Parviz Malakouti, Esq.
5 Tips for Requesting Immigration Help from a Congressmember
Updated: May 19
If you are facing delays in your immigration case and require assistance, reaching out to your U.S. Congress member can be a valuable option.
Congressional offices often have dedicated staff who can provide aid with federal agencies, including USCIS. U.S. congressmembers can check on the status of your case with USCIS, and although they oftentimes won’t admit it, they can take action to prod USCIS to process a delayed immigration case.
However, it is important to approach the process strategically to maximize your chances of obtaining the help you need. In this article, we will explore five tips for requesting immigration help from the office of a U.S. congress member. These suggestions aren't just musings or theory - at Malakouti Law, we utilize these tips when contacting a U.S. Congressmember on behalf of one of our clients.
Note: If you'd like to skip the reading and get immediate personal feedback, click here to request a consultation with Malakouti Law.
1. Get the Name of the Congressional Staffer
Always get the name.
The first step is to determine who your Congress member is and obtain their contact information. While it is unlikely that you will directly speak to the Congress member, the staff members are typically responsible for handling constituent requests. When you call the congressional office, make a note of the name of the staff member you interacted with. This personal touch can be beneficial and will help you reference the conversation later if needed.
More importantly, getting the name of the person you speak to each time you call the office, introduces an element of personal accountability. Congressional staffers, just like all people, are more likely to act more responsibly when their actions can be traced back to them somehow, someway.
Politely getting the name each time is a way to signal that you’re serious about your request.
2. Document Every Interaction
Maintaining a short record of each interaction with the congressional office is essential.
Whether you communicate via phone or email, create a document to document the details of your conversations. Include information such as the date, time, and a summary of what was discussed. This documentation can prove invaluable if your case is transferred to another staff member or if any issues arise during the process.
3. Make a Formal Request via Email
While the majority of congressional offices will require you to complete and submit a privacy release form to them so they can obtain information about your case from USCIS, it is beneficial to also make your formal request for assistance via email as well. When sending the privacy release form (sample found here), include a note clearly stating your request for assistance. This provides a paper trail and ensures that your request is officially documented, leaving less room for misunderstandings or oversight, and no room for a claim that you didn’t make your request for assistance on a particular date.
4. Always Ask When the Next Step Will Be Taken
Whenever you communicate with the congressional office, whether by phone or email, make it a point to move the process forward.
Ask about the next steps and the timeline for those steps. By expressing your desire to make progress and seeking clarity on the next actions, you demonstrate your commitment to resolving your immigration case. Clear communication helps align expectations and ensures that you and the staff member are on the same page.
5. Follow Up Consistently and Politely
The adage "closed mouths don't get fed" holds true when it comes to requesting assistance.
Politely and persistently follow up with the congressional office. Maintain regular communication and inquire about the progress of your case. By doing so, you show that you are serious about finding a resolution and that you value the support provided by the office. Always maintain a professional tone and use polite language in your emails and conversations.
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7. Request a Consultation with Malakouti Law
Requesting immigration help from a U.S. Congressmember can be an effective way to address delays in your case.
By following these five tips, you can increase your chances of obtaining the assistance you need. Keep in mind that results may vary, but making the request is free, and your efforts may prove fruitful. If you need additional guidance, you are welcome to book a paid consultation to speak to us about how best to make your request for congressional assistance.
Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.