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Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CISOMB)

Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Seventh Annual Conference Agenda

The Ombudsman’s Office, created by Congress in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, assists individuals and employers encountering difficulties with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  In addition to our work on individual cases, we also make recommendations to address systemic issues in the delivery of citizenship and immigration services.

Teleconference Summary: Updates to USCIS’ Applicant Support Services

On February 14, 2019, the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman) hosted a teleconference with speakers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to discuss how the agency is changing the way it provides support services to applicants.  USCIS is calling this initiative the Information Services Modernization Program, or InfoMod for short.

Ombudsman Partners with USCIS to Inform Public on the Release of a Revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

Earlier this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plan to release a revised Form I-539 and Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (edition date 02/04/19) on March 11, 2019. The revised form makes several changes, including the addition of signature and biometrics fee requirements.

Tenacity and Partnership Leads to Change in Advance Parole Processing

After close collaboration with USCIS, in November 2018, Director Cissna approved a change in policy that upheld the original interpretation while giving meaning to the instructions: "If you file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request an advance parole document and depart the United States without possession of an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time you are abroad, your Form I-131 will be considered abandoned. At times, an individual may have an approved advance parole document while a second one is pending. Individuals may travel on the approved advance parole document, provided the document is valid for the entire duration of their time abroad. The pending Form I-131 will not be considered abandoned in this situation."  Our office was pleased that our tenacity, coupled with a strong partnership with our colleagues at USCIS, helped the Ombudsman’s Office make a meaningful impact on the stakeholders in our immigration system.  

Asistencia en Casos - Espanol

El Ombudsman brinda una perspectiva imparcial e independiente para el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración (USCIS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) en un intento por resolver problemas con casos pendientes.

DHS Announces New CIS Ombudsman Julie Kirchner

Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly today announced the appointment of Julie Kirchner as Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman.  Kirchner was most recently an advisor to the Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan.  Before serving as executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Kirchner worked as counsel at the Minnesota House of Representatives and as a private litigator and criminal prosecutor.  She earned her B.A. at Yale University and received her J.D. with high distinction at the University of Iowa College of Law.

CIS Ombudsman Listening Session Recap

On February 9, 2017, the DHS Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman held a public teleconference to hear from stakeholders the issues they are experiencing with USCIS processing pursuant to the executive order.

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