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What Can the USCIS Ombudsman Do To Speed Up Your Immigration Case?

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Waiting for your immigration case resolution can feel like a never-ending nightmare. You're not sure what's taking so long, and every day feels like an eternity. You may also be wondering what you can do to speed up your case.

While there is no one silver bullet that will make your case move faster, there are some things the USCIS Ombudsman can do to help.

In this article, we'll explain the following:

  • What the Ombudsman is and what they can do to help
  • How you can reach out to them if needed
  • When to file a lawsuit against USCIS

The Role of USCIS Ombudsman in Immigration Cases

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman is an independent entity within USCIS  that helps identify and resolve problems with USCIS services. They help improve the agency's customer service and adjudication process.

In general, here are the roles of the USCIS Ombudsman:

  • Act as a liaison between you and the USCIS to speed up your immigration case
  • Resolve problems and issues that you may be having with the immigration filings submitted
  • Provide information and assistance in understanding USCIS policies and procedures
  • Ensure that your case is processed in a fair and efficient manner

Important Note: The USCIS Ombudsman does not have authority over individual immigration cases. But they may be able to help determine why a particular case is experiencing delays.

The USCIS Ombudsman’s Office says they are committed to helping individuals navigate the immigration system and obtain timely adjudication of their cases.

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How to Request Case Assistance

To request assistance from an Ombudsman, you must follow certain procedures and know that your request may take some time. Take note as well that the office is currently experiencing a high number of requests with backlogs in processing those cases. That means it could take a while before you can hear back about your case.

But before filing your request, the Ombudsman's Office has the following advice for you:

  • Check the posted processing times because the office can’t inquire with USCIS if your immigration case is still within processing times.
  • Figure out the last recorded action on your immigration case. Use the Case Status Online and your receipt number.
  • Create an online account with USCIS. Linking your case to an online account will allow you direct and electronic communication with USCIS. This is especially useful if filing on paper, as it enables viewing of the status or history in one place.

Here are the steps for requesting case assistance from the USCIS Ombudsman:

Step 1: Go to the Ombudsman’s website and read all pertinent instructions and FAQs

​You can find the USCIS ombudsman's office within the Department of Homeland Security, but they still watch over the USCIS independently. You can open an online case with them to speed up your immigration status by submitting form DHS-7001, the Case Assistance Form.

But before you ask for help from the Ombudsman, know that they don't give any legal assistance and don't have the authority to adjudicate the case. They can also not mediate the case if the USCIS is still processing it, so check the case processing times first. 

Step 2: Accomplish and submit a DHS Form 7001

When completing the DHS Form 7001, make sure to have the following information available:

  1. Alien Number (A#)
  2. All USCIS receipt numbers related to your application or petition
  3. All documents submitted to or received from USCIS
  4. Other relevant information or documentation that is important to your case

Once completed, submit the form through any of the following:

Step 3: Receive a case number

The Ombudsman will automatically assign a case number once you submit your request with an acknowledgment email sent to the email address that's been filled in on the form.

The Office of the Ombudsman reviews all incoming requests for case assistance within 30 days. Also, they are committed to taking action on 90% of cases within three months.

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Filing a Lawsuit Against USCIS

Under certain circumstances and despite getting help from the CIS Ombudsman, USCIS may unreasonably delay adjudication of an immigration case beyond the statutorily mandated timeframe.

When this happens to your immigration case, you may decide to file a writ of mandamus in U.S. District Court against USCIS. This federal lawsuit requests the court to order USCIS to act on your immigration case. Though it does not work in all immigration filings, it works in lots of cases.

To succeed in a writ of mandamus lawsuit, you must prove that USCIS has unreasonably delayed your case and that you have suffered harm as a result of the delay.

If you are experiencing a USCIS delay, you should consult an immigration attorney who is experienced in suing USCIS for delays to discuss whether filing a writ of mandamus is the best course of action.

Immigration lawyers can also help you with your future immigration applications, from completing immigration forms to online filing to processing delays.

Conclusion

Thousands of people are facing long wait times for their immigration cases to be decided. Fortunately, there’s something you can do to speed up the process.

The USCIS Ombudsman is indeed an excellent resource that can help you navigate the complex immigration system. They provide pertinent information on seeking immigration benefits and speeding up your case. But filing case assistance to their office can only be a waste of time.

Suing the USCIS may be your best option. And our dedicated immigration lawyers here at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC can help you with that.

So far, we have filed more than 1200 mandamus actions, many of which happened after our clients reached out to the USCIS Ombudsman.

If you have any queries about whether the USCIS Ombudsman can help you or not, or if you experienced how the immigration services Ombudsman office did help you, contact us today! Give us a call at (314) 961-8200. Or you may send an email to hackinglawpractice.com

You can also join our Facebook group called Immigrant Home, where you can connect with thousands of our members. You should also subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay tuned about immigration matters. 

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