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What are the differences between applying online and on paper?

For some programs, you can apply either online or on paper.

  Applying on paper Applying online
Getting started All applications have an application package and guide to help you with your application. You need an online account to submit your application. Create an account or sign in.
Documents and forms Read the guide to know which forms and documents you need to submit. We will ask you to upload documents and forms based on your application.
Paying fees You pay your fees before you submit your application and send us the receipt. You pay your fees in your account before you submit your application.
Submitting your application The guide tells you where to submit your application You submit your application online when your application is complete.
Processing timesTable footnote * It starts once we receive your complete application at our mailroom. It doesn’t include the time it takes to mail your application It starts once you submit your application.
Application status How you check your application status depends on your application. You can check your application status in your account.
If we need additional documents We send instructions by mail or e-mail telling you where to send your documents. We contact you through your account. You can upload additional documents in your account.

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