How Do I Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
Posted by Frank Gogol
Immigration into the United States is a lengthy process. But the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, does a great job of guiding immigrants through the process. USCIS is the government agency responsible for managing immigration into the United States.
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Can You Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
The USCIS offers multiple ways through which you can get in touch with them for any kind of help. And phone conversation with a live person is one of them. The agency offers a toll-free phone number where you need to call in to seek assistance. The most updated official number is 1-800-375-5283.
But before you call in, it’s worthwhile to have a good understanding of how the USCIS Contact Center operates. It is basically a two-tier model. At each tier, you’ll come across an official with a different designation.
Customer Service Representatives (Tier I)
CSRs will be your first point of contact when you call the above number (after navigating through the Interactive Voice Response system). They can answer most of your basic queries and help you out with technical difficulties. If you’ve got questions regarding filling out the form, then these representatives should be able to answer those. But they cannot answer specific questions about a case or provide legal help.
Immigration Service Officers (ISOs) (Tier 2)
If the customer service representative couldn’t help you out and find your queries to be urgent enough, then he’ll transfer the call to an immigration service officer. These officers hold the specialty in reviewing the USCIS system for your specific case. So, they can answer many more questions related to your case. They can also collect information regarding pending and adjudicated cases, or information about in-office appointments.
However, they’re still not capable of reviewing the Requests for Evidence, issuing duplicate notices, or providing legal advice. For these requirements, both Tier I and Tier II officials create a “service request,” which is then forwarded to the local service centers. Alternatively, you can call the local offices or service centers. Click here to locate the nearest USCIS office.
Instructions for Contacting a Live Person at USCIS
Now that you’re aware of who might be at the other end of the phone, you’re ready to move ahead and talk to a live person. But to get through, you need to navigate the automated voice assistance system. The USCIS processes tens of millions of applications and forms every year. They cannot personally take calls from every single person. Therefore, they have this system in place.
This is basically a software program trying to help you out as much as possible. If it can’t, then it’ll route the call over to a live person. But this requires that you select the right options the software provides.
Here’s how to get started with the automated system:
- Dial the number 1-800-375-5283
- Press 1 for English. Press other numbers for other languages that are available
- Press 1 to check your case status
- Press 2 if you no longer have access to your receipt number
- Press 2 to talk to a USCIS representative
USCIS Customer Service Phone Menu
After you’ve pressed the “1 for English” language selection query, then you have some work to do. The voice assistant will ask the following:
- To hear all the recent immigration-related news, press #
- To inquire and obtain a form from the USCIS, press 1
- Press 2 to inquire about the latest petition you’ve filed with the USCIS. Also, press two if you want an answer to the question.
- Press 3 to inform USCIS about the change of address.
- Press 4 to locate the nearest USCIS local office or application center. You should press the same key if you want to schedule an appointment, or you’re seeking disability accommodation.
- Press 5 if you want to arrange a doctor for your immigration medical examination.
- Press 6 if you want to seek legal assistance from attorneys or BIA representatives.
- Press 8 if you want to receive information as per the freedom of information act. Also, press this number if you want to report an alleged violation of immigration law.
- Press the star (*) key for all other related information.
Once you’ve pressed the Star key, you’ll be offered the following options:
- Press 1 to request a copy of the USCIS guide for the naturalization process.
- Press 2 to inquire about the priority cutoff date
- Press 3 to enter the services section specifically for US citizens
- Press 4 to enter the services section meant for LPRs, refugees, asylees, and conditional residents
- Press 5 for information related to temporary visitors
- Press 6 for information related to employers
- Press 8 if you’re experiencing technical failures while submitting an electronic application form
- Press the hash (#) key for information related to deferred action
- Press the star (*) key for information related to provisional unlawful presence waivers
In this way, you need to navigate the section until you’re satisfied with the answers. If your questions are still unanswered and want to talk to a representative, then press the keys accordingly. Every section will offer a key that would allow you to connect to a human representative.
Also, please note that the call menu is regularly updated. So, you might hear different options when you dial in. What you should emphasize is the key option.
When Can You Call USCIS to Talk to a Live Person?
It’s important to remember that the live person assistance service isn’t available 24/7. There are certain fixed hours within which you need to call. Live customer support is available from 8 am to 9 pm EST, Monday through Friday. On the weekends, this service is not available.
However, the Interactive Voice Response system is open 24/7. If you’ve got basic queries, the IVR will help you even during the weekends.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Calling
USCIS advises that before you dial the number seeking help, you should go through the following:
- Gather all the information related to your case or query.
- Check the status of the case online.
- Check if there is any processing time already applied to your case.
- Check for the priority date, if applicable.
- Have all the receipt numbers in front of you.
- Have the A-number present in front of you, if applicable.
- Have all the relevant correspondences you may have with USCIS.
Other Ways to Contact USCIS
Besides the toll-free phone number, 1-800-375-5283, you can also dial in the USCIS TTY customer service number, which is 800-767-1833.
USCIS has official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. You can get in touch on their social media handles. Twitter is considered better for a prompt response.
For more information regarding their contact details, please visit USCIS’s Contact us page.
The USCIS receives thousands of calls every day. Once you’ve requested to be transferred to a human representative from the IVR, you’ll be put on a waiting list. The wait time depends on how many people are there in the queue. During peak hours and season, the wait time is comparatively higher. So you need to have patience when dealing with phone calls.