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CIS Ombudsman - Case Assistance

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman), established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, assists individuals and employers in resolving case problems with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Pursuant to this statutory authority, the CIS Ombudsman reviews individual cases to provide assistance by examining facts, reviewing relevant data systems, and analyzing applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures. We are an office of last resort and ask that you go to USCIS first before submitting a request with our office.

Alert: USCIS Receipt Notice Delays

The CIS Ombudsman is issuing this alert to notify individuals and employers of USCIS delays in issuing receipt notices from the agency’s Lockbox intake facilities and the actions the CIS Ombudsman is taking to address these delays.

Based on requests for case assistance submitted to our office, USCIS is taking as long as 8 to 9 weeks to issue receipt notices for some applications and petitions.

In response to our attempts to work with USCIS to secure receipt notices, the agency has responded that it is unable to expedite their issuance. We will continue to try to assist individuals who have not received a Notice of Action (Form I-797C) 90 days after their application/petition was received at USCIS. Applicants who have not received a receipt notice within 60 days of filing should first contact USCIS. If USCIS does not respond to your inquiry within 30 days, you may submit a request for case assistance to the CIS Ombudsman.

The CIS Ombudsman is working with USCIS to find solutions to mitigate the harm to applicants impacted by the delays in issuing receipt notices.

For more information, please read USCIS’ announcement

 

The CIS Ombudsman's Office recommends submitting requests for case assistance online using the electronic Form DHS-7001. The second best option is via email at cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov. Please note that due to security measures with the government mail system, correspondence (even those sent by express mail) may be significantly delayed.

Ask USCIS for Help First

Check

Check My Case Status online for USCIS processing times and verify that your case is outside of the posted processing time.

Email

Request assistance from USCIS using its e-Request tool to check on appointment accommodations, typographic errors, delayed delivery of documents, notices or cards by mail or if a case is beyond the normal processing times.

Refugee Applicants: Before contacting the CIS Ombudsman for assistance, refugee applicants should email USCIS directly at refugeeaffairsinquiries@uscis.dhs.gov from your registered email address, to seek assistance from USCIS directly. Please note that refugee applicants may also request case status information from the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in their region.

Call

Call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283.

Submit Request for Case Assistance with the CIS Ombudsman

If you have tried the USCIS applicant service options listed above but still need help resolving a problem with an application or petition, you can ask the CIS Ombudsman’s Office for help by taking the following steps:

Please submit all evidence or information regarding the efforts taken to first resolve the issue with USCIS.

Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously-filed with USCIS.

How to Submit

Submit an electronic Form DHS-7001 to request assistance from the CIS Ombudsman. The CIS Ombudsman automatically assigns a case number once submission has been completed with an acknowledgement email sent to the e-mail address filled in on the form.

If you did not receive a confirmation page and case number when submitting an online request, please contact our office at cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov.

Or

If you are outside the United States or seeking immigration benefits under the VAWA, T or U programs, download and complete the DHS-7001 Case Assistance Form. Please read the form instructions carefully and describe the problem in detail.

What to Include on Your Form DHS-7001

Remember: Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously-filed with USCIS.

A request submitted by an attorney or accredited representative that does not contain a copy of Form G-28 will be treated as an incomplete submission and may be closed. Our office understands that there are always exceptional circumstances that require special attention. We ask that you contact us if you require special assistance

Please do not send original documents.

If You Cannot Access the CIS Ombudsman's Online Form – E-mailing Your Request is the Next Best Option

Include signed Form DHS-7001 and any additional documentation to the CIS Ombudsman to our e-mail address, cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov, or fax number, (202) 357-0042.

Special Instructions for Applicants seeking T, U, or VAWA relief

If you are seeking assistance with a VAWA, T, or U matter pending with USCIS, the person seeking the immigration benefit, or their attorney or accredited representative should follow the below steps. Your application or petition is subject to confidentiality protections under 8 U.S.C. § 1367. Federal agencies, including USCIS and the CIS Ombudsman's Office, may only correspond with applicants in writing to the safe address provided to USCIS.

Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

How to Submit

Please submit an electronic Form DHS-7001 to request assistance from the CIS Ombudsman. In addition to submitting the electronic form, if you are the person seeking the immigration benefit you must upload a handwritten signature in Section 14 (Consent) of the printed version of the Form DHS-7001. Please read the form instructions carefully and describe the problem in detail.

If you are outside the United States, or otherwise have difficulties completing the online form, you may download and email or fax the paper version of the Request for Assistance Form. Form DHS-7001 with Instructions.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously filed with USCIS. If the request submitted by an attorney or accredited representative OR the person seeking the immigration benefit does not contain a copy of Form G-28 or handwritten signature, the request will be treated as an incomplete submission and may be closed. Our office understands that there are always exceptional circumstances that require special attention. We ask that you contact us if you require special assistance.

Please do not send original documents.

You must submit all evidence or information regarding the efforts taken to first resolve the issue with USCIS.

The CIS Ombudsman automatically assigns a case number once submission has been completed with an acknowledgement email sent to the e-mail address filled in on the form. If you did not receive a confirmation page and case number when submitting an online request, please contact our office at cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov.

What to Include on Your Form DHS-7001

Remember: Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously-filed with USCIS.

A request submitted by an attorney or accredited representative that does not contain a copy of Form G-28 will be treated as an incomplete submission and may be closed. Our office understands that there are always exceptional circumstances that require special attention. We ask that you contact us if you require special assistance

Please do not send original documents.

If You Cannot Access the CIS Ombudsman's Online Form – E-mailing Your Request is the Next Best Option

Include signed Form DHS-7001 and any additional documentation to the CIS Ombudsman to our e-mail address: cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov, or fax number: (202) 357-0042. You may also mail your documents to: 

Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman
Department of Homeland Security
ATTN: Case Assistance
Mail Stop 0180
Washington, D.C. 20528

Please note that due to security measures with the government mail system, cases mailed (even those sent by express mail) may be significantly delayed.

NOTE: Since your case is subject to confidentiality protections under 8 U.S.C. § 1367, if your address changes while your case is pending, you must submit your address change request in writing with your signature to Vermont Service Center within ten (10) days of the change. Otherwise, you might not receive notice of USCIS action on this case.

https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange

Special Instructions for Refugee Applicants

Your application or petition is subject to confidentiality protections. Federal agencies, including USCIS and the CIS Ombudsman's Office, may only correspond with applicants in writing to the safe address you provided to USCIS and must confirm your identity with your signature.

Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

How to Submit

Remember: Before contacting the CIS Ombudsman for assistance, refugee applicants should email USCIS directly at refugeeaffairsinquiries@uscis.dhs.gov from your registered email address, to seek assistance from USCIS directly. Please note that refugee applicants may also request case status information from the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in their region.

If you still need the CIS Ombudsman’s assistance, please submit DHS Form 7001. In addition to submitting the electronic form, if you are the person seeking the immigration benefit you must upload a handwritten signature in Section 14 (Consent) of the printed version of the Form DHS-7001. Please read the form instructions carefully and describe the problem in detail.

If you are outside the United States, or otherwise have difficulties completing the online form, you may download and email or fax the paper version of the Request for Assistance Form. Visit the Form DHS-7001 with Instructions page.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously filed with USCIS. If the request submitted by an attorney or accredited representative OR the person seeking the immigration benefit does not contain a copy of Form G-28 or handwritten signature, the request will be treated as an incomplete submission and may be closed. Our office understands that there are always exceptional circumstances that require special attention. We ask that you contact us if you require special assistance.

Please do not send original documents.

You must submit all evidence or information regarding the efforts taken to first resolve the issue with USCIS.

The CIS Ombudsman automatically assigns a case number once submission has been completed with an acknowledgement email sent to the e-mail address filled in on the form. If you did not receive a confirmation page and case number when submitting an online request, please contact our office at cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov.

What to Include on Your Form DHS-7001

Remember: Please include ALL USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition (even if your underlying application or petition has been approved). Please provide copies of important information and documentation.

Attorneys and accredited representatives must include a copy of Form G-28 previously-filed with USCIS.

A request submitted by an attorney or accredited representative that does not contain a copy of Form G-28 will be treated as an incomplete submission and may be closed. Our office understands that there are always exceptional circumstances that require special attention. We ask that you contact us if you require special assistance

Please do not send original documents.

If You Cannot Access the CIS Ombudsman's Online Form, E-mailing Your Request is the Next Best Option

Include signed Form DHS-7001 and any additional documentation to the CIS Ombudsman to our e-mail address, cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov, or fax number, (202) 357-0042. You may also mail your documents to:

Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman
Department of Homeland Security
ATTN: Case Assistance
Mail Stop 0180
Washington, D.C. 20528

Please note that due to security measures with the government mail system, cases mailed (even those sent by express mail) may be significantly delayed.

Learn More

Take the CIS Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Last Published Date: January 12, 2021

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