The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides many types of information and tools through their website. So, anyone looking to explore their options or follow their case should check the online resources. However, for other services they prefer the applicant visit a USCIS field office.
Field offices handle all types of immigration cases, except asylum applications. They are also used for oath-taking ceremonies and case-specific services. The federal agency has offices all over the country, divided into 26 Districts. A State may have multiple Districts or no Districts at all.
The Baltimore Field Office
In the state of Maryland, the USCIS has the Baltimore District. The Baltimore field office serves the entire State, and it’s located at:
Baltimore (BAL) 3701 Koppers Street Halethorpe, MD 21227
The federal agency processes cases at offices located near the applicants. But, in some cases, they transfer the application to another office. The main reason for this transfer is to speed up the processing of cases. If your case is in another center, then you may receive notices, like your interview notice, from that field location.
You can visit a field office by making an appointment. The USCIS call center provides live assistance on the following toll-free number: 800-375-5283. (The online system called InfoPass is no longer available for those who are inside the U.S.)
If you need disability accommodation for your appointment (interview, biometrics, oath, etc.), the agency asks you to submit an e-request for it. Visit the following page to submit your request.
If you’re looking to reschedule your biometrics appointment, you no longer have to submit a written request as you can do so by calling the contact center at the above-mentioned number. However, you must provide a good reason and call before the date and time of the appointment, according to the USCIS.
The field office may have to temporarily closed= its operations because of bad weather or something unexpected. So, it’s always useful to check for the work hours of the office before your visit.
Case Processing Times
The federal agency determines case processing times for each of its locations based on recent data. They also test different processing time formats. For example, they are currently testing the following format for several application types:
- Naturalization (N-400): 7.5 to 16.5 months
- Certificate of Citizenship (N-600): 6.5 to 14.5 months
- Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 (N-600K): 10 to 22.5 months
These are the current processing times at the Baltimore field office available on the USCIS site. In this figure, the 7.5 months for the N-400 is the duration for finishing half of the cases, and the 16.5 months is the time for processing 93% of the submissions.
Delays in Case Processing
Sometimes, the application takes longer to process than the provided time duration. Continuing with the N 400 example, 16.5 months is the time for completing most, but not all, cases. So, there may be some applicants who are still waiting for their decision after the sixteen-and-a-half-month period. For this, the federal agency provides you with an official date for case inquires and inquiry instructions (on the same page as the case times).