The Complete Guide to USCIS Form I-360

Created: Jun 10, 2024 | Updated: Jul 10, 2024

If you're dealing with immigration paperwork, you might have come across Form I-360. This form, issued by the USCIS, is used by various categories of immigrants to apply for certain benefits in the United States. In this blog, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about Form I-360. From understanding what it is, and who needs to file it, to the eligibility requirements, we'll cover it all. Plus, we'll walk you through how to fill it out, what happens after you submit it, and answer some common questions. Let’s dive in!


Table of Contents

What is Form I-360?

Form I-360, officially known as the Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, is a form that is used by various groups of immigrants to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for certain immigration benefits. This form is primarily filed by special immigrants, such as religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, and others who fall under specific categories defined by immigration law.

 

What is Form I-360 used for?

The following group of immigrants are eligible to file form I-360. We have highlighted various reasons why you might need to file form I-360.

  1. Special Immigrants
    - If you’ve been working in a religious capacity as a minister or a nun, for a qualifying religious organisation in the U.S., you can use this form to apply for special immigrant status. It’s a way to recognise your service and dedication to your faith community.

    - Minors who have been declared dependent on a juvenile court because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Filing Form I-360 helps these vulnerable young people secure a more stable future in the U.S.

    - G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees and Family Members.

    - Panama Canal Company employee, Canal Zone government employee, or U.S. government in the Canal Zone employee.

    - Physician licensed and practising medicine in a U.S. state as of January 9, 1978.

    - U.S. Armed Forces members.

    - Iraqi or Afghan nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government.

    - Broadcasters for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) or a USAGM grantee. 

    - Iraqi or Afghan translators/interpreters.
     
  2. Amerasians: Individuals born in specific Asian countries to U.S. citizen father and a mother from Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam between December 31, 1950, and October 22, 1982.
     
  3. Battered Spouses, Children, or Parents: If you are a spouse, child, or parent who has suffered abuse from a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, Form I-360 is your pathway to seek protection and a new beginning.
    - A  Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioning spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

    - A VAWA self-petitioning child of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

    - A VAWA self-petitioning parent of an abusive U.S. citizen son or daughter who is 21 years old or older.
     
  4. The widow(er) of a U.S. citizen: If you were married to a U.S. citizen at the time of their death.

 

Form I-360

 

Eligibility requirements for Form I-360 petition

When filing Form I-360, you must include specific documents to support your petition. These documents vary depending on the category under which you are filing. Below is a comprehensive list of the required documents, organised by applicant type.

 

Religious workers

  • Proof of at least two years of membership in the religious denomination.
  • Documentation showing that you have been working in a full-time, compensated religious vocation or occupation for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
  • A letter from a religious organisation in the U.S. explaining your duties, the organisation’s status, and your qualifications.
  • Evidence of compensation such as IRS documentation.

 

Special immigrant juveniles

  • A court order from a juvenile court in the U.S. showing that you are a dependent of the court, legally committed to, or placed under the custody of an agency or department of a state, or an individual or entity appointed by a state or juvenile court.
     
  • Evidence that it is not in your best interest to return to your home country (often included in the juvenile court order).

 

Amerasians

  • Proof of birth to a U.S. citizen father and an Asian (Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam) mother between December 31, 1950, and October 22, 1982.
     
  • Documents demonstrating the relationship between you and your U.S. citizen father.

 

Battered spouses, children, or parents

 

Afghan or Iraqi nationals who worked for the U.S. Government

  • Proof of employment by or on behalf of the U.S. government or the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Letters from a senior supervisor, an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, or a senior manager of a U.S. government entity.
  • Evidence that you have experienced or are experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of your employment by the U.S. government.

 

Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen

  • Proof of a bona fide marriage to the U.S. citizen at the time of their death.
  • Proof of the U.S. citizen spouse’s death.
  • Evidence demonstrating that you have not remarried since the death of your spouse and that you were not legally separated at the time of death.

 

International broadcasters

  • Proof of employment with the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of the Board for at least three years.
  • A detailed description of your job duties and evidence that you have performed these duties on a full-time basis.

 

Certain U.S. Government employees abroad

  • Proof of at least 15 years of faithful service in a position overseas with the U.S. government or certain international organisations.
  • Letters from supervisors or other officials attesting to your service and qualifications.

 

General documents for all applicants:

  • Form I-360; completed and signed.
  • Two recent passport-style photographs.
  • Copy of a government-issued identity document.
  • Filing Fee; applicable fee or fee waiver request.

As a rule, the USCIS requires that any of the above documents that are not written in English, be translated to English. 

 

How to translate the required documents?

The USCIS requires you to submit a certified translation of foreign documents that will be submitted with your Form I-360, the original documents, and a signed statement of certification from the certified translator. This assures them that the translation can be trusted. Translayte, a professional translation company, can assist with USCIS-certified translation services. Ensuring your documents are accurately translated and certified will help you avoid potential rejections and delays in your application.

 

How to fill out Form I-360?

  1. Download a copy of the form I-360 from the USCIS website.
  2. Provide your full name, address, and other personal details.
  3. Indicate the immigrant category you are filing under(e.g., religious worker, special immigrant juvenile).
  4. Provide details about your current immigration status, including previous relevant information.
  5. Attach all required supporting documentation.
  6. Double-check all your entries for accuracy.
  7. Sign and date the form at every required place.
  8. Send the form to the closest USCIS service centre to you. If you want to receive an e-mail and/or a text message that your form has been accepted at a USCIS lockbox, complete form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and attach it to the first page of your form before sending it.

