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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Immigration, Passport, and Visa Assistance

Immigration, Passport, and Visa Assistance

Navigating the United States’ immigration and passport systems can be complicated and daunting. As your advocate, Congresswoman Slaughter wants to help ensure that you receive accurate, helpful, and timely assistance. The office processes hundreds of inquiries each year concerning immigration, naturalization, and visas. This page contains links to help answer many of the most frequently asked questions that she receives. Please review the information below to see if your question can be quickly answered here or if you should contact the office.

Immigration and Visas - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: I need to request forms relating to my citizenship status, where do I start?

A: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that handles all immigration services and requests. Navigating the USCIS Website is the best way to obtain forms and gather information. Additionally, click here to find a USCIS office in your area, or call the USCIS Customer Service number at (1-800) 375-5283 for further assistance.

Q: How do I contact my local USCIS office?

A: The USCIS office serving Monroe County is the Buffalo Field Office. Please click here for more information about contacting and visiting this office.

Q: I am attempting to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. What should I do?

A: The paperwork associated with becoming a citizen can be frustrating. Click here for help in determining your eligibility, where you can apply, what forms you will need, and answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about the naturalization process.

Q: I need to access a specific form. Where can I download that?

A: Click here to download USCIS forms for free. You can also access information about any applicable fees, as well as ways to apply for a waiver if you are unable to pay the fees. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has developed a process for determining if you might be eligible for a waiver.

Q: I am a permanent resident and need to temporarily leave the country. Is there anything specific I have to do?

A: Many legal permanent residents or refugees must travel outside of the U.S. before they become citizens. Click here for help obtaining a reentry permit for the U.S. You must obtain your travel document before you leave the United States.

Q: A relative of mine needs to temporarily escape their country and come to the United States. What can I do?

A: USCIS handles humanitarian parole process. Click here to learn more about the humanitarian parole process and application criteria.

Q: Now that I am in the United States, how do I obtain a Social Security number? Do I need one?

A: For information on your rights and responsibilities under Social Security, including how to apply to obtain a Social Security number and a Social Security card, click here. If you have further questions, or are having personal difficulties with your immigration or visa case, please call the Rochester office at 585-232-4850.

Passports – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do I obtain a passport application in Rochester?

A: Passports are obtained through the Passport Services Division of the Department of State. Through a local passport acceptance agent, you can apply for a new passport, renew your old one, replace a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, or add new pages to your existing book. A list of local facilities can be found here ( If you wish to download passport forms through the State Department’s website, click here.

Q: How do I order a copy of my birth certificate?

A: Your birth certificate is required to obtain several government documents, including a passport. For information about obtaining a New York birth certificate, click here. If you were born in another state or U.S. territory, click here for information about obtaining a copy of your birth certificate.

Q: What if I need an expedited passport and can’t wait weeks for processing?

A: If you need a passport to travel within two weeks, you can apply in-person for expedited processing at the Buffalo Passport Agency. For directions to the Buffalo Passport Agency, click here. Please note that the Buffalo Passport Agency only processes applications for customers who are traveling within two weeks.

If you obtain a morning appointment, it is sometimes possible to pick up your passport that same day. In some instances, your passport will be ready for you the following business day. In that case, you can either pick your passport up, or have it sent to you using an overnight courier service, such as FedEx.

If you are traveling within seven to ten business days, you may use a nearby acceptance facility, such as your local post office. You will need to pay an additional $35 fee for expedited service and include a self-addressed, prepaid, two-way, overnight delivery envelope.

Q: What else do I need besides my passport to head overseas?

A: You still have to check with the country or countries you’ll be visiting to determine whether or not you will need a visa. A visa is a document that grants you permission from a country to cross their border and is a page inserted in your U.S. passport.  You usually have to mail your passport to the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit, so allow plenty of time. Click here for more information.

Also, check the State Department website for travel warnings  and consular information sheets that provide helpful information about the country you plan on visiting. Should an emergency arise while abroad, the State Department provides crisis assistance, including information on specific emergency situations.

Helpful Links:

About the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 

The USCIS National Customer Service Center 

Questions About My Case 

U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Services 

Links to United States Embassies and Consulates Worldwide 

If you have any additional questions about your passport or the immigration and visa process, and you reside in the 25th Congressional District, contact the Rochester office at (585) 232-4850.