United States: How and when to contact the Immigration Service

For other citizenship and immigration procedures, it is important that you remain informed of your case. (AP)

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suffered for years with delays in processing requests. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated these problems. Navigating red tape to check the status of a case can be difficult, and it’s common for people to report difficulties getting help from a representative over the phone.

Due to the large number of applications (USCIS processes tens of millions each year), the Communication Center It can’t handle all calls directly and so you have an automated system that although useful can be difficult to navigate. Thus, the Migration Service offers you other ways to stay updated on your case and be able to receive help in other ways.

If your circumstances change unexpectedlyAnd

If you have moved elsewhere, your immigration status has changed (for example, if you applied as a permanent resident and later became a citizen), you need to change the names of the people listed on your petition, you need to change your consulate or port of entry, or Certainly you can’t keep an appointment scheduled are all reasons to contact USCIS as soon as possible.

USCIS allows you to stay on top of your case and do most of your paperwork online.
USCIS allows you to stay on top of your case and do most of your paperwork online.

If you find an error in USCIS correspondence

If, for example, you find an error in the information sent to you or in any document issued, you must contact USCIS and submit the corresponding request.

If you have not received an Important Notice from USCIS

if it has been more than 30 days since you submitted your application and you have not yet received a mail confirmation, if the status of your case indicates that notice was sent to you more than 14 days ago and you did not receive it, if you have filed more than one case at a time and you have been given information on one but not the others, or If you sent the original documents with your case and want them returned to you, these are also reasons why it’s a good idea to contact USCIS.

Getting direct help is hard work. USCIS recommends using the automated system to answer your general questions. If you still need to speak to someone, your request will be forwarded to a Migration Service officer who will contact you later. You will receive an email confirming your request and an estimate when we will contact you.

However, almost everything can be solved online. If you submitted your application electronically, you already have it and you just need to contact it to send messages, receive automatic alerts about your status, view processing times, upload evidence, and update your address.

The Citizenship and Immigration Services website contains a lot of useful information.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Custer)
The Citizenship and Immigration Services website contains a lot of useful information. (AP Photo/Carolyn Custer)

If you submitted a paper form and your receipt number begins with IOE, you have been mailed a letter about creating an online account with USCIS. Said letter contains user codes (valid for 90 days) which will be needed to create the account. If the receipt number starts with other letters, you can create an account and add the status you submitted in writing.

Applicants who need a service that cannot be provided via phone, email, or a USCIS account, may schedule an appointment in person. For example: if someone needs proof of their immigration status for work or travel. To schedule an appointment, you must call the call center at 800-375-5283.

Finally: with information from USCIS. This article does not constitute or replace legal advice.

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