Chapter 3 – USCIS Contact Center
A. USCIS Contact Center Organization
For the convenience of its customers within the United States,  Customers located outside of the United States should direct their inquiries to the overseas USCIS field office with jurisdiction over their place of residence. USCIS provides a toll-free telephone number, which is answered by the USCIS Contact Center. The USCIS Contact Center provides escalating levels of service to handle inquiries of increasing complexity and consists of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and a multi-tiered level of live assistance.
•Callers initially have the opportunity to have their questions answered directly by the IVR system. If additional assistance is needed, callers may request live assistance by selecting that option from within the IVR.
•Tier 1 Contact Center Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) offer the first level of live assistance. CSRs may be contract employees. CSRs provide basic case-specific and general non-case-specific information to customers. Information provided by Tier 1 will be limited in verbiage and format by informational response scripts that are created and provided by USCIS.
•When unable to completely resolve an inquiry, the Tier 1 CSR may transfer the call to the Tier 2 live assistance level to be answered by a USCIS officer.
•Customers may, at any time, request to have a call directed to a supervisor.
•Inquiries that may need to be resolved by a USCIS domestic field office that physically has the case file require the creation of a Service Request. The Service Request is automatically routed to the USCIS office that can best provide a resolution to the customer inquiry.
•For inquiries that may need to be resolved by a USCIS overseas field office that has the hard copy case file, the customer should be referred to the appropriate overseas field office and given that office’s contact information.
B. Levels of Assistance
The following provides additional information regarding the levels of assistance available through the USCIS Contact Center.
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
At the start of a USCIS Contact Center call, the customer interfaces with the IVR telephone system, which is a versatile key technology for automating customer access to services.
IVR enables callers to navigate a telephonic recorded menu to reach specific information or assistance.
The IVR system is available to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Live Assistance - Tier 1
Live assistance is available at published times for questions not answered by the IVR system.
After interacting with the IVR, the caller has the option to be transferred to a CSR at the Tier 1 Contact Center.
When unable to completely resolve the customer’s inquiry, the CSR may create a Service Request for the USCIS office that is processing the customer’s case, escalate the call to a Tier 2 USCIS officer, or route the call to a supervisor, as appropriate.
3. Live Assistance - Tier 2
If the customer has spoken with the CSR at a Tier 1 Contact Center and has not been able to obtain a resolution, the call may be escalated to a Tier 2 Contact Center if applicable.
Tier 2 is staffed by USCIS officers with access to applicable USCIS systems. USCIS officers may also escalate callers to a supervisor when necessary.
4. Live Assistance - Tier 2 (Supervisor)
•When appropriate, the USCIS officer may escalate the call to a supervisory USCIS officer. Calls will be routed to a supervisor when:
•Customer requests to speak to a supervisor;
•Customer is unusually upset and believes the proposed resolution is improper; or
•The matter requires urgent or expedited assistance by another office to resolve in a timely manner.
A USCIS Tier 2 supervisor has the ability to contact USCIS field offices, asylum offices, service centers, and the National Benefits Center through designated points of contact to address any issues that require immediate action or direct assistance. When appropriate for the situation, a supervisor may:
•Verify the information provided to the customer by the USCIS officer.
•Directly contact the appropriate USCIS office to determine if any additional options may be available to resolve the caller’s issue (if needed).
•Create a Service Request if the issue cannot be resolved by the USCIS Contact Center.
•Request that the appropriate office take action to alleviate any unnecessary additional wait times, if the caller’s issue resulted from a USCIS error.
Customers located outside of the United States should direct their inquiries to the overseas USCIS field office with jurisdiction over their place of residence.
POLICY ALERT – Customer Service
August 26, 2014
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on its standards in customer service.