Immigration forms are very important documents — too important, in fact, that they can’t just be popped into an envelope and dropped in the post station. Mailing documents to USCIS should be done with the utmost care to ensure that an immigration application is secure and doesn’t get lost forever.

Especially with the slow-moving immigration process, applicants should take steps to protect themselves from losing their immigration documents. Here’s how.

1. Make Copies

There have been reports of USCIS losing documents throughout the application process. Because of this, applicants should keep personal records of their documents, including:

  • Every page of the application form
  • Supporting documents
  • Checks/ money orders, etc.

Use a photocopy machine to recreate copies of these important documents. This will come in very handy in case they get lost in the mail or along the immigration process.

2. Only Send Original Documents When Necessary

Supporting documents are important to supply proof to USCIS. Depending on what is asked, they may need to be attached to the application or otherwise brought to the immigration interview.

Regardless, an applicant should be wary not to submit any original documents, unless absolutely necessary, due to the risk of losing them. Photocopies should be enough to meet the requirements of USCIS.

3. Use a Trackable Mail

Being able to track the mail can make a world of difference in preventing loss or other issues. When it comes to important documents like immigration applications, using trackable mail should be the standard. This provides proof that the document was mailed and helps identify at what point the documents were lost.

A good trackable mail option is the U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail, especially for documents that are in a rush.

Taking these precautions can go a long way in protecting an applicant in the immigration process in case their documents are lost or misplaced. It’s always best to add to an extra layer of protection to ensure the successful approval of an immigration case.