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The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman) is dedicated to improving the quality of citizenship and immigration services delivered to the public by providing individual case assistance, as well as making recommendations to improve the administration of immigration benefits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Created by section 452 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Ombudsman is an impartial and confidential resource that is independent of USCIS.

Your Ombudsman

Michael Dougherty serves as the sixth Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman at the Department of Homeland Security.

Ombudsman Spotlight

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Last Published Date: November 8, 2019

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Apr 2

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.

Mar 20

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.

Mar 19

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.  

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