Inquire Delays at USCIS

When filing your paperwork and petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services -either for your green card process, you EB2 perm processing, your EB1, EB3, etc.-, plan for delays.

If you are in the United States and your work permit or status needs to be renewed, realize that USCIS is extremely backed up. Cope by turning in your application far in advance. This is particularly important if your legal status has an expiration date on it. If you lose your status, the immigration authorities could arrest you and even deport you.

Delays at a USCIS Office

If any office of USCIS has your application and it has been there beyond the normal processing time, there are three ways you can inquire about your application:

  1. Probably the most effective way to make an inquiry about the delay, never about your case, is to speak face-to-face with a USCIS Information Officer. For most USCIS offices, you need to have an appointment to speak with someone, although in a few, they will talk to you even if you drop in. To make an INFOPASS appointment, go to Follow the instructions. You will need a current photo identification to get into the office. Of course, only people who carry proof that they are in valid immigration status should do this. The appointment is free. It is possible that the INFOPASS information officer will be able to resolve your case problem while you wait. More likely, however, the officer will take information from you and begin the inquiry process, then let you know when to expect a response.
  2. Another way to make an inquiry about the delay, never about your case, is to call the USCIS Customer Service number at 800-375-5283. Although the person you speak with will most likely not be able to tell you anything useful during that call, he or she will start an inquiry and tell you when to expect a response.
  3. The least useful course of action to make an inquiry about the delay, never about your case, is to write a letter to USCIS. You are unlikely to get a response, except perhaps a boilerplate letter suggesting that you either call the Customer Service number or make an INFOPASS appointment. The one exception is if you were already interviewed and were told that you should expect to receive a decision by mail. In this situation, if you do not want to make an inquiry through INFOPASS or use the Customer Service number, you can write directly to the office where you were interviewed and ask for a decision on your case.

meetingAlthough you may feel frustrated by delays in your case, remember to be polite. The officer you are speaking with is not the one who caused your delay; in fact, this officer is the one you are relying on to help you. You may be justifiably outraged by USCIS’s action or inaction, but never insult or threaten the officer with whom you are speaking. At best, such behavior is never helpful; at worst, it could be interpreted as a threat, which could lead to criminal prosecution as well as a quick denial. Always have your goal of living in America in mind.

How do you make your dream of living in the USA become a reality?  How do you know what your options are? Sarasota immigration lawyer James Martin can help you.

James G. Martin is an attorney duly licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey. As immigration law is a federal practice, he is legally permitted to practice immigration law in all 50 states. Schedule your consultation with immigration lawyer James G. Martin today calling at 941-953-3900 or emailing at

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for basic informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice and that the persons should see the personal advice of a duly licensed attorney knowledgeable of immigration law.

Show Comments

2 Thoughts on “Inquire Delays at USCIS

  1. yvonne abraham  |  

    My 83 year old mother filed for a green card for her 8 year old adopted daughter on May 2014. Her 11 year old sister who was also adopted by my mother has a green card. My mother can’t migrate with the older sister until the younger child gets her card because she doesn’t want to split them up. Her case is at the California service center. Way past 5 months. What can I do. My mother will be moving to Florida as soon as the card is obtained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *