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History of USCIS Ombudsman Office

The USCIS Ombudsman office came to life along with the Department of Homeland security after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on United States. USCIS Ombudsman office is not a part of USCIS, but a part of its parent department/agency DHS. USCIS Ombudsman reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr Prakash Khatri was the first USCIS Ombudsman. The position of USCIS Ombudsman is a political position and he/she is appointed by the secretary of DHS.

Mr. Michael T. Dougherty was appointed as the second Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman by Secretary Michael Chertoff on March 3, 2008.

January Contreras was appointed as the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman for the Department of Homeland Security on November 23, 2009.


The responsibilities of the Ombudsman office include, but not limited to

Work directly with the petitioners of immigration benefits and their employers to resolve the issues.

Produce an annual report for the congress and the public outlining existing problems with USCIS processes and suggest/recommend administrative changes to improve those processes.

Hold Conference calls on a monthly basis with a specific agenda and receive input from the petitioners and attorneys across the country. Representatives of USCIS also participate in the conference calls but do not engage in direct conversations with the petitioners or the attorneys.

Review various USCIS processes such as Naturalization, EB-5 investor visas and FBI name checks and study impacts of immigration on social, economic and family related issues.


Form DHS7001 is the official form through which a beneficiary can seek help the USCIS Ombudsman's office. It is highly recommended that beneficiaries who intend to seek help from the USCIS Ombudsman office fill this form out and mail accordingly to avoid any delays.

Form 7001

Form 7001 Instructions

Contact Information

Website :

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