The Chicago District Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is located at 101 W. Congress Parkway in Chicago. This is the green and white building at the Southwest Corner of Clark and Congress. The entrance is located at the corner. All visitors must consent to a metal detector and scan of all items. The doors to the building open at around 7:30 a.m. Appointments do not begin until 7:45 a.m.
It is a higher security building, so cell phone use is forbidden. In addition, open beverages, cameras, sharp objects (e.g. nail files, knives, sissors, etc.), firearms, and open food, among other items are forbidden. The building depends upon a subcontractor for security. This means that visitors who use PDAs and phones risk arrest and removal from the building at the discretion of the security guards. However, these items may be brought into the building at the risk of confiscation, where this privilege is abused.
The U.S.C.I.S. houses its Inquiry Office for InfoPass holders in the lobby. InfoPass appointments are usually for those who already have applications filed with the U.S.C.I.S. There are computer kiosks to schedule InfoPass appointments in the building. However, it is best to make an appointment on a computer, even at a public library, before coming to the office. Nonetheless, those without an appointment may still get an InfoPass appointment depending upon the number of scheduled appointments.
All InfoPass visitors must check in at the booths and fill out an inquiry form in the lobby. InfoPasses may end at 2:00 p.m.
The second floor primarily serves those with adjustment matters, but certain Citizenship functions are also on the second floor. Adjudications for form I-485 forms can become adversarial depending upon the circumstances. At times, applicants do not become aware of mistakes that were made until these interviews. The third floor contains the Citizsenship Branch, where naturalization examinations take place. On occasion, applicants are detained and placed in removal proceedings at or following an interview. However, this depends upon the circumstances.
The U.S.C.I.S. also uses restaurant type pagers, when it can, to notify applicants that they should go to the door to meet the examiners for examinations and interviews. Attorneys are allowed, where they file written appearance forms. It is normal to see attorneys at the Adjustment and Citizenship Branch due to the complications of processing, applicant comfort, or reasonable concern about risks involved that may require more careful review.
Also housed in the same building is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Detention and Removal Operations, the Customs and Border Protection Agency's Secondary Inspection Unit, and the Immigration Court for detained applicants. However each of these units are in more security parts of the building, which have access to each other.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection are all part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The building closes its front doors to all visitors at 4:00 p.m. However, it may close to non-attorneys as early as 2:00 p.m. without confirmed authorization to enter from a U.S.C.I.S. Officer.
The Chicago District Office posts processing times each month. These times are averages and tend to be guidelines. Those applicants who wait more than sixty days beyond the posted processing times should consider scheduling an InfoPass Appointment or seeking legal advice, where they have yet to do so.
The above is general information and does not create an attorney client relationship.