A new modernization program at USCIS will restrict how and when individuals can make InfoPass appointments
As of late last year, individuals in Wisconsin are no longer able to self-schedule InfoPass appointments or make walk-in requests. Instead, all queries must first be made through the USCIS Contact Center through a hotline. The phone number is 1-800-375-5283, and will be reachable Monday through Friday during the business hours of 7am to 8pm Central Time. The number will not be usable during weekends or on federal holidays.
These changes come as a result of the new Information Services Modernization Program, or InfoMOD, under the premise that Contact Center agents should be able to help with all case inquiries, thus eliminating the need for most in-person appointments. The program is in the beginning stages, but apparently does involve four tiers of agents one’s call must escalate through, each with increasing access to USCIS records. An individual’s call must reach the highest tier and remain unresolved before a decision is made schedule an InfoMOD appointment.
However, there are reportedly several categories of cases, usually those involving emergencies or that otherwise necessitate in-person procedures, that agents have been told to accelerate making InfoMOD appointments for. These include Deferred Action, emergency Advance Parole, lost immigrant visas, Parole in Place, local forms/applications, and immigration judgements that require an appearance with USCIS, among others.
Skeptics of the “modernization” reasoning for the program believe the move creates further bureaucracy and red tape for those seeking information or clarification on their immigration case. Essentially, the Contact Center may act as a buffer between an individual and the information they seek, putting one more roadblock in the way of their process.
Furthermore, there is fear that agents, particularly those at lower tiers with less information, will provide bad or erroneous information that could damage a person’s case. This is why we always emphasize the need for anyone seeking immigration benefits to consult with an immigration attorney, to make sure you are represented and have the best possible legal information.