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AAO Processing Requests

Requests for Expedited Processing

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) generally processes appeals in the order that we receive them, but we will review expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. To request expedited processing, the applicant or petitioner must provide evidence that one or more of the following criteria have been met: 

  • Severe financial loss to a company or individual;
  • Extreme emergent situation;
  • Humanitarian situation;
  • Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furthering the cultural and social interests of the United States;
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: The request must come from an official United States Government entity and must state that a delay will be detrimental to the Government);
  • Handling error by USCIS that has created an unreasonable delay that may be corrected by placing the case back in its original order; and
  • Compelling interest of USCIS.

To request expedited processing, please mail or fax a written request to the AAO. See the AAO Contact Us webpage. Cover letters should clearly say "EXPEDITE REQUEST," and the request should include documentary evidence to support a need for expedited processing. 

You may also request expedited processing by contacting the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. The center will take the “service request” and forward it to the AAO.  

Requests for Oral Argument

The AAO generally adjudicates decisions based on the record of proceeding without oral argument.  However, the AAO may grant a written request for oral argument where a case involves an issue of law or fact of particular significance and the AAO determines that it would benefit from supplemental argument.  Oral argument is granted at the discretion of the AAO.

The petitioner must request oral argument in writing either at the time the Form I-290B or Form I-694 is filed or at the time a supporting brief is filed.  The request “must explain in writing specifically why oral argument is necessary.”  

If a request is approved, the AAO will notify the petitioner of the time, date, place, and conditions of the oral argument.   If the request for oral argument is denied, the AAO will notify the petitioner in the AAO’s written disposition of the appeal, motion, or certification.

Requests for a Copy of the Record of Proceeding

You may obtain a copy of the record of proceeding through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. For information on how to make a FOIA request, please visit the USCIS FOIA webpage.  We generally will not take action on a case while a FOIA request is pending. However, filing a FOIA request does not extend timeframes, such as deadlines for filing appeals or motions, responding to requests for additional evidence or notices of intent to dismiss, or submitting briefs or supplemental evidence.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/17/2014