America has a proud tradition of immigration and it is a tremendous part of what makes our country great. Navigating U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) can be difficult, but Mimi’s office is available to help. The office can contact these agencies on your behalf, inquire about the status of a case, ask any case-specific questions, and urge a full and fair consideration consistent with U.S. immigration law.

USCIS oversees a majority of the lawful immigration services and may be able to answer your questions regarding the immigration process or citizenship and naturalization. You may be able to find the answers that you are looking for online and other helpful resources here. Please visit uscis.gov if you are searching for your case status or processing times, to change your address, and to find additional office locations. If your application is pending for longer than the projected processing time on your receipt, and you have not received any notice or update from USCIS, please call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283. Be sure to have your A-number, receipt number, and most recent notice from USCIS readily available. You can also visit the USCIS field office in Santa Ana.

If you are interested in applying for an immigrant visa, USCIS must first approve an immigrant petition for you, which is usually filed by an employer or relative on your behalf. You must then wait until the DOS has a visa immediately available for you. If you receive an immigrant visa number (or “A number”), it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to you. If you are already in the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available for you, you must then go to your local U.S. embassy or consulate to complete your processing.

You may also have a family member interested in obtaining a nonimmigrant visa, also known as a “tourist visa” or “visitor visa,” which allows them to come into the country temporarily. The visa, placed on their passport when issued, allows them to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to enter the U.S.  However, a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Foreign nationals wishing to travel to the U.S. must apply for a visa at an American embassy or consulate. If a nonimmigrant visa is denied because the person failed to overcome the presumption that they intend to immigrate, they are welcome to reapply. If they do reapply, they are advised to submit proof of their strong economic, social and/or familial ties to their country of origin.