US Requires New Forms with Bar Codes

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US Requires New Forms with Bar Codes
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Posted on July 3, 2013

US Petitions Requires New Forms with Bar Codes

Old petitions, new forms, more pages, less waiting period.

Promising to improve data quality and operational efficiency, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the availability of new forms that will make it easier for the USCIS to evaluate forms thereby speeding up processing times.

The Form I-131, Application for Travel Document used to be just three pages. The new form is now five (5) pages, but completing the form is easier since it is not only fillable but the data is saved automatically. Then a bar code is generated. When the USCIS receives the form, the information provided during the completion process is automatically uploaded.  Theoretically, this saves time for the examining officer and results in faster decision – meaning shorter periods of waiting.

Currently, the processing time for the I-131 at the California Service Center is three (3) months. With the new form, the wait should be shortened to 1 to 2 months.

The I-131 form is completed by a person in the United States who has a pending immigrant visa petition or waiting for decision on an adjustment of status.  In this case, the I-131 is for an advance parole, allowing the adjustment applicant to leave and return to the United States.  If the applicant is already a green card holder or lawful permanent resident, the same form is used but the official basis to apply is to get a Re-Entry Permit.

Features of the New Forms

The USCIS website explains the benefits of the new forms initiative:

Easy-to-Use Formats: We are publishing many of our forms in a 2-column, Adobe fillable format. When completed electronically, this format restricts incorrect entries and provides informational pop-up boxes to assist customers.

User-Friendly Look and Feel: We have improved several of our naturalization forms to include clear and comprehensive instructions in plain language.

Centralized Processing: We will continue to centralize filing locations at the USCIS Lockbox facilities.  Our Lockbox facilities provide fast, secure and standard intake services for over 5 million forms filed annually.  Beginning in February 2013, customers filing Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, will mail them to the Dallas Lockbox facility.

New Data Collection Technologies: Beginning with Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, we will publish our high-volume forms with 2D barcode technology.  When you complete these forms using a computer, the barcode at the bottom of the page will store the data entered on the form.  We will be able to scan the information from the barcode and upload it directly to USCIS systems, allowing us to improve data quality and operational efficiency. 

Please do not attach anything to or damage the barcode.

Enhanced Web Content: We are posting filing addresses and detailed fee information on our form landing pages.  Check the “Where to File” section for the form you are filing for the most current filing addresses. 

The new forms already available for use are shown below:


Form Number


Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document


Easy-to-Use Formats

Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card


New Data Collection Technologies

Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility


Easy-to-Use Formats

Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA)


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Application for Certificate of Citizenship


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker


Easy-to-Use Formats

Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes


Centralized Processing

Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative


New Data Collection Technologies

E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Application to File Declaration of Intention


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act


New Data Collection Technologies

Application for Travel Document


New Data Collection Technologies

Other petition and application forms that should be available soon are the following:


Form Number


Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status


New Data Collection Technologies

Application for Temporary Protected Status


New Data Collection Technologies

Petition for Alien Relative


New Data Collection Technologies

Application for Family Unity Benefits


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Notice of Appeal or Motion


User-Friendly Look and Feel

Application for Naturalization


User-Friendly Look and Feel
New Data Collection Technologies

Filing Reminders: To take advantage of these improvements, we recommend downloading our forms from and completing them electronically.  And as always, the forms are free to download.

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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