Creating Digital Documents For Your Immigration Petition

When creating digital documents for your immigration petition, you need to ensure that they meet the standards set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In most applications, the government requires that you submit copies rather than the original documents. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the submitted copy is of great quality in order to avoid unnecessary delays by reducing the processing time.

It is always advisable to ensure that you get everything right on your first attempt, otherwise, you may have to refile some documents. A good example is when you submit a file that does not meet the quality standards set by the USCIS in terms of clarity. You will be required to resubmit the file, consequently prolonging the processing times for your case. The following are some great tips to help you create flawless digital documents.

Digital Documents Scanning Alternatives

There are different options available to create high-quality error-free electronic documents but the use of a scanner is highly recommended. Here’s why:

Using A Digital Scanner

The best thing about using a scanner to create flawless digital documents is the flexibility that comes with this option. Most scanners come with certain features that allow you to adjust the resolution of an image, which is measured in ‘dots per inch’ (dpi).

Dots per inch basically refers to the measurement of the number of dots that can be placed in a line measuring one inch. If you are scanning black-and-white documents, you may set the digital scanner at 300 dpi. On the other hand, 600 dpi works best for colored images, such as the pages of a passport, or a permanent resident card.

Using A Mobile Phone

Alternatively, you may use mobile apps to digitize certain documents. If you are using an iPhone, the Notes mobile app is an easy and reliable option for creating high-quality electronic documents.

How To Scan A Digital File Using The Notes App On An iPhone

1. Open the Notes mobile app on your iPhone

2. Tap Create A New note or Select A Note

3. Tap the Camera icon

4. Tap Scan Documents

5. Direct your phone’s camera to the document or paper you want to scan

6. The scanning process will begin automatically if your device is in Auto mode.

7. If the scanning process does not begin, tap the Shutter button or one of the volume keys on the side of the iPhone

8. Drag the corners to adjust the scanning area to fit the page, and then tap Scan

9. Tap Save when done

How To Make Sure That The Scanned Document Is Of High Quality

Whether you choose to scan the file via a traditional scanning device or a mobile application, you will still need to check if it meets the quality standards set by the USCIS. Let’s take a look at some tips to guide you:

1. Make sure the file is scanned or photographed on a dark, flat surface

2. The document should not have any folds or creases

3. The entire scanned document should sit within the frame, and that no part has been cut off

4. Make sure the contents of the scanned file are readable, including words and numbers

5. If the document contains photos, they should be clear and sharp

6. When scanning passports, marriage certificates, certificates of naturalization, among others, they should all be clear and in color

General Government Requirements When Submitting Electronic documents

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other government agencies, have certain requirements that must be met before submitting an electronic document. Here are some of the most common, based on numerous government websites:

All documents that are in color should be submitted in color rather than black and white. If a file has stamps, seals or writings both at the front and back, they should all be scanned. If the document has a certified translated version, include it with the original.

If the files are too large, you may compress them for faster uploading. You may use third party software to compress the files, or the existing compression tool that comes with your device. For example, if you are scanning a file via a Windows computer, save it to your computer, and then right click on it. You will see the ‘Compress’ option from the menu.

Though not required, it is good practice to name the documents prior to submitting them. For example, if you are about to send your permanent resident card after scanning both the front and back, you may rename the file as ‘YourName-Greencard-Front’ and ‘YourName-Greencard-Back.’

Read More: What’s A Green Card here.


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    Commit To Citizenship‘s team consists of individuals who have successfully immigrated to the United States and have learned how to avoid common mistakes in filling out immigration applications. Our team works closely with immigration lawyers to ensure that all content provided on our website is up-to-date and accurate. We offer guidance on a range of immigration topics, including green cards, diversity visas, and DACA.