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Public Engagement

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) raises awareness about our mission and engages the public by:

  • Hosting regional stakeholder meetings and national engagements on a variety of topics;
  • Identifying problems individuals and employers encounter when dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); and
  • Promoting open and transparent communication between USCIS, USCIS’ customers, other government agencies, and external stakeholders.

We meet with a variety of stakeholders who have a vested interest in the immigration system. This includes businesses, advocacy organizations, legal providers, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, congressional offices, religious organizations, federal/state/local government offices, and foreign embassies. To request a meeting with the CIS Ombudsman, email us at CISombudsman.PublicAffairs@hq.dhs.gov. To receive webinar invitations, please sign up for our email updates

Take the CIS Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey.

We host national webinars and listening sessions on a variety of topics. Summaries and links to presentations and questions and answers from recent webinars are below.

October 27, 2022
Employment-Based Immigrant Visas: Looking Back at Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and Ahead to FY 2023 with USCIS

We hosted a joint webinar with USCIS on employment-based immigrant visa usage in FY 2022 and what to expect in FY 2023. CIS Ombudsman staff and USCIS representatives discussed the effect of cutoff date retrogression in the Visa Bulletin and concerns specific to derivative applicants. The summary is available on the Employment-Based Immigrant Visas: Looking Back at Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and Ahead to FY 2023 with USCIS webinar summary page.

September 21, 2022
Fireside Chat

Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman Phyllis Coven and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur Jaddou sat down for an hour-long conversation to discuss challenges and accomplishments from Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and look ahead to FY 2023. USCIS Chief of Staff Felicia Escobar-Carrillo provided opening remarks, and Deputy CIS Ombudsman Nathan Stiefel provided closing remarks. During this session, CIS Ombudsman Coven and Director Jaddou discussed how their professional backgrounds and experiences have helped them in their current roles and moved on to the current challenges facing USCIS. As the conversation progressed, they delved deeper into several topics, including challenges that may have not been visible to the public over the last year and FY 2023 goals for an effective, efficient immigration benefits system.

August 25, 2022
Interagency Engagement on International Student Issues

We hosted an interagency engagement on international student issues for designated school officials and other responsible officers. During the engagement, representatives from the Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection shared updates and answered questions about issues affecting international students. The summary and presentation are available on the Interagency Engagement on International Student Issues webinar summary page.

August 16, 2022
Overview of USCIS Online Accounts for Attorneys and Accredited Representatives

We hosted a joint webinar with USCIS to discuss the attorney and accredited representative experience with the USCIS online account. Using the USCIS online account provides attorneys and accredited representatives a personalized experience designed to help navigate the benefit request submission and case management process for their clients. During this session, CIS Ombudsman staff and USCIS subject matter experts (SMEs) walked through the USCIS online account with a focus on the features and benefits for attorneys and accredited representatives. USCIS SMEs demonstrated how attorneys and accredited representatives can create and use their online accounts as well as provide tips for completing electronic forms and submitting them online. The recording, summary, presentation, and follow-up questions and answers are available on the Overview of USCIS Online Accounts for Attorneys and Accredited Representatives webinar summary page.

July 19, 2022
2022 Annual Report

We hosted a webinar highlighting the CIS Ombudsman’s 2022 Annual Report to Congress. On June 30, the CIS Ombudsman submitted its 2022 Annual Report to Congress. Each year, our office conducts a substantive analysis of some of the most significant problems encountered by individuals and employers when seeking immigration benefits and makes recommendations for improving USCIS’ administrative processes. During this session, CIS Ombudsman staff provided an overview of the 2022 Annual Report to Congress. The presentation and follow-up questions and answers are available on the 2022 Annual Report webinar summary page.

June 22, 2022
USCIS' Backlog Reduction Efforts

We hosted a joint webinar with USCIS to discuss USCIS' backlog reduction efforts. During this session, CIS Ombudsman staff had a conversation with USCIS senior leadership about the agency’s efforts to reduce the current backlog of immigration benefit requests. The discussion focused on the extent of the current backlogs, as well as personnel, policy, and technology initiatives undertaken by the agency to minimize the backlog and its effect on USCIS’ customers. The presentation and follow-up questions and answers are available on the USCIS' Backlog Reduction Efforts webinar summary page.

Below are links to see summaries, presentations, and follow-up questions and answers from our past webinars. Past webinars are any that occurred over six months ago.

2022 (first half)

2021

2020

Last Updated: 11/21/2022
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