Advocate’s Corner: Tips for Contacting USCIS
Calling USCIS’s National Customer Service Center (NCSC) can be time consuming. Here are some tips on making your communications with the NCSC more productive.
Tip #1 - Check the USCIS online case status system and processing time reports before you call. Most calls to the NCSC are about delays in case processing. Before you call USCIS, use the USCIS Case Status Online tool to check that status of your case. All you need is the USCIS Receipt Number for the case. If you sign-up for an account, you may choose to receive updated case status information via email.
Tip #2 – Check the USCIS processing times reports to see if your case is beyond processing time. USCIS publishes information about the processing times for its Service Centers and field offices. The processing time reports can be found on the USCIS website.
Tip #3 – Consider submitting your case inquiry online. USCIS offers an online, e-request system for submitting queries about cases that are beyond processing time. The system also permits you to report when USCIS correspondence has sent, including receipt notices and cards, but has not been received. The online form requires several data points, including the type of case (form type), the address of the petitioner/applicant/beneficiary, date of birth, etc. Responses to online queries are sent by email and typically received in seven to ten working days.
Tip #4 – If you decide to call USCIS, be advised of the following pointers for making a Service Request Management Tool (SRMT):
- Make sure the caller is a representative with a G-28 on file or paralegal
- Have key biographical data and case information ready
- Prepare to be on hold for a long time or consider the call-back option
- Be prepared to take notes, including the name and Agent ID of the Officer you speak with, the Service Request Confirmation Number, date/time/duration of the call, outcome and next steps
Download a sample sheet you can use.
Tip #5 – Hopefully, your first call to USCIS will lead to case resolution. If not, you may need to follow-up by contacting the NCSC. When following up, be sure to reference the Service Request Confirmation Number, USCIS receipt number, date of filing and communications, etc.