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What does a USCIS Ombudsman do?

It has been over 20 months since my I-526 was filed on a regional center project but I have not heard any updates from USCIS, yet. I am not Chinese and I currently live in the United States under an F-1 visa. What does a USCIS Ombudsman do and can I request their services in my case?

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    Answered on

    Your experience is a common, frustrating situation. When the adjudication of your EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 has gone beyond stated processing times, as in your case, it raises the question of what to do. It is typically a matter of escalation, starting with making your own direct inquiry to the USCIS and/or working through your attorney, periodically bringing up the fact that your case has not yet been adjudicated is beyond the stated processing time. You can also have a friend or an interested party make a request for a Congressional inquiry which sometimes can move a case, as it will force the Service Center to review the case and make a response to the member of Congress. The Ombudsman, in theory, is a separate USCIS office that represents the interest of the immigrants as opposed to the interest of USCIS. You can make an inquiry of the Ombudsman''s office and they can follow up. However, there is no guarantee that any of these will help. Finally, you could also retain legal counsel to file a Writ of Mandamus in the U.S. District Court.

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    Answered on

    The present waiting time is 18 months on average. You can reach out to the ombudsman but it would be better to have your lawyer follow up with IPO.

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    Answered on

    Generally, the job of the Ombudsman is to render an impartial and independent perspective to the USCIS when consulted by applicants/petitioners in an attempt to resolve problems with their pending cases. The caveat is the Ombudsman typically does not have the power to overrule, change or even make decisions on pending cases. If you need to check the status of your petition, go to USCIS Case Online or even make a trip to the nearest USCIS office through Infopass to check the status of your case.

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    Answered on

    The USCIS Ombudsman could make an inquiry on your behalf as to the processing times, but they like to see that your attorney has made several attempts at inquiries before taking the case.

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    Answered on

    Generally, you will need to exhaust your options with USCIS such as making an e-service request, emailing the EB-5 unit and/or making an Infopass appointment at your local field office to inquire about the status of your case. If the issue is not resolved, then contact the Ombudsman office. Your immigration attorney should be able to assist you with all of the above.

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    Answered on

    Ombudsman is an office of last resort. This means that you have to attempt to resolve/enquire directly with USCIS, using mechanisms such as the e-Service Request, calling the National Customer Service Center, and InfoPass before seeking assistance from the Ombudsman.

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    Answered on

    They can sometimes assist on cases, but I would suggest you first call the USCIS Customer Service number and then email the I-526 section.

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    Answered on

    They have a form to follow up. Check their website, follow the instructions and they can help you.

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