Back in the good ol’ days (circa 2016), if you had a question about your immigration case pending at USCIS or needed an I-551 stamp in your passport to show that you were a lawful permanent resident, you could simply go online to the website of USCIS and schedule an INFOPASS appointment at your local USCIS office. The entire process of scheduling the INFOPASS appointment took no more than 3 minutes.
These INFOPASS appointments for I-551 stamps were often very helpful. The USCIS information officers who conducted INFOPASS appointments were generally well trained. Most had almost immediate access to a supervisor if they had questions. Our immigration lawyers would routinely go to INFOPASS appointments to check on pending cases and to solve various problems for our clients.
But recently USCIS has effectively killed the INFOPASS system as we used to know it. What replaces the previous USCIS INFOPASS system is a confusing patchwork of tools that are invariably frustrating. The new INFOPASS system is sometimes so outrageously user-unfriendly that you can feel the agency’s disregard and outright contempt for ordinary folks who file immigration applications and pay the filing fees that cover their salaries.
Here are some options under the new INFOPASS system for getting information about your pending immigration case and solving problems:
What to do if You Move Addresses While your Application for a Green Card or Citizenship is Pending
If you move while an immigration application is pending, you can update your address with USCIS online.
What to do for Lost Green Cards, Work Permits, Approval Notices or Receipt Notices
If you didn’t receive a receipt notice, approval notice, or card (such as work permit, travel document, or lawful permanent resident card), you can notify USCIS online here. This notification will let USCIS know you are missing a document so they can take the appropriate steps to get the document to you.
How to Correct a Typo on a Green Card, Work Permit, Receipt Notice or Other Immigration Document
If there is a typo on your receipt or card, you can request that USCIS correct the typo through the USCIS website here. A typo is any basic error, such as misspelling your name or mixing up the numbers or your date of birth. You will need to explain the error and how it should be corrected.
How to Notify USCIS about a Delayed Green Card, Citizenship, or Other Immigration Case
If your case is taking longer than it usually takes USCIS to process your type of case, you can also let USCIS know about this online here. After receiving your information, USCIS will send you an email with information about why your case is delayed. For more information about delayed cases, you can read my other blog post here.
Requesting Disability Accommodations for a USCIS Appointment
If you have a disability that requires accommodations, you can let USCIS know what accommodations you need online. Keep in mind this is not how you should request an exemption from taking the civics or English exam for your naturalization application. This is requested by filing a form N-648. Additional information about filing an N-648 can be found here.
Questions About Your Case
If you want to know general information about the status of your case, you can check your case status online. The new USCIS INFOPASS tool is only helpful for very basic information. If you have other questions about your case, your only option is to call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. Agents are available from 5:00 AM PST to 5:00 PM PST Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Make sure that when you call, you have plenty of time to wait on hold. The USCIS agents are only trained to give broad answers about your immigration case. The agent will send you to a supervisor for complex questions. Often, you will have to schedule a “call back time” to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor will call you within the estimated time frame, which is often many hours away.
If You Need an INFOPASS Appointment
To schedule an INFOPASS appointment, first, you will need to call the USCIS 1-800-375-5283 and reach a supervisor. The supervisor will determine if you need an INFOPASS appointment and if it is determined that you do, the supervisor will schedule it for you. A couple of reasons you would need an INFOPASS appointment are to get an I-551 stamp (stamp showing you are a green card holder) or to make an emergency request for a travel document.
Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Near You
Many people have reported that the USCIS hotline has given them incorrect information. USCIS hotline agents have a very limited understanding of the processes surrounding immigration law. They do not seem to be trained in complex issues affecting many USCIS applications, such as immigration court proceedings. If you have questions about your case, contact Goldstein Immigration Lawyers online or by phone at (213) 262-2000 for an experienced immigration attorney’s assessment on your case.