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08 October 2010

Customer Service Week: USCIS Making Progress and Looking to do More

The International Customer Association launched Customer Service Week in 1988 to recognize the importance of customer service and to honor people who provide the best examples of great service. In 1992 Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event.

During Customer Service Week, we at USCIS celebrate the achievements of customer service staff and thank them for the work that makes a difference to our customers as they encounter the complex world of immigration benefits.

Looking back, our predecessor, The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was one of the first to initiate a prototype centralized telephone center in 1985. The prototype proved successful and evolved into today’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Customer Service Center (NCSC), which now receives nearly 16 million calls a year and handles telephone inquiries from throughout the United States.

Since then, USCIS has continually sought ways to improve the customer experience, which has admittedly had its ups-and-downs through the years.

Last year, we launched a redesigned website as well as a completely new Spanish-language version of the site. and español both provide case status online and have consistently scored above the government website average in online user surveys. In fact, the Spanish-language website recently tied for first place with NASA’s home page.

We have also contracted with an independent agency to monitor customer performance at our field offices and the NCSC. They conduct monthly telephone surveys, in-person interviews, and online surveys once every three months. In addition, USCIS conducts focus groups four times a year to gather in-depth customer feedback and suggestions for service improvement.

Through these four survey methods, we have been able to improve the information provided by the NCSC’s Interactive Voice Response System and on our website. Overall, statistics shows that our customer satisfaction rating has steadily improved from 63% in 2000 to 83.3% in 2010.

We hope to continue this positive trend and we welcome your comments and suggestions as to how we can best improve our customer service to meet your needs.



At October 8, 2010 at 1:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like the demand data or pending inventory report, a report should be published by USCIS detailing how many visa were assigned in the quarter.

At October 8, 2010 at 3:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous KD said...

The efforts that USCIS has taken are commendable. I had to call USCIS due to delays in receiving receipt for the forms submitted. Hence I wanted to ask when will USCIS transition to a fully electronic system? Especially, accepting supporting documents to I-140, I-765, I-131 etc. Also enabling e-filing of I-485 would be a great step. Thanks and keep up the good work.

At October 8, 2010 at 5:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

"Since then, USCIS has continually sought ways to improve the customer experience, which has admittedly had its ups-and-downs through the years."

And it still has its downs...
They still blindly follow their scripts.
From a friend's recent experience:
"And they don't even want to listen to you before making you answer 4-5 totally irrelevant questions (like "is this about someone in the military")"

They still have quite a long way to go.

At October 8, 2010 at 6:07:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on when/if the USCIS will implement the Ombudsman recommendations on getting case status online for I601/I212 applications at foreign posts?

At October 9, 2010 at 9:06:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS has come a long way and has transformed into a more responsive agency given the changes from legacy INS to BCIS to the present form. Additional information such as publicly stating what percentage of applications are meeting target processsing times and what percentage of applications are requiring longer processings and the reasons thereto would be greatly helpful.

At October 9, 2010 at 6:11:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that having someone read the information already posted on-line when you call customer service is exactly good use of personnel. If a first tier costumer service person can't give you information about exactly what is going on with your petition/documents, then it is worthless to have them. No wonder fees keep increasing. It's like getting a pacifier when you're thirsty for something to drink. Hire people to get the job done right and employ mechanism to keep people up to date and informed about their process, not people to "monitor customer performance". Are customers not performing well??

At October 11, 2010 at 3:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think uscis is doing a much better job,but recently I WAS e-mailed that the admin. has closed my I-181 form, still my status is in CAD/DOC.production. I called C/S and everyone is as puzzeled as I am. Can someone inform me what this means? Claudia Pondler

At October 11, 2010 at 4:30:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the many steps you have taken to better the USCIS services. In addition to phone services, it would help if questions can be answered through emails too.

At October 11, 2010 at 10:02:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any plans for Unused visas recapture? This will really help and is much needed for the greater eb3 candidates waiting in queue for a long time. Also use of unused visas from other categories, for cases with oldest priority will be a big relief, instead of using them for higher categories like eb2 with latest priority date, which is totally unfair.

At October 12, 2010 at 11:44:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please allow EB3-I applicants to file I-485 who have their i-140 approved.
It is totally meaningless to wait for years to get your GC.
Inspite of somany EB3 people requesting for help, there hasn't been any positive step from USCIS so far.What happened to your surveys and memos?

