Congressional Inquiries Can Help with Delays in Immigration Processing

For an individual seeking an immigration benefit, long processing times are often par for the course. Although such lengthy processing times may be expected, there are circumstances when an applicant or petitioner wishes to push a case forward. One solution could be to contact a U.S. congressional office for assistance with a pending application.

Reasons to Make a Congressional Inquiry

A congressional inquiry can be a useful tool in certain situations. For instance, if an individual’s application is pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for longer than usual, a congressional representative can request action on the application or obtain information about the processing delay. Additionally, if an individual has cause to request expedited processing of an application, (e.g., financial hardship, health concerns, or a death in the family), a congressional representative can make this request. Congressional assistance can also be helpful to address visa processing delays at the U.S. consular posts.

How to Find and Contact Your Congressional Representatives

An individual likely has three representatives in the U.S. Congress: two senators and one representative. The U.S. senators for each state can be located on the homepage under the “Current Members of Congress” section. An individual’s representative can be located on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Find Your Representative page. It is generally not advisable to contact more than one congressional representative at a time.

Once an individual identifies a congressional office to contact, the individual should follow the instructions found on the office’s website for contacting the representative. Most congressional offices have a “Contact” link on the homepage and an online inquiry submission form for contacting the representative.


If an individual is experiencing abnormally long processing times or facing other issues related to the pendency of an immigration application or petition, a congressional inquiry may be a useful tool. Under the right circumstances, an individual’s congressional representative can provide assistance and help with movement of the file or provide a response with reasons for the delay.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.