Working in the billing department, we see a lot of errors that are made on checks written to the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  Making sure your check is written the proper way is an important step in the timeliness of your application getting approved. Below are steps found on the USCIS website to help you write your checks properly.  Remember, each filing fee must be written on a separate check.

*Personal checks must be pre-printed with the name of the bank and the account holder. Also, the account holder’s address and phone number must be pre-printed, typed, or written in ink on the check. All checks must be typed or written in ink.  

 An image

  1. Write the date you are filling out the check. Use the U.S. style of month/day/year. (Example: January 4, 2017 or 1/4/17, but not 4/1/17.)
  2. On the “Pay to the Order of” line, write ”U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (not “USDHS” or “DHS”). 
  3. Write in numbers the exact dollar amount of the fee for the service you are requesting. In the example, the amount is “$725.00.”
  4. Spell out the exact dollar amount of the fee.  The “cents” portion of the amount should be written as a fraction over 100.  In this example, the amount is “Seven hundred twenty-five and 00/100.”
  5. Write a brief description of the purpose of your payment. In this example, it is “N-400 application and biometric services fee.” Include the applicant’s name on the memo line if it is not on the check itself (for example, if you are paying the fee for your child).
  6. Sign the check using your legal name.

 *Taken from the USCIS website

One of the items not noted in this list, which we see frequently, is the use of the word “and” when writing out the dollar amount.  Looking at the check example above, a common mistake would be to write it as “Seven hundred and twenty-five and 00/100”. The ‘and’ only comes before the cents portion of the amount. Here are some examples:

Incorrect                                                                                            Correct

Seven Hundred and Twenty-Five and 00/100                        Seven Hundred Twenty-Five and 00/100

Four Hundred and Sixty and 00/100                                        Four Hundred Sixty and 00/100

Three Hundred and Seventy and 00/100                                 Three Hundred Seventy and 00/100

As always, if you have any questions regarding check writing please contact our billing department and we will be more than happy to help you with the process.