US Citizenship and Immigration Services to Host Twitter ‘Office Hours’


USCIS officials hope to provide another avenue for customers to ask questions and receive real-time feedback.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to get more social with prospective immigrants.

USCIS will host its first-ever Twitter office hours Tuesday from 3-4 p.m. using the #AskUSCIS hashtag. Agency officials hope to provide another avenue for customers to ask questions and receive real-time feedback, according to a USCIS blog post.

To participate, customers just have to follow @USCIS on Twitter, use the hashtag and ask away, although the blog post makes clear staff won’t answer case-specific questions and case status updates.

The post also warns Twitter users not to post Social Security numbers, receipt numbers or any other personally identifiable information.

“With Twitter office hours, we want to help you – either as you’re preparing forms or after you’ve filed,” the blog post states.

USCIS will post a transcript of the questions and answers to its blog following the Twitter office hours, and if the concept is successful, the agency plans to host the sessions on a regular basis.

The agency's social outreach plan is part of broader effort among federal agencies to improve customer experience.

This particular variant of digital engagement mirrors an effort championed by the Office of Federal Student Aid. FAFSA answers questