feels like the two have extremely similar nuances when used, but curious as to how we would explain the differences between the two.
My thoughts were:
apply for something - submit documents / info etc. so that you would gain a new status / receive something in return.
file for something - submit documents / info etc. so that your submission can receive recognition.
but once I compare the two, it feels like 'gaining or receiving something in return' is also a way for my submission to be recognised, which, in my opinion, makes my definitions a little redundant. Your thoughts?