Is there any way that you could share our comments and concerns with the congress?

At October 12, 2010 at 1:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the posters here. Launching an e-mail service would be very convenient for, at least, technologically savvy customers.

I am aware all USCIS reps have a script to read from, that's fine, however, I would like for them to ask at the beginning of the call if the customer is calling from an attorney's or accredited representative's office, that way we can save ourselves all kinds of irrelevant questions.

One other thing I find annoying is when I call USCIS with a hard-to-answer question and they, naturally, direct me to an Officer. Many times, a particular officer would recommend a course of action that would not be recommended by another officer when I call USCIS back later on. This is unnaceptable. Officers are supposed to know what to do and how to do it, and not just spit out answers for the heck of it. I have talked to several other officers who, sadly, do not know what they are talking about. For example, one officer was once giving me grief because she didn't understand why she had in her hands an I-485 approval notice without an actual application filed with USCIS. Well, hello, if she had read the bottom part of the notice where it said "cancellation of removal," she might have figured out that the approval was coming from an IJ and not USCIS. Even after she read that sentence she did not get it. I mean, these are the basics of immigration and should be very simple for them, so what is going on???!

At October 12, 2010 at 7:44:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they have a very very long way to go. I called tody but it seems like I am not geting my answers because I was asking about somthing and they lady kept saying the same thing over and over again as if she was reading it from a book and she was asking me if I wanted her to repeat what she said again. Oh my god I am so frustrated now and I think it is waste of money on the customer service center.

At October 12, 2010 at 10:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like USA does not like people who follow all the rules and reguations. I have been waiting from last 7 years in EB3 India category to get my greencard. How long more am I supposed to wait while keeping my job which I joined 7 years ago. Am I not supposed to get ahead in life. How long more do I have to wait to get this card so that I can go ahead in my life before the company I work for kicks me out. People who graduated in front of my eyes are now senior to me at my place of work and manage me. IF THERE IS GOD PLEASE HELP...I AM DESPERATE.

At October 12, 2010 at 10:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As per your May 3, 2010 post you said the USCIS is working on a 3 year combined EAD-AP document that will be announced later this year....we are already into the later part of the year...please could you update on the progress on this card and when customers can see it?

thanks for the your renewed vigor on being a customer-focused organization

At October 13, 2010 at 6:26:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please fix EB3 (ROW) delay.

At October 13, 2010 at 10:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please consider the time spent towards waiting for Green Card towards the residency requirement for naturalization. It's unfair to make people wait for 5 more years to get naturalized after GC when the beneficiary had already spent 5+ years waiting for GC.

The 5 year wait rule should be applicable only to Consular Processing applicants and not to AOS applicants.

At October 14, 2010 at 12:31:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please clear the backlog of EB2 category ASAP.They are extremely talented group of people with advance technology experience. Just think with EB2 Category people waiting from 2006 which gives around 5 years waiting & going on.....The experience level is already higher & wait made them really advanced. Most of them have completed the Phd and reached the top in there line of work. The country needs Eb2 category for sure.. .Please do the needful at the earliest.

At October 14, 2010 at 12:40:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please issue some kind of temporary resident card (call it lighter green card, pink card, or whatever) to those who have a I-485 pending longer than 5 years.

At October 14, 2010 at 2:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Artistos said...

I came to the United States in 1960, having fled Cuba with my parents and my sister. I was later granted citizenship through the beneficence of the United States government. I understand deeply the gravity as well as the nobility of our mission at USCIS: to administer our country’s immigration laws efficiently and with fairness, honesty, and integrity.

At October 14, 2010 at 9:53:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Director of USCIS,

I have seen the RIN number published in the for the pre-registration process for I-1485. The same initiative was raised in 2009 but never implemented.

Also some open questions.
1. Will USCIS allow the EAD and Advance parole?
2. Will USCIS automatically pull the applications from Pre-485 application to I-485 stage?

Source :

RIN-Number : 1615-AB82
Web site :

At October 15, 2010 at 7:47:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I filed for adjustment of status and have a valid workpermit but are still discriminated in finding a different employer. Can you educate employers that after working 180 days for an employer who sponsored us we can work for anybody else. THESE ARE hospitals in NEW YORK. THIS IS FRUSTRATING, 2 EMPLOYERS REFUSE TO HIRE ME BECAUSE OF THIS. WHAT CAN WE DO. ACCORDING TO THEM THEY ARE NOT DISCRIMINATING. THEY FOLLOW THE LAW.


At October 15, 2010 at 11:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that the website (and alerts) are greet and very useful...

However, the call centre personnel just read whats out there on the website...

To illustrate the point, my I-140 has been approved a month back but not updated on the website. I called the call centre and was surprised when they just read the website content and told me that the I-140 is NOT yet approved.

Call centre seems to be a redundancy (for internet users) and I am not sure if it is the best use of money in its current state.

Overall, great job on the website, metrics, alerts, etc.

At October 19, 2010 at 12:15:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to repeat again but can you allow all the I-140 approved pettion holder to apply for EAD and AP21?

To Director of USCIS,

I have seen the RIN number published in the for the pre-registration process for I-1485. The same initiative was raised in 2009 but never implemented.

Also some open questions.
1. Will USCIS allow the EAD and Advance parole?
2. Will USCIS automatically pull the applications from Pre-485 application to I-485 stage?

Source :

RIN-Number : 1615-AB82
Web site :

At October 19, 2010 at 10:31:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Customer service is severely lacking in the USCIS. I have called multiple times with the same question and I have received multiple different answers.
Now why is the answer constantly changing? And which answer am I to trust?

At October 20, 2010 at 4:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People suffering they are away from the family because of Employment based -3 India backlog. this USCIS want to listen to sen grassley who is so ignorant about immigration. Please make all EB-3 India waiting for the I-485 filing to make them file or give Citizen ship who are waiting here for the past 10 years. Take out country cap from the EB immigration. do not listen to senators blabberings for vote and make a memo and make our life miserable.

At October 21, 2010 at 5:28:00 PM EDT , Blogger Will said...

Could not agree more when everyone is saying that" lady kept saying the same thing over and over again as if she was reading it from a book and she was asking me if I wanted her to repeat what she said again" and then she simply said that she wont repeat and hung up. No wonder this branch has so much trouble handling simple tasks and files since they are brain dead employees. 7 months so far waiting on a K3 approval for my spouse and they have no clue as to what to do. Unbelievable. Idiots . but i dont think they ever read this. If they did they might get a clue as to how far they still have to go.

At October 22, 2010 at 11:54:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of you asking for special cards and help with baklogs, WAKE UP, do not write on a blog! WRITE TO CONGRESS, they have the power to make and change the laws, not USCIS.

At October 26, 2010 at 12:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous ram K said...

Please allow approved I140 holders to pre register or file I485 application.
I am waiting for more than 4 years after I140 is approved and dont know how long it will take.

Do not count dependants in Employment GC numbers.
Do not differentiate by country to allocate numbers. It should be first come first served process to allocate GC numbers.

At October 26, 2010 at 12:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi agree with the post who says write to congress to Move EB3 backlog.
please any body knows what address in NY and a person please provide .
I am sure their office mail box will be full every day with victims of EB3 category complaints.
people stuck in eb3 are like being tortured for years i am from last 10 years .

The director and other people at managerial level in USCIS do the EB3 backlog clear for GOD SAKE AND HUMANITY SAKE .
If you do you will have blessed holidays. We are mentally same position as any other victims of natural disaster (like haiti and pakistan earthquake,mexican hurricane...) we are displaced from our carriers and family life.
Please ! please! clear EB3 backlog !!!!!!!

At October 26, 2010 at 1:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS has some major issues with internal communication. I have called many times and spoken with different "website readers" (since they only read stuff on the USCIS website) and I always get different answers. Furthermore, they refuse to transfer me to anyone that actually makes decisions. The true solution can only come from speaking with the individual handling my case. What's worse is that I am a taxpayer AND I also have to pay $1365 in order file for a green card for my wife; hence I am PAYING for this lack of service! My advice to everyone here: Write your congressman/woman! USCIS is broke and needs a GREAT deal of external pressure to fix, if it is even possible (my opinion: all the kings horses and all the kings men can note make put USCIS back together again!)

