Tips for Elevating Cases to the CIS Ombudsman’s Office
The Ombudsman’s Office was created by Congress in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to help individuals and employers who need to resolve a problem with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and to make recommendations to fix systemic problems and improve the quality of services provided by USCIS.
The CIS Ombudsman’s Office assists individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS. The Office provides the following services: case assistance; tips and resources; public engagement; and public teleconference series.
What You Need to Know Before Requesting Case Assistance
- The Ombudsman does not have the authority to make or change USCIS decisions
- Before contacting the Ombudsman, you must first try to resolve the problem through USCIS customer service avenues*
- Client approval required
*CLINIC’s Tips on contacting USCIS’ National Customer Service Center can be found at: cliniclegal.org/resources/asylum-and-refugee-law/employment-authorization-documents/advocates-corner-tips. Please be certain to prepare before your call by having all the case details on hand and take notes during the call. Important items to note are: call date and time; name or ID number of the USCIS Information Officer; and the service request number (SRMT).
Steps for Requesting Case Assistance
- Step 1 – Review Pre-submission Checklist
- Step 2 - Submit an electronic Form DHS-7001 through Ombudsman Case Assistance Online
- Step 3 - Ombudsman automatically assigns a case number once submission has been completed with an acknowledgement email sent to the e-mail address filled in on the form.
The Ombudsman is committed to reviewing all incoming requests for case assistance within 30 days, and taking action to resolve 90 percent of case-related inquiries submitted to the office within 90 days of receipt.
Additional Resources from the CIS Ombudsman’s Office
- Ombudsman’s web site
- Ombudsman’s Recommendations
- Annual Report to Congress
- Instructions for Completing Form DHS 7001
Remember, the CIS Ombudsman’s Office can only assist with cases before USCIS. If you are experiencing a delay or significant issue with a case before another government agency and need assistance, please contact CLINIC’s Advocacy team at Advocacy@cliniclegal.org.