Below are some of the immigration-related tools we use daily to help our clients. Like all tools, use them wisely. If in doubt, you can always schedule a consultation to discuss your case with us.
The Visa Bulletin
The current visa bulletin is provided courtesy of the U.S. Department of State. The visa bulletin shows visa availability in the different preference categories or waiting lists. Anyone who has a pending family or employment-based visa petition should know how to read and use it. Lastly, please confirm your preference category with an experienced immigration lawyer. Your preference category can automatically change due to marriage, divorce, age, or a change in the petitioner’s immigration status.
USCIS Case Status Online
If you have your receipt number (NOT your alien registration number) you may check the status of any pending application directly at the USCIS Case Status Online page. For confidentiality reasons, you won’t find the status of any VAWA-related applications on the online system.
USCIS FOIA Request Status Check
If you requested a copy of your immigration file from USCIS under the Freedom of Information Act and know your NRC number (found in the receipt letter), you may now check the status of your request at the FOIA Request Status Check page.
USCIS Civil Surgeon Locator
Certain immigration benefits–adjustment of status being the most common–require you to submit a physical exam conducted by a specially authorized doctor. These doctors are called “Civil Surgeons”. They’re located in every major city and they’ll ensure your physical exam is properly conducted and recorded. You can use the USCIS Civil Surgeon Locator tool to locate your nearest Civil Surgeon.
Immigration Court Information System
Call (800) 898-7180 to obtain information about an immigration court case. This is an automated system and after you provide the alien registration number, you’ll have access to case status information, such as the date of the next hearing, the judge’s decision, and case appeal information.
National Visa Center Hotline
The National Visa Center (“NVC”) has the most responsive and accessible customer service of the immigration agencies. Their website, however, can be less than useful. By calling (603) 334-0700, you’ll have access to live customer service representatives during business hours. Make sure you have your NVC case number or USCIS receipt number handy. Oddly enough, the NVC’s most helpful resource, their 24/7 automated information system, appears to have been permanently terminated.