By Kieran C. O’Sullivan
This month a young man who had filed for a replacement legal permanent residency card called me in a state of panic. He had not yet received his new card and he has a trip booked to go home to Ireland within a short period of time. I advised him that he could take copies of his I-90 filing along with his passport and evidence of travel plans and go into USCIS to get a stamp on his passport. “In such a case, going into USCIS to get the passport stamped is something we do routinely in Boston,” said attorney Chris Lavery, “This stamp will serve as temporary evidence of lawful admission.”
I referred the caller to the USCIS site for its INFOPASS system. The Boston district office of the USCIS was one of the first CIS district offices nationwide to go online with the new INFOPASS system. InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at USCIS offices. The USCIS states InfoPass is a secure Internet site.
You access the system by typing www.uscis.gov into your Internet browser window. The InfoPass home page asks you to select your preferred language. Follow screen prompts asking for your zip code, name, birth date, phone number, desired appointment type, date, and time. InfoPass generates an electronic appointment notice, which appears on the screen and you may print off this notice.
Bring a print out of the appointment notice. The notice gives the date and time of the appointment, the USCIS office address, and instructions on any additional documents required. In Boston, the USCIS is on the first floor of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Government Center, Boston, MA 02203. Arrive up to one (1) hour ahead of your scheduled time because of parking and security lines. This is a Federal Building and there is tight security at the entrance.
Double check your bags/backpacks to make sure you have nothing in your possession which could be considered a weapon. I’ve been in line there many times to observe people who had forgotten they had cutlery (including knives) and utility knives in the bags. Some missed their scheduled appointments because of delays at the security desk.
Be prepared to present personal identification, such as a government-issued ID card, passport, valid driver’s license, I-94, Work Authorization Card, or legal permanent residency card. Bring any forms, receipts, translations, and original documents related to your inquiry. You can cancel and reschedule appointments over the Internet using the identification numbers at the bottom of your appointment confirmation notice.
Customers can also file for some immigration benefits by using E-Filing computer based system. To check the status of an application filed with a USCIS service center, you can also go online (www.uscis.gov) and select “Case Status Online.” Readers are reminded to be careful on the internet because an error on the site address could take you to a scam site.
If any readers are contemplating sponsoring relatives into the US or filing for a visa or US citizenship, assistance is available at our next clinic on September 3rd at 6:30pm at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester. Attorneys Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington will be present for free one to one consultations.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.