Useful Resources for Immigrants

The US immigration process may seem complicated, filled with long forms, waiting times, and complex sets of instructions. The good news is that immigrants do not need to go through the process alone. The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and other organizations have a number of very useful resources that every new immigrant should know about and use:

1) The USCIS website. This useful website has a number of useful resources, including the latest versions of US immigration forms and instructions available for download. If you have questions about a form, immigration process, or a form, this is a useful first place to look. You can also apply for e-notification and other online services while you are online, so that you can get online help and the latest updates about your applications and petitions. The USCIS also offers a limited range of services and assistance via the phone.

2) USCIS Local Offices. If you need a scheduled appointment to complete an immigration process, local offices will handle your appointment or interview. Local offices also provide some customer services and some information. Since these offices tend to be busy, make sure to call and make an appointment before visiting. You can find the Local Offices closest to you via the USCIS website.

3) Asylum Offices. If you are seeking asylum or have any asylum issues, you may need to schedule an interview or appointment. If you do so, you will generally meet at an Asylum Office. You can find an Asylum Office near you by visiting the USCIS website.

4) Application Support Centers (ASCs). If you need services such as fingerprinting to complete your immigration process or application, you will likely be directed to an Application Support Center for these types of services.

5) US consulates. If you are a hopeful immigrant or want to come to the US but currently reside in another country, you will likely need to visit a consulate in your home country. US consulates abroad provide a host of services to immigrants hoping to come to the US.

6) USCIS Service Centers. Although immigrants may never visit a Service Center or Lockbox facility, these facilities are important because they accept and processing many USCIS petitions and applications for immigrants.

7) The USCIS Civil Surgeons Locator. The Civil Surgeons Locator service is available online at the USCIS website. It can help you find a qualified physician if you need a medical examination to apply for a change of status. It is important to use a physician listed through the USCIS and approved by the USCIS if you need a medical examination for a USCIS petition.