Determining the Status of Your Immigration Case: A Guide to Using InfoPass
Navigating the immigration system was never easy but in the last few years it has become even more difficult, especially if you are attempting to do so without assistance from qualified immigration counsel.
Navigating the immigration system was never easy but in the last few years it has become even more difficult, especially if you are attempting to do so without assistance from qualified immigration counsel. In an effort to help the public and yes, even the immigration bar, USCIS created a system, known as InfoPass. InfoPass is a free service that allows you to schedule an in person appointment with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigration Officer by using the Internet at any time, day or night. While its use and thus effectiveness is often quite limited it has been a welcome addition for accessing information about a current, long-pending or off track case and has gotten rid of the long, winding lines that previously could be seen at the USCIS offices throughout the U.S. Instead of just showing up in the rain, snow and/or heat, waiting on line for hours, and hoping against hope that you’d make it inside the USCIS building before it closed, USCIS has now streamlined the process by allocating a set amount of appointments, at different intervals, throughout the day, thus assuring that anyone with an InfoPass appointment will be attended to. Moreover, in certain offices like our local Philadelphia district office, USCIS Officers at the front lines have now been given more authority to troubleshoot and attempt to resolve cases.
USCIS has provided the following “infomercial” and guidelines for the effective use of InfoPass:
How can InfoPass make your life easier?
It’s free: Scheduling your own appointment costs you nothing
It’s convenient: Make your appointment via the Internet.
It’s easy: Choose one of 12 languages you want to work in:
Select “Make An Appointment”. Type in your mailing address ZIP code (so that InfoPass will assign you to the correct office).
Select the type of appointment you need to solve your problem (always important)
Provide your name, date of birth, ZIP code and telephone number.
Choose a date and time for your appointment (if you don’t see a convenient time, check back with InfoPass – new appointment choices are made available each working day); and
When the appointment notice appears on your computer screen (showing the time, date and location of your appointment), print it out to show at your InfoPass appointment.
How do you access InfoPass to make an appointment?
To use InfoPass you will need:
A computer with an Internet connection Internet Explorer or any other similar browser.
What documents should you bring to the appointment?
This section is very important; read it carefully. To resolve your problem or inquiry, you will need to bring documents that identify and explain the problem. Some of the documents you will need include:
Printout of the InfoPass appointment notice confirmation
Government-issued identification. This could be any of the following:
government-issued photo ID card passport valid driver’s license
Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (‘green card”)
Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record; note: if your Form I-94 does not have a photo of you attached to it, then a passport or valid driver’s license would have to accompany as an additional form of identification.
All immigration forms, receipt notices, approval or denial letters, translations and original documents that relate to your inquiry.
What if you need to reschedule the appointment?
InfoPass allows you to cancel or reschedule appointments by using the identification numbers at the bottom of your printed out appointment confirmation notice.
To allow us to serve the most customers possible, please cancel your appointment if you cannot make it at the appointed time. There is no penalty for rescheduling or canceling an appointment.
If you lose your appointment notice, you can print a replacement by accessing InfoPass and entering the information requested.
What if I just have a routine inquiry?
Case Status – For the status of a case filed with a USCIS Service Center, go to www.uscis.gov and select “Check My Case Status” under “Customer Tools” on the right side of the home page.
Using your Service Center receipt number, enter three letters followed by 10 numbers (no spaces or dashes).
Renew or Replace a Permanent Resident Card – The form you need is Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Go to www.uscis.gov and select “Forms” in the top left corner, then scroll down to I-90.
Employment Authorization – To apply or renew employment authorization, you need Form I-765,Application for Employment Authorization. Go to www.uscis.gov and select “Forms” in the top left corner, then scroll down to I-765.