So what is the solution? Allow individuals to speak over the phone with the officers handling their cases! We are essentially held hostage by someone we cannot interface with – and we have to PAY for it!

At October 31, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS has long long way to go to improve customer service on all front. 90 days to issue EAD and AP is extremely long time. In what age are we living? Are we living in computer age when we take more thand 3 months to simply approve such applications? I guess even third world countries, government processes are improving a lot. Can't believe in country like USA this type poor service can happen. This leads to doubt that probably this being done purposely. This is kind of harassment to highly skilled immigrant paying their taxes and playing by rules.

Otherside, can't believe that Senators like Grassley can threaten USCIS director for going to jail. Do senators has this much of time to micro-manage and jump into issue like this? If they do, God damn how they manage their time for other creatively and constructively to issue other issues of this great country? Can't USCIS director has even authority to tell their officers to increase the efficiency of the organization? Wow, God knows what is going on? Politicians can plays politics but can't believe that high ranking officers of USCIS can also plays politics to affect the life of innocent people who are contributing to the economy of this country and willing make this great county as their sweet home. This is extremely discouraging. I know that economy is not doing good, unemployment rate is high but what is fault of high skilled people who are already in this country legally? Can you punish them for all these issues this contry is facing? If anybody think that this is the way to solve the issue, they living in ingnorant age and hatred environment. Please ask your heart, you will get correct answer. May God gives bless and give good sense and loving feelings to everybody. God bless America!

A lover of this great country.

At November 1, 2010 at 12:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mayorkas,

We see lot of people change the category for re-filing from EB3-EB2 and do the porting. This is really like a jumping line when many people stand in line to get into forum with their original level of priority. Please take a necessary action to stop the porting of dates from EB3 to EB2. This will definitely save millions of people who really deserve to get Green Card at the earliest according to their priority level.

At November 8, 2010 at 3:00:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS Blog Team & Director Office-

The new process changes are really helping the immigrant community. Are there any changes coming up for the below areas:-

1. Pre-adjucation Filing for Pending I-140 Approved applicants? Will you allow them to file for EAD and AP21 in the process of waiting for visa numbers to be allocated?

2. Any efforts to scrutinize the porting of Eb3 applicants to Eb2 Applicants?

3. Any efforts to reduce the backlog of EB2 ( highly skilled) applicants waiting?

4. Any efforts to reduce the backlog for processing of H1b ( Anywhere from 4-5 months) currently.

5. Any efforts to electronically accept the Applications data like most of the consulate office ( USA consulate in India) is doing to reduce the effort of Mailroom routing and data entry level errors/efforts.

At November 13, 2010 at 3:36:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone explain why the categories in the Family based is moving so slow. In fact aside from 2A none of the other categories have changed. I realise a lot of the traffic on this site refers to Employment based visas but we are also out here and it is really frustrating also having to wait so long before we are re-united with our family members

At November 16, 2010 at 8:32:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Director
please process application on basis of priority dates and seniority of applicants on basis they came to this country . AS doing this will be human and social justice .
EB3 or EB2 or family based categories should also be based on grounds of who came to this country first and paying taxes from which year.

I am paying taxes from 2001 and I EB3 still waiting. My wife is here since 1995 still waiting.
And we are paying taxes and all other renewal fees of EAD, AP, H1s .....and so on.

people getting panic and attorney and USCIS want to make money on portability of applicants from EB3-to EB2 . just out of frustration .

Please process applications on basis of seniority of I94 date of entry to this country. I think this will be more human and social justice to all.

It sound Like I am telling people sacrifice flow of income. but that the true way of social justice .

please make this holiday season happy and joyfull for all

God bless everyone on this earth.


At November 16, 2010 at 3:22:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the only people happy with your customer service are your owm people not the customers, does that not bother you???

I do not know anybody that is happy with your customer service or with the way you handel the things that really matter to your customers, yet again I only know customers of yours not any of your employees or bosses so who am I to juge right?

You are a joke and unless you get to the hard questions and hard solutions and stop worrying about the packaging and the look outside you will never really advance. What you are doing is masking the reality with beautiful gift wraps and perfecting the less necessary and Completely ignoring and turning your backs on what matters.

This blog is not how you really reach the people that need reaching and you know it well! this is the best way to keep in touch with your own employees...


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