On September 1st, the United State Citizen and Immigration Services hosted its very first Twitter office hours, a chance for you to ask questions and have them answered in real time. This helpful service, which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month, is a great example of how you can use technology to streamline the immigration process. Today, we’re covering how the Twitter office hours work and how you can use these sessions effectively.
The USCIS first launched its Twitter office hours in September as way to answer questions in a public, easily accessible way. Many times during the immigration process you may have questions about specific forms or steps you should take. We know that spending time on the phone or browsing the web isn’t always the best (or quickest) way to get an answer—and the USCIS is showing that they know this as well! The Twitter office hours were created to be more user-friendly and efficient, since all you need to participate is a Twitter account and, of course, your question or concern.
To make the office hours program even more accessible to users, the USCIS Twitter account (@USCIS) will not take questions from the media, government or organizations during its sessions. This way, the program can serve more people with individual questions.
What makes this program special is its potential to help many people. Answers on social media not only directly help the person who asked them—they can be seen and understood by many readers who might be going through the same process and have similar questions.So how can you make the most out of USCIS’ next Twitter office hours? We’ve put together a few tips…
Avoid posting sensitive information on Twitter.
Sensitive information—such as your Social Security number, A-number, etc.—should be kept private while you’re on Twitter. Even though the goal of the office hours is to receive a response from the USCIS, other people can see the questions you ask. Additionally, the answers discussed in the office hours program won’t pertain to your exact case but will rather provide you with the tools and information you need to navigate your situation, so there is no need to share personal info.
Ask clear, simple questions.
When asking questions on Twitter, aim to be clear and succinct in your wording. You probably already know that Twitter places a limit on how many characters you can type, but you should also keep questions simple to give your Tweet a chance of being seen and understood quickly and easily.
Read other responses as well.
Because the USCIS Twitter won’t be able to respond to every question asked, there’s a chance that yours may not be answered. If that happens, don’t worry—they may have answered a related question to yours! Be sure to browse through the responses on Twitter and check back with the USCIS blog at USCIS.gov to find helpful answers and information.
We hope that this new tool can help you navigate tricky forms and processes during the immigration process.