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Citizenship and Immigration Services

The following information, including links and contact information, are resources to help you with questions and concerns you may have regarding immigration and obtaining visas for the United States.  If you cannot find the information you are looking for, or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of my state offices and a member of my staff will be happy to assist you.

Formerly handled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), immigration in the United States is now handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau of the Department of Homeland Security.  The USCIS website has a plethora of information from general information on immigration procedures, applications, immigration forms and current laws and regulations, to tools to check the status of your application and current processing times.


I would like a friend/relative from a foreign country to come visit me in the United States.  What steps do my friend and I have to take?

The Department of State website details what kind of visa they may apply for and also has a list of all the U.S. Embassies and Consulates.  Generally, your friend/relative will need to come fully prepared to prove they are not planning to immigrate to the United States and that they have strong ties to their home country.  They should provide evidence of property, financial statements, ties to the community through work, organizations they belong to, and family and friend ties to the Embassy in which they are applying.  For more information on the visa process please click here.

My friend/relative from a foreign country was denied a visitor visa under section 214(b).  What is this?

Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that: "Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status..."

A denial under section 214(b) is not permanent.  For more information on what you and your friend/relative can do to overcome a denial please click here.

How can I check the status of my immigration petition online?

If you have the receipt number for your petition you may check the status of your application online using the USCIS website.

What are processing times?

Since the USCIS adjudicates immigration petitions of the same type in the order that they are received, constituents are able to track when their application may be adjudicated by using the processing times that are listed on the USCIS website.  Because processing dates are updated monthly, I encourage you to monitor your case closely online and if your receipt date is prior to that of the current processing time for your particular petition and service center, please do not hesitate to contact my office for assistance.

Helpful Contact Information

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

National Customer Service Center
1 (800) 375-5283
1 (800) 767-1833 (TYY)

United States Department of State

National Visa Center (Immigrant Visa information)
(603) 334-0700

By mail:

Specific questions about a case should be sent to: National Visa Center, Attn: WC, 31 Rochester Ave. Suite 200, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2915.

Forms, documents, and photographs should be sent to:  National Visa Center, Attn: CMR, 31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914.

Bedford USCIS Field Office

9 Ridgewood Road
Bedford, NH 03110

For more information on the Bedford Field Office, click here.

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