CIS Chicago’s New Facility
July 10, 2006

In the coming month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Chicago office will be moving to a new facility downtown at 101 W. Congress, Chicago – the southwest corner of Clark and Congress. Practically all immigration-related Department of Homeland Security functions will be consolidated at this office, with agency activity at the 230 S. Dearborn and 10 W. Jackson offices coming to an end as of August 25.

Some may recognize the new location as the building where they had attended their citizenship interview over the course of the past couple of years, and those who have, will also remember the obvious construction taking place on most of the building. With construction nearing completion, the new facility will also start hosting adjustment of status (permanent residence) interviews, as well as INFOPASS appointments – where an immigration information officer is available to entertain the public’s general questions or case specific inquiries.

Most immigration enforcement activity will also originate from the new facility as various Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices will be stationed there.

No doubt there will be the typical bureaucratic kinks to be worked out, as is the case with the move of any large office, but according to officials with CIS Chicago, the new facility will be more user friendly, more efficient, more aesthetically pleasing, and better able to address the large volume of traffic that frequents CIS Chicago.

Included among important changes coming to CIS Chicago

  • security screening of those entering the building: instead of a single line to enter the building, there will now be three teams of security officials administering separate magnetometers for three lines entering the building.
  • no permanent residence stamps at interview: historically, approved applicants for adjustment of status have enjoyed the benefit of having their passports stamped with evidence of permanent residence at the conclusion of their interview, but that will change. Amid security concerns, CIS officials decided at the national level to implement a policy of not stamping passports at the interview, since alien registration cards (green cards) are now being issued within just 2 weeks of approval and the need for a stamp as temporary evidence, according to CIS, no longer exists. CIS officials have advised that accommodations to issue a stamp will be only be made for those who can demonstrate an emergency need for such temporary evidence of status – such as an urgent need to travel outside the US in the period immediately following the interview, but prior to card issuance.

Importantly, so as to avoid any confusion on the issue, most “family based” adjustment of status applicants nationwide (including within the Chicago jurisdiction) will continue to forward their applications to the central- CIS, National Benefits Center “lockbox” facility at US CIS, PO Box 805887, Chicago, IL 60680-4120.

As information becomes available, updates on changes at CIS Chicago will continue to be featured in this column.

Copyright © 2006-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois