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CIS Ombudsman Update: Getting the Most Out of Your Call to the USCIS National Customer Service Center

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) directs customers who have questions about immigration services and benefits, or who wish to inquire about a specific case, to call the agency’s National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283.

What Can the NCSC Do for Me?

The NCSC operates on a two-tier model.

Tier 1 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs):

Can

  • Relay basic immigration information to customers through scripts provided by USCIS
  • Answer questions about USCIS forms
  • Transfer calls to Tier 2 in certain circumstances

Cannot

  • Answer specific questions about a case with the exception of information available through Case Status Online
  • Transfer calls to local offices or service centers where cases are pending
  • Provide legal advice

Tier 2 Immigration Service Officers (ISOs):

Can

  • Review USCIS systems on your case
  • Request that notices be re-issued
  • Provide information that you may receive at an Infopass appointment
  • Provide specialized assistance to dependents or active members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Provide information on pending and adjudicated cases.

Cannot

  • Review already issued Requests for Evidence (RFEs)
  • Directly issue duplicate notices, receipt notices, RFE notices
  • Transfer calls to local offices or service centers
  • Provide legal advice

How to Prepare for My NCSC Call?

  • Gather as much information on your case as possible
  • Check the status of your case online
  • Determine what, if any, processing times apply to your case type
  • Check your priority date, if applicable
  • Have available all applicable receipt numbers
  • Have your Alien Registration number (“A” number), if applicable
  • Have all relevant correspondence with USCIS

What to Do During My Call?

  • Record the date and time of the call
  • Request the name and/or ID number of NCSC staff
  • Note the service request referral number, if applicable

Service Requests

Both Tiers 1 and 2 can create a “service request” which is sent to service centers and local offices on matters such as expedite requests, change of address, appointment rescheduling, case processing delays which exceed the posted times, and other matters that may be unique to a specific case.

Inquiries for Field Office Matters

If USCIS has not responded to your initial service request within 30 days, call the NCSC. Please have the initial service request referral number with you when you call.

Inquiries for Service Center Matters

If USCIS has not responded to your initial service request within 30 days, please email the service center that has jurisdiction over your case. Your follow-up should be addressed only to the service center which issued your receipt and is identified on the Form I-797 (Notice of Action).

If you do not receive a response within 21 days of contacting the service center, you may email the USCIS Headquarters Office of Service Center Operations at: SCOPSSCATA@dhs.gov and should receive a response in 10 days.

How Can the Ombudsman Help?

If you have tried these regular USCIS avenues and have not received the information you seek, please submit DHS Form 7001 to the Ombudsman. We will look into your case and review how we may be of assistance.

If you have a comment about the NCSC or the above USCIS customer service process, please send the Ombudsman an email at cisombudsman@dhs.gov. Please note that the Ombudsman can request that USCIS review an NCSC call to further understand your inquiry, if you called the NCSC within the last 90 days. It is also helpful to have the date and time of the call, the phone number you used to make the call, as well as the ID number of the customer service representative or the officer’s name with whom you spoke.

For all other inquiries, please submit DHS Form 7001 to our office.

For the Ombudsman’s review of the NCSC process, read the most recent Annual Report.

Last Published Date: July 20, 2012
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