-Entry is different than what you originally requested) about the approval of a waiver application.
  • USCIS to notify a U.S. consulate through the National Visa Center about your adjustment of status to permanent resident in the U.S. so that your spouse and/or children can accompany you or follow to join
  • USCIS to send your approved immigrant visa petition to the National Visa Center or to notify the Department of State that you are now a U.S. citizen via the process of naturalization

What is the follow-to-join process?

Follow-to-join is a path for relatives of eligible green card holders to immigrate to the United States to join their family member.

Who is eligible for follow to join?

Children and spouses of U.S. permanent residents are eligible to receive green cards. The follow-to-join process bypasses the traditional process of filing an immigrant petition and instead applicants use Form I-824 as the Follow-to-Join application. To qualify for this, the marriage must have occurred prior to the principal applicant being admitted to the United States as a permanent resident and the children also must have been born before this. Children 21 or older or married children are not eligible for join-to-follow benefits. The other requirement is that you must have received an immigrant visa or adjusted status in one of the following preference categories:

  • Employment-based
  • Family-preference
  • Religious Worker
  • VAWA petitioner
  • Diversity Visa petitioner

When submitting the I-824 for the purpose of follow-to-join benefits, a copy of the marriage certificate must be included in the application as well any children/dependent’s birth certificates.

How long does follow to join take?

Processing times for I-824 petitions can be anywhere from six and a half months to upwards of a year. After USCIS approves the I-824, then they will send you an approval notice, I-797. From there, USCIS will send the application to the NVC and when the National Visa Center receives the application they will send you a letter with the next instructions in the process. Sometimes it can take upwards of six weeks to get the NVC letter. From there, your spouse and or children can submit Forms DS-260 along with the required supporting documents. Finally, they need to schedule their visa interviews with the U.S. Consulate.

How much is the I-824 fee?

The filing fee for Form I-824 is $465.

Should an attorney assist me with filing?

It is always recommended to have an experienced immigration attorney assist you with filing any sort of USCIS form. Should your situation be mentioned in the “Situations Where You Should Not File Form I-824” section then it is especially important to consult a professional since filing the wrong form can lead to unnecessary fees and delays with your case.