Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

USCIS Ombudsman Recommends Clarification of Fee Refund Procedures

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) ombudsman, Michael Dougherty, has recommended that the agency clarify its fee refund procedures and revise the Adjudicator’s Field Manual accordingly. Mr. Dougherty further recommended that USCIS provide a way to track the status of refunds.

Currently, applicants may claim a refund either by calling a toll-free number or by making a written request to their local USCIS district office. Mr. Dougherty said he has heard concerns that USCIS has no clear procedure for requesting a refund of fees. Once a refund has been requested at a field or district office, he noted, there is no way to follow up on the request or to determine the component within the office that is processing the request. In some cases, USCIS employees were themselves unsure of the agency’s refund procedures.

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