Knowledge Base

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What's the difference between a Smart Form and a PDF Form?

You can prepare both Smarth Forms and PDF Forms on Docketwise. A Smart Form is an intelligent and dynamic interface that prepares complete cases, including all necessary government forms and addenda, based on answers to simple questions.

Here's what a Smart Form looks like:

Smart form overview

A PDF Form, on the other hand, is the regular old government form, prepopulated with all of your client's data so you don't have to start from scratch.

Here's what a PDF Form looks like:

Pdf form overview

How do I create a form?

To create a form, click the "Create New" button and select "Form". Choose the form that you want (at this point you'll choose between a Smart Form or a PDF Form).

Start form

How do I invite my client to a form?

Once you've chosen your form, the next step is choosing the contacts for your application. It's always a good idea to create your contacts before creating a form, but it's not necessary. If your contacts are already saved, make sure to select them from the dropdown to ensure that your form is prepopulated with all of their data. To invite your contacts (whether a client or some other party to the application), check the "Invite Client" box.

There's also an invite button for each form in your dashboard if you decide to invite more contacts later on.

Invite client

After you send an invite, your contact will receive the email shown below. The link will direct your contact to a secure questionnaire where they will be able to access the entire application (not just the questions pertaining to that particular contact).

Invite email

How do Smart Forms work?

Smart Forms determine what to ask and how to prepare your case based on your, or your client's, answers to simple questions. Once your Smart Form is done, you'll be able to print your entire bundle of forms and addenda as a neat package.

Some Smart Forms, such as the I-130, only include that specific form plus any necessary addenda.

Others, such as the Family-Based Green Card, can include as many forms as is needed for your case. For example, if your answers indicate that you're preparing an adjustment of status case, it will include an I-485. If the petitioner is the beneficiary's spouse, an I-130A will be added.

It will even automatically calculate the income threshold for the Affidavit of Support based on your petitioner's number of household members and include I-864A's as needed. Pretty powerful stuff.

How do PDF Forms work?

The first time you open a PDF Form, it will prepopulate with all of your client's data.

From that point onward, changes to your client's data that are made to their Contact Questionnaire or a Smart Form will not be reflected in your PDF Form. This is to ensure that you're in complete control of your form and will not be surprised by changes that you're unaware of.

In addition, please note that information entered into a PDF Form will be saved to that specific PDF Form, but will not be saved to your records for that client for purposes of prepopulating subsequent forms (although this feature is coming soon).

For these reasons, it's important that you create a contact before creating a PDF Form, and update your information about each contact via the Contact Questionnaire or Smart Forms.

How do I create a Contact?

Create a contact by clicking the "Create New" button and then "Contact". You'll have the option to invite your contact to complete the questionnaire, or you can complete it yourself. Or both!

Create contact

Which forms are currently available?

Our forms cover the major immigration practice areas: Our forms cover the major immigration practice areas: AR-11, EOIR-26, EOIR-26A, EOIR-27, EOIR-28, EOIR-33/BIA, EOIR-42A, EOIR-42B, G-1145, G-28, G-28I, G-325A, G-639, I-129 (and supplements), I-129F, I-129S, I-130, I-130A, I-131, I-131A, I-134, I-192, I-290B, I-140, I-360, I-485, I-485A, I-485J, I-539, I-589, I-601, I-601A, I-730, I-751, I-765, I-765V, I-765WS, I-821, I-824, I-864, I-864A, I-864W, I-881, I-90, I-907, I-914, I-918, I-918 Supplement A, I-918 Supplement B, I-929, I-942 and N-400.

How do I customize the Contact Questionnaire?

Contact Questionnaires are intelligent intake forms you send your clients to collect all the basic information that you want on file for them. There’s a Contact Questionnaire for persons and a separate Contact Questionnaire for companies. All of the information that either you or your clients enter into a Contact Questionnaire is saved to your account and prepopulates into any subsequent forms that you create on Docketwise. You can even customize your Contact Questionnaires to ask the specific list of questions that you need for your practice. Watch the tutorial below to learn how.