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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of Cases We Can Assist With
Cases past posted processing times or with no posted processing times.
Typographic errors in immigration documents.
Cases where the beneficiary may “age-out” of eligibility for the requested immigration benefit.
Applications and petitions that were improperly rejected by USCIS due to clear errors of fact or gross and obvious misapplication of the relevant law by USCIS.
Certain cases involving U.S. military personnel and their families.
Priority-2 Direct Access Program.
Cases where an individual is in removal proceeding before the immigration court and has an application/petition pending before USCIS that may have a bearing on the outcome of removal proceeding.
Systemic issues that should be subjected to higher level review.
When significant costs may be incurred.
Lost files and/or file transfer problems.
Mailing issues, including non-delivery of notices or action and/or completed immigration documents.
Certain cases involving an emergency or a hardship that falls under USCIS expedite criteria.
With few exceptions the CIS Ombudsman cannot help if:
- Your case is within posted processing times, unless there is a statutory or regulatory processing time requirement such as Form I-360 and Form N-400.
- USCIS has denied an expedite request.
- You are seeking legal advice.
- You are seeking assistance with an issue that does not involve USCIS.
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:
- Submit an electronic Form DHS-7001 to request assistance, or
- 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: email@example.com. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PLEASE notify us if your case is resolved by USCIS after you submit a request to us by emailing: email@example.com.