You are here

Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman

OMB 1601-0004 Case Assistance (DHS-7001)

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman’s Office) assists individuals and employers who are unable to resolve problems directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To receive assistance with a problem regarding an application or petition pending at USCIS, you may submit this form to the Ombudsman’s Office after first trying to resolve the problem with USCIS. Please note the Ombudsman’s Office cannot provide legal advice. It is an independent office within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is not part of USCIS.

Before You Submit a Request to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman:

Before asking the Ombudsman’s Office for help with an application or petition, you first should try to resolve the problem with USCIS by using one of the following methods:

  • Contact USCIS for assistance at 1-800-375-5283.
  • Request assistance from USCIS using its e-Request tool.

Web Alert January 24, 2022

Healthcare Workers May Request Expedited Processing for Employment Authorization Documents

  • On December 28, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting expedite requests from qualifying healthcare workers with pending Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal applications (Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization). 
  • You may request expedited processing if:
    • You are a qualifying healthcare worker(see the “Healthcare/Public Health” section on pages 7-9 of this Department of Homeland Security advisory memorandum to see if you qualify), and 
    • Your EAD will expire within 30 days or has already expired. 
  • To request an expedite, call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). You should be prepared to provide evidence that you are a qualifying healthcare worker. If the evidence you provide is insufficient, USCIS may not expedite your Form I-765.
  • Please allow USCIS at least 45 days after USCIS approves your expedite request to issue a decision or notice on your Form I-765 before submitting a Form DHS-7001 with our office.
  • Please note the CIS Ombudsman is unable to grant an expedite request or overturn an expedite request that USCIS has denied.

Priority Case Assistance

  • Customers must first request an expedite from USCIS using the criteria outlined in the USCIS Policy Manual. For expedite requests that are denied by USCIS, and determined not to be within the expedite criteria, the CIS Ombudsman may request priority case assistance in exceptional circumstances and with appropriate justification and supporting documentation.
  • USCIS does not offer expedited processing for deferred action, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). For more information about requests for consideration of DACA, please visit the USCIS website.

Temporary Suspension of Biometrics for H-4, L-2, and E Nonimmigrants

  • Effective May 17, 2021, USCIS temporarily suspended the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E derivative status. USCIS said it will adjudicate these Form I-539 applications based on biographic information and related background checks without capturing fingerprints and a photograph. The suspension is expected to last through May 17, 2023.

Application Support Center (ASC) Appointments

  • If your ASC appointment was scheduled and then cancelled due to COVID-19, and was not rescheduled within 45 days, you may file a request for case assistance with the CIS Ombudsman.
  • If your ASC appointment was scheduled for a location other than the one closest to the address on file with USCIS at the time the appointment was set, and you are unable to travel to the designated location, and you have already asked USCIS to reschedule your appointment (but no action has been taken within 45 days from the request), you may file a request for case assistance with the CIS Ombudsman.
  • USCIS has indicated it will not expedite ASC appointments, except in extremely rare circumstances.

Processing Delays Related to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)

  • If your Form I-539 (not the associated Form I-765) is pending beyond USCIS’ published processing times, you may submit a request for case assistance to the CIS Ombudsman.
  • If your Form I-765 is based on a Form I-539 (even if it was not filed at the same time), you must first look at the Form I-539 receipt date for a case inquiry to determine if that application is outside of the published processing times. Your Form I-765 will not be adjudicated before your Form I-539 (regardless of the processing times for Form I-765). The CIS Ombudsman has asked USCIS to look into the significant processing times discrepancy for Form I-539 applications pending at the California Service Center. The CIS Ombudsman understands that these delays cause many difficulties for applicants, not only regarding their work authorization, but also with driver’s licenses, health insurance, and the ability to travel. We are continuing to work with USCIS on solutions to mitigate these problems.
  • If your Form I-821D (not the associated Form I-765) is pending beyond USCIS’ published processing times, you may submit a request for case assistance to the CIS Ombudsman. (The Form I-765 cannot be adjudicated prior to the Form I-821D.)
  • USCIS policy currently excludes applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from requesting expedited processing. However, if your Form I-821D is outside of the published processing times, the CIS Ombudsman will inquire with USCIS about the status of your pending application.

How soon will we take action on your request? 

  • We review incoming cases within two business days to identify issues and to prioritize those cases where our intervention may be most effective. Due to the unprecedented processing delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the subsequent volume of requests for case assistance we receive, we are temporarily prioritizing review of the following types of requests:
    • non-receipt of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notices or decisions;
    • cases where a noncitizen will “age-out” within 90 days;
    • certain cases involving U.S. military personnel and their families;
    • clear USCIS error;
    • individuals in removal proceedings with a hearing scheduled within six months;
    • delays with USCIS sending an approved petition to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center; and
    • expedite requests approved by USCIS more than two months ago. 
  • Our goal is to confer with USCIS on these cases within 14 days of receipt.
  • Please be mindful that filing a request for case assistance with the CIS Ombudsman does not protect your appeal rights or extend any USCIS deadlines you may face.
  • For cases outside USCIS published processing times, we are working with USCIS leadership to address lengthy processing times for various form types as a systemic issue. At this time, we are unable to assist with individual cases outside processing times, if that is the only issue you are encountering.

Expand All Sections

Collapse All Sections

Last Published Date: January 29, 2020
Back to Top