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Thursday, January 3, 2019

USCIS's "Streamlining" of Requests for Case Assistance Won't Make it Easier to Get Answers

By Elizabeth M. Klarin

Nothing’s getting easier in U.S. immigration, folks. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that in an effort to “streamline requests for case assistance,” it will no longer accept emails to its main service centers—including those  in California, Vermont, Nebraska, Potomac and Texas—starting on January 21, 2019. In the USCIS announcement, which you can view here, the agency states that instead of providing direct email links to specific service centers handling matters, it is “focusing our resources online via self-help tools at uscis.gov/tools and my.uscis.gov, and through the USCIS Contact Center. These changes are a part of our overall modernization efforts to provide a more efficient and effective user experience.”

In practice, this is effectively shutting down one more avenue individuals have had available to them to resolve possible case issues and obtain answers from a USCIS employee. Other options remain available, such as phone calls to the USCIS Contact Center, which can result in lengthy hold times to speak to a representative, and require you to navigate a convoluted phone maze to reach a human. While an option to submit a request for assistance online does exist, this type of inquiry is limited to only certain types of issues—including only four types of case inquiries and two types of service requests. You can see all available remaining options for obtaining assistance with your case on the USCIS news alert link included with this blog entry.

LMWF works with our clients to help them understand their options, obtain the most up-to-date information and resolve any issues related to government processing of their immigration-related requests, applications and petitions. Feel free to reach out to an LMWF immigration professional to support your U.S. immigration needs at any time.



Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.