A Guide to the Procedure at the USCIS Los Angeles
The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney provides this guide to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in Los Angeles. Call us for more information.
What Is the USCIS?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government agency under the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is responsible for processing and validating applications for immigration and naturalization and formulating policies that govern the lawful entry of aliens into the United States.
As a key immigration authority, the USCIS deals with enormous volumes of immigration applications and inquiries regarding green cards, student visas, asylum, and other related issues on a daily basis. The agency has field offices in each state to make things easier and reduce the pressure at the central office.
These field offices perform limited but important functions relating to the immigration and naturalization process, including immigration interviews and naturalization ceremonies. They also provide supplementary information to individuals beyond what is contained on their website. So if you have questions about any immigration process, you can contact the USCIS field office closest to you.
If you live in Los Angeles (LA), you’re in luck. The USCIS has an LA field office that can serve you if you have a green card interview coming up or you have concerns about any other immigration-related issue. The information given here can help you understand how the LA field office operates and the services rendered there so you can adequately prepare for your visit.
Read on to learn more.
What Happens at the USCIS Los Angeles Field Office?
USCIS Los Angeles renders its services to individuals who live in Los Angeles County and its environs. Just like other field offices, the LA office provides several immigration services, including:
- Conducting interviews for green card applicants
- Conducting naturalization ceremonies
- Providing helpful immigration resources and information for individuals who may require more information that can’t be gotten from the USCIS official website.
The LA field office also collects filing fees for certain immigration forms, including the following:
- Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the US After Deportation or Removal
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
You must schedule an appointment if you intend to pay for these forms at the field office. Note that the USCIS does not accept cash payments or bank-issued coupons. It only accepts payments from your ACH bank account, debit, or credit card. So, you need to select your preferred payment method and ensure that it works just fine before your appointment date.
You need to schedule an appointment through a USCIS Contact Center before visiting the LA office.
Filing Fees for Immigration Appeals and Court Motions
Your immigration application has been denied by a DHS officer, and you intend to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) or to file a motion with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), immigration court, you can pay your motion/appeal filing fee at the Los Angeles or any other field office.
The USCIS provides special self-service kiosks at each field office for this purpose. The kiosks are open during the LA office’s hours of operation. You can make payments there at any time without an appointment.
However, you are not allowed to make these payments on your own. The USCIS requires that you have a Los Angeles immigration lawyer or accredited representative present during the process.
How to Contact the USCIS Los Angeles
If you have questions about your case and the information on the USCIS website is insufficient, call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY: 1-800-767-1833).
You can also visit the Los Angeles USCIS field office at 300 North Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. However, USCIS permits in-person visits only for critical issues that cannot be resolved via telephone with a customer service consultant.
Helpful Tips About Attending Your USCIS Field Office Appointment in Los Angeles
The tips listed below can help you prepare for your USCIS field office appointment and make the experience easier.
- Your local USCIS office may temporarily suspend its services due to unpleasant weather or other unexpected events. Before leaving for the field office on your appointment day, confirm that the office is open to visitors, so you don’t waste your time.
- Try to arrive at your appointment early, at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time or 30 minutes before your naturalization ceremony.
- You need to follow the USCIS COVID-19 guidelines. In areas where COVID levels are high, visitors to USCIS field offices are required to wear face masks and practice physical distancing. Thankfully the COVID community levels for Los Angeles County as of March 2023 are low. This means wearing a mask at the LA field office is optional for now. If your appointment date is imminent, try to stay updated with the COVID situation in your area so you don’t break the rules.
- You cannot visit the USCIS or other federal buildings with weapons or firearms even if you have a permit for them. If you routinely carry such items, please remove them from your handbag or pocket before your visit. You risk possible jail time under federal law if you proceed otherwise.
- Recordings of any kind are also prohibited at USCIS local offices during appointments. It is only possible to record your naturalization ceremony after obtaining a specific permission.
Having Trouble With the Los Angeles USCIS Office? The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney Can Help
If you have further questions about the USCIS Los Angeles or need help with any immigration process, contact us at The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney. We can answer your questions and provide guidance for all your US immigration needs.
Our immigration law experience is top-notch. Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys have successfully represented clients just like you.
Contact us immediately, and let us work with you and help you reach your immigration goals.