 

What is the filing fee for Form I-360?

For most immigrant categories, there is no filing fee for form I-360. This includes petitions filed by Amerasians, Special Immigrant Juveniles, and certain special immigrants such as Afghan or Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government.

However, if you are filing as a special immigrant religious worker, you will need to pay a filing fee of $515, as of April 1, 2024.

Additionally, there are some exceptions and circumstances where you might request a fee waiver. For instance, if you can demonstrate financial hardship, you can submit Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, alongside your Form I-360. This can be particularly helpful for those who are struggling financially but still need to proceed with their immigration petition.

The payment methods accepted by USCIS include checks, money orders, or credit cards. If you're paying by check, it should be made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Be sure not to abbreviate this to avoid any issues with your payment being processed.

 

How to fill a check when filling Form I-360

 

How do I submit Form I-360?

Unlike other USCIS forms that can be submitted online, form I-360 can only be submitted by mail. This means the location where you file Form I-360 depends on your eligibility category, your place of residence, and whether you are filing it concurrently with Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

  • VAWA Self-Petitioning Spouses, Children, and Parents: If you are filing under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you should submit your Form I-360 to the Nebraska Service Center. For detailed address information, visit the USCIS Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-360 page.
     
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile, Amerasian, and Widow(er): The filing location for these categories depends on your specific circumstances and your location in the U.S.

For the full breakdown of where you are to mail your application, check the USCIS website.

 

Tips for filing Form I-360

  1. Always download the latest version of Form I-360 from the USCIS website to ensure you have the most up-to-date form and instructions.
  2. Fill out every part of the form. If a section does not apply to you, write "N/A" (Not Applicable) instead of leaving it blank.
  3. If you’re filling out the form by hand, use black ink and print neatly. Typed forms are preferable to avoid any misinterpretations of your handwriting.
  4. Review your form thoroughly to ensure all information is accurate and complete. Mistakes or omissions can cause delays or denials.
  5. Attach all necessary supporting documents as specified in the form instructions. Ensure that each document is clear and legible.
  6. Any documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Translayte can provide USCIS-certified translations to meet this requirement.
  7. Don’t forget to sign your form. Unsigned forms will be rejected. Ensure all required signatures are present before submitting.
  8. Include the correct filing fee, if applicable. Include the correct fee in the form of a check or money order.
  9. Place your form and documents in an orderly manner. Use paper clips or rubber bands to keep everything together but avoid using staples.
  10. Before sending your form, make copies of everything for your records. This includes the form itself and all supporting documents.
  11. Send your form using a method that provides tracking and confirmation of delivery, such as certified mail or a courier service.
  12. Ensure you send your form to the correct USCIS address as indicated in the form instructions. Mailing it to the wrong address can cause significant delays.

 

Status of I-360: approved or denied?

Going through the approval process for Form I-360 can be a rollercoaster of emotions, so it’s essential to understand what to expect once you’ve submitted your petition.

 

How long does it take for I-360 to be approved?

One of the first questions many applicants ask is, "How long is this going to take?" Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. The form I-360 processing time can vary significantly depending on the category you fall under and the specifics of your case. For some, it might take several months, while others could be waiting over a year. To get the most current and accurate estimate, regularly check the USCIS processing times webpage. Patience is key here, but staying informed can help you manage your expectations.

 

What happens after the I-360 is approved?

Hooray! Your form I-360 was approved. So, what’s next? Approval is a big milestone, but it’s not the end of the journey. Once your Form I-360 is approved, the next steps depend on your specific situation. For many, this means you can proceed to file for adjustment of status with Form I-485 if you’re in the U.S., or apply for a visa if you’re abroad. This is where having all your ducks in a row really pays off because the quicker you can move on to these next steps, the smoother your transition will be.

 

Can I appeal if my Form I-360 is denied?

Receiving a denial can be very frustrating, but it’s not the end of the road. If your Form I-360 is denied, you do have the option to appeal the decision. The key here is understanding why your petition was denied. USCIS will provide reasons for the denial, and this information is crucial for crafting a strong appeal. It’s highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney who can help you navigate the appeal process and bolster your chances of a successful outcome.

 

FAQs about Form I-360

 

Can I file Form I-360 concurrently with other forms?

Yes, you can file Form I-360 concurrently with other forms if it/they is/are applicable to your situation.

 

Can I file I-360 and I-485 together?

Yes, you can file Form I-360 and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) together, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for both forms.

 

How to fill Form I-360 for SIV?

For Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), follow the specific instructions provided by USCIS and ensure all relevant documentation and evidence are included.

 

Can I file Form I-360 if I am outside the United States?

Yes, you can file Form I-360 if you are outside the United States, depending on your eligibility category.

 

Is there premium processing For I-360?

Premium processing is not available for Form I-360.

 

Can I convert the approved I-130 to I-360?

No, you cannot convert an approved Form I-130 to Form I-360. They are separate petitions.

 

Which e-mail can I send Form I-360 to?

You cannot submit Form I-360 via email. It must be mailed to the appropriate USCIS address.

 

How do I check my Form I-360 status?

You can check the status of your Form I-360 on the USCIS website by logging in and using your receipt number.

 

Can I stay in the U.S. while waiting for I-360 approval?

Your ability to stay in the U.S. while waiting for I-360 approval depends on your current immigration status. Consult with an immigration attorney for guidance.

 

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