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Outreach

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) engages the public by:

  • Creating awareness about our mission;
  • Identifying trends and areas in which individuals and employers have problems while seeking an immigration benefit with USCIS;
  • Facilitating open and transparent communication between USCIS, applicants, and external stakeholders; and
  • Hosting national engagements on a variety of topics.

To meet with the CIS Ombudsman, email CISombudsman.PublicAffairs@hq.dhs.gov.

Take the CIS Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Stay tuned for our future webinars, as we are always in the process of coming up with informative sessions for the public!

USCIS' Backlog Reduction Efforts

On June 22, 2022, the CIS Ombudsman 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.

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas - A Conversation with USCIS on the Statutory Framework and Pandemic Challenges

On May 26, 2022, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a joint webinar with USCIS about USCIS’ efforts to use all available immigrant visa numbers, giving eligible employment-based adjustment applicants the opportunity to obtain a Green Card this fiscal year. The conversation focused on immigrant visa priority dates, progress in processing employment-based Green Cards in different categories, and policy and operational initiatives aimed at maximizing visa usage and mitigating processing delays and their impact on USCIS’ customers.

Listening Session: DHS Form 7001, Case Assistance Form

On February 7, 2022, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a listening session about proposed changes to DHS Form 7001. During this session, CIS Ombudsman staff provided an overview of the form revisions and engaged with attendees to gather feedback. Topics of discussion included who is eligible to submit a case assistance request; what actions should be taken before submitting a case assistance request; types of documentation to include with a case assistance request; and alternatives to make the case assistance process easier.

Overview of myUSCIS for Applicants

On January 20, 2022, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to discuss the applicant experience with USCIS’ online portal, myUSCIS. During this session, CIS Ombudsman staff engaged with USCIS subject matter experts (SMEs) to walk through myUSCIS with a focus on the features and benefits for applicants. The USCIS SMEs also demonstrated how applicants may use myUSCIS, elaborated on current and future plans for updating its online resources, and provided tips for filing forms online. (A future CIS Ombudsman webinar will focus on the features and resources for legal representatives and others needing access on behalf of applicants and petitioners.) On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the presentation for this engagement and follow-up questions and answers.

Listening Session: USCIS Application Program Interface

On January 12, 2022, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a listening session with stakeholders who develop and maintain immigration case management systems to discuss the potential for a USCIS application program interface (API). During this session, CIS Ombudsman Phyllis Coven and Bill Stock, Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Innovation and Technology Committee, engaged in a conversation with participants about topics such as API design and data standards, standardizing language, security protocols, barriers to volume filing, and ongoing engagement on the future of USCIS’ digital strategy.

Listening Session: Getting to Know the Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman

On October 14, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a listening session in conjunction with the Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman. During this session, the CIS Ombudsman engaged in a conversation with the Acting Immigration Detention Ombudsman, David Gersten, and some of his staff, to introduce their new office, provide an overview of its mission, and gather input from stakeholders. Congress mandated that DHS establish this new office to assist individuals with complaints about the conditions of immigration detention, conduct oversight of detention facilities, and develop policy recommendations related to immigration detention in the United States. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the presentation for this engagement and follow-up questions and answers from OIDO.

USCIS Introduces Online Filing for Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status

On August 24, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar about U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) online filing for Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status for initial filings for eligible nationals of Burma, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela or Yemen, or individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those countries. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from USCIS joined the engagement. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the I-821 PowerPoint presentation and follow-up questions and answers on I-821.

Services for Noncitizen Veterans

On August 2, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to discuss services for noncitizen veterans. Subject Matter Experts shared information about the important work being done across the Executive Branch to remove barriers and support our Nation's noncitizen service members, veterans, and the immediate family members of service members. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the noncitizen veterans PowerPoint presentation and follow-up questions and answers for noncitizen veterans.

2021 Annual Report to Congress

On July 14, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar highlighting its 2021 Annual Report to Congress. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the PowerPoint presentation.

Naturalization and Immigrant Integration

On June 23, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to discuss naturalization and immigrant integration. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the PowerPoint presentation provided by USCIS and follow up questions and answers on naturalization and immigrant integration. CIS Ombudsman Phyllis A. Coven was joined by Felicia Escobar Carrillo, Chief of Staff for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Katherine Culliton-González, DHS Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, to highlight the federal government’s interagency strategy to promote naturalization and immigrant integration.

USCIS Introduces Online Filing for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training

On May 5, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar about U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) online filing for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Read USCIS' responses to the follow up questions and answers on Form I-765.

USCIS Contact Center

On April 14, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar about the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Contact Center. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the PowerPoint presentation and the follow-up questions and answers on the USCIS Contact Center provided by USCIS’ Subject Matter Experts.

USCIS' Online Filing and Customer Service Tools

On March 31, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to discuss U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) online filing and customer service tools. On the summary page (at the bottom), you will find the PowerPoint presentation and the follow-up questions and answers on USCIS online filing and customer service tools provided by USCIS' Subject Matter Experts.

Overview of the H-1B Electronic Registration Process for Attorneys and Representatives

On March 4, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar regarding U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) H-1B electronic registration process for attorneys and representatives.

How the DHS is Combating Human Trafficking and Forced Labor in Imported Goods

On January 13, 2021, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to discuss how DHS combats human trafficking and forced labor in imported goods. Subject matter experts from DHS headquarters and various components joined the engagement.

USCIS and CIS Ombudsman Joint Engagements on USCIS' Current State of Operations (Session Two)

On November 19, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted the second of two webinar sessions to discuss U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) current state of operations given its fiscal challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from USCIS joined the engagement.

USCIS and CIS Ombudsman Joint Engagements on USCIS' Fiscal Challenges (Session One)

On October 28, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted the first of two webinar sessions to discuss how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is managing adjudications and operations given its fiscal challenges as a result of COVID-19. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from USCIS joined the webinar. The second session in this series was held on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

USCIS' Processing of Concurrently Pending Forms N-400 and Forms I-751

On October 7, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to discuss USCIS' Processing of Concurrently Pending Forms N-400 (Application for Naturalization) and Forms I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence). Subject matter experts (SMEs) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) joined the engagement and they provided responses to the follow up questions.

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Law

On September 29, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a public webinar to provide an overview of the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) law. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also participated in the webinar.

USCIS H-1B Registration Process

On February 20, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a webinar with speakers from USCIS to discuss the new H-1B electronic registration process.

Best Practices on Filing USCIS Forms

On February 13, 2020, the CIS Ombudsman hosted a webinar to inform the public on best practices for filing forms with USCIS.

We hosted an annual conference that brought together leaders from across the government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to exchange ideas and suggestions on the immigration challenges faced by individuals, families, and employers. This conference provided a forum to exchange ideas and suggestions on the current legal immigration challenges faced by individuals, families, and employers with leaders from across the government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Last Updated: 06/23/2022
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