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Submit a Case Assistance Request

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) assists individuals and employers in resolving case problems with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We review individual cases to provide assistance by examining facts, reviewing relevant data systems, and analyzing applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures. While the CIS Ombudsman provides impartial and independent recommendations to USCIS on how to resolve problems, we do not have the statutory authority to make or change USCIS decisions.

Seek Help From USCIS First

Please go to USCIS first before submitting a request with our office:

  • Check My Case Status online for USCIS’s last action on your case.

  • Check USCIS processing times to verify that your case is outside of the published processing times. After entering Form Type and Field Office, click on "Get Processing Time," then scroll down to "Receipt Date for a Case Inquiry."

  • 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 published processing times.

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

  • Refugee Applicants: Please email USCIS directly at refugeeaffairsinquiries@uscis.dhs.gov from your registered email address to seek assistance. Refugee applicants may also request case status information from the Resettlement Support Center in your region.

  • Email the lockbox: lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov.

Types of Cases We Can Assist With

The CIS Ombudsman may be able to help you if:

  • You are experiencing a problem with your application or petition that you have not been able to resolve with USCIS.

  • You are facing an emergency or a hardship that falls under USCIS expedite criteria. We will not expedite cases if USCIS has already denied the request multiple times.

  • Your application or petition is pending past published USCIS processing times.

  • You moved or are experiencing mailing issues, including non-delivery of notices or action and/or completed immigration documents (e.g., Employment Authorization Cards, Permanent Resident Cards, etc.), except where USCIS properly mailed the notice or documents to the individual’s address on file and it was not returned. We strongly encourage you to update your address with USCIS to ensure you receive all correspondence and benefits in a timely manner and avoid possible delays related to your case.

The CIS Ombudsman cannot help if:

  • You are seeking legal advice. The CIS Ombudsman does not provide legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal options, such as appeals. The CIS Ombudsman does not adjudicate immigration applications, petitions or change decisions issued by USCIS.

  • You are seeking assistance with an issue that does not involve USCIS. The CIS Ombudsman’s authority is limited to assisting with problems that relate to USCIS applications, petitions, or services.

Submit a Case Assistance Request

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 submit a request for case assistance in one of two ways:

  1. Submit an electronic Form DHS-7001 to request assistance, or

  2. If you are outside the United States or seeking immigration benefits under the VAWA, T or U programs, download and complete the Form DHS-7001 with Instructions and email it to: cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov. 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.

Who may prepare and submit a request for assistance?

  • Individuals and employers, as well as attorneys and accredited representatives, may submit a request.

  • Others, such as family members or Congressional caseworkers, may help prepare the request for case assistance, but consent from the applicant or petitioner must always be provided.

  • Please note when entering the name of the person encountering difficulties with USCIS, you must list the name of the petitioner or applicant, and not the beneficiary, attorney, or accredited representative.

What happens after I submit a request to the CIS Ombudsman?

  • Online requests will automatically receive a confirmation email that includes a case number.

  • If you have not received notice that we have taken action to resolve your case within 90 days of submitting your request, please follow up by emailing: cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Published Date: May 7, 2021

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