Required Documents for Immigration

Legal Guidance From an Orlando Immigration Lawyer

Every application, procedure or process related to immigration will require documentation. While each type of visa or application will require its own distinct documents, there are a few common documentary requirements most immigrants will need to provide the USCIS and other officials during the course of their stay or when entering and leaving the United States. Highly familiar with USCIS procedures and requirements, Brown Immigration Law has provided the following information about the most important documents.

Types of Immigration Documents

Depending on your situation, you may need some of the following documents:


Depending on the process you undertake with the USCIS, you may be required to provide a government-issued passport from your home country. Passports are also one of the primary documents used to establish identity in immigration status applications and visa applications. In the event that you do not have a passport, you may be able to file an application for a waiver.


All foreign nationals must obtain a Visa before entering the United States. There are many different types of visas that are granted according to the purpose of a visit, including visitor, student, immigrant and worker visas. Visas will be stamped inside of a passport and will only give the holder permission to enter a U.S. port of entry. Visa holders must be granted permission to enter the country from a customs officer. Eligible non-immigrants of certain countries may also qualify for visa waivers that will allow them to enter the U.S. for a maximum of 90 days.

I-94 / I-95

When visa holders have been granted permission to enter the United States, they will receive an I-94 or I-95 form. This document is proof of legal admission into the country, and will also include arrival and departure information, including the duration of a visa. Immigrants and non-immigrant visitors must have their I-94 on them at all times. The I-94 or I-95 will also be needed for those wishing to file for a change of status, adjustment of status or application for a green card.


The official name of a green card is Form I-551. This document is proof that an immigrant has been legally admitted to the United States for permanent residence. It is also used to show any necessary officials or entities that the holder has the right to live and work in the country. The I-551 does not mean that a green card holder is a U.S. citizen.

Border Crossing Cards

A border crossing card, or BCC, is a document that grants limited entry into the United States by visitors. BCCs are issued only to Mexican citizens, allowing those with ties to the U.S. and Mexico to legally return to and from the U.S. for temporary stays. BCCs are typically valid for ten years, except in some cases involving children.

Advance Parole

Individuals who have pending applications with the USCIS for immigration benefits or for changes of their non-immigrant status will be required to have an advance parole travel document before leaving the United States. This document will allow them to lawfully return to the United States. There are exceptions for certain non-immigrant visa categories and for refugees and asylum seekers.

Re-Entry Permit

Re-entry permits are required for immigrants with permanent residence status who plan to travel abroad for a period of up to two years. This will allow individuals to maintain their permanent residence status after leaving the United States for longer periods of time.

Refugee Travel Document

Eligible refugees and asylum seekers may be required to have refugee travel documents rather than advance parole travel documents. This means that individuals with refugee or asylum status, as well as permanent residents who gained their status through the refugee or asylum process can apply for a refugee travel document that will allow them to re-enter the United States.

Document Assistance from Orlando Immigration Lawyers

As each immigration case varies depending on the personal situation involved, it is advised that immigrants in need of documentation seek the assistance of professional and experienced Orlando immigration attorneys. Attorney Robert Brown has five decades of immigration experience, and the entire legal team at Brown Immigration Law is comprised of exceptionally talented and knowledgeable lawyers.

With our help, you can learn more about which documents you need for your personal situation. To discuss your case, contact our firm today. We serve clients in the greater Orlando area and throughout Florida.


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