InfoPass is a free online service that allows individuals to schedule an appointment with a USCIS immigration officer. The online platform offers 12 different languages to make scheduling an in-person appointment easier. InfoPass is accessible from both computers and mobile devices to make scheduling available anywhere. The appointments scheduled through InfoPass are intended for specific inquires, while routine matters are typically handled through the phone or online. Nevertheless, recent reports warn that the InfoPass online scheduler could soon be obsolete. Under the new program, the USCIS National Customer Service Center would first handle all requests for an in-person appointment.
Regional USICIS offices in Hartford, CT; El Paso, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Sacramento, CA; and San Francisco, CA may be the first centers included in the new pilot program for scheduling InfoPass appointments. Under the program, scheduling InfoPass appointments at the above mentioned USCIS field offices will now be facilitated through the USCIS National Customer Service Center. If implemented across the nation, the program would eliminate the self-scheduling InfoPass appointment feature online. The new change comes in conjunction with new efforts to increase efficiency by decreasing self-scheduled InfoPass appointments for inquiries better addressed by the USCIS National Customer Service Center or through the USCIS website.
To make an InfoPass appointment at one of the selected pilot USCIS field offices, one must now first call the Service Center (1-800-375-5283), speak to a Tier 1 officer, and request to schedule an InfoPass appointment. The call will then be escalated to Tier 2 officer who will review the case and will confirm if the issue is appropriate for an InfoPass appointment before scheduling the appointment. The reports of the new pilot program are not yet confirmed online by USCIS; however, we will continue to monitor the situation.
For a conditional permanent resident (CPR), it may be several months before a service center processes their application to remove the conditions of permanent residence. Once USCIS receives a petition to remove conditions on residence, USCIS will issue a Form I-797 Notice of Action, extending the expiration date on the conditional permanent resident card by 12 months. Therefore, the CPR’s work authorization and travel approval extend through the 12-month period. Typically, the extension was sufficient for the waiting period for I-751 approval. However, both the California Service Center and Vermont Service Center report that the processing time for an I-751 petition now exceeds 12-months at both facilities. If a CPR’s petition is pending for a period beyond their I-797 extension, the CPR must obtain alternative evidence of their lawful resident status.
With extended processing times, CPRs may need to obtain a I-551 passport stamp (temporary evidence stamp) for evidence of their conditional lawful residence. A CPR can make an InfoPass appointment at a local USCIS office to obtain a I-551 stamp. The stamp will extend the validity period of the CPR card by a maximum of 12 months, however some local USCIS offices may only offer 3 or 6 month increments with I-551 stamps. If the CPR’s passport expires prior to that time, the stamp will likely reflect the expiration date of the passport. For the InfoPass appointment, CPRs should bring:
Form I-751 receipt notice;
Expired CPR Card;
InfoPass appointment notice;
Proof of residence (for jurisdiction of local USCIS office).
While delays continue at USCIS service centers, processing times are not expected to shorten anytime soon. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay up to date with lawful status in order to maintain travel, work privileges or to renew a state-issued driver’s license.