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Homeland Security

About the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman

The Ombudsman’s Office was created by Congress in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to help individuals and employers who need to resolve a problem with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and to make recommendations to fix systemic problems and improve the quality of services provided by USCIS.

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The Ombudsman's Office:

  • Assists individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS;
  • Identifies areas in which individuals and employers have problems in dealing with USCIS; and
  • Proposes changes to mitigate identified problems.

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Leadership and Organization

Your Ombudsman

In November 2009, Secretary Napolitano appointed January Contreras to serve as the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s Office is:

  • Independent
    The Ombudsman is an independent office within the Department of Homeland Security and reports directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and is not part of USCIS.
  • Confidential
    The Ombudsman does not disclose your confidential information without your consent. All information submitted to the Ombudsman is collected and protected under the provisions of the Privacy Act.
  • Impartial
    The Ombudsman advocates for a fair process and works to improve the services at USCIS for both those who apply for and those who administer immigration benefits.

Organizational Chart


See the legislative mandate of the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, in the Homeland Security of 2002, Section 452.

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By mail or phone:
Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman
Department of Homeland Security
Mail Stop 0180 Washington, D.C. 20528

Phone: 1-855-882-8100 (toll free) or 202-357-8100 (local)
Fax: 202-357-0042

By e-mail:

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Last Published Date: November 1, 2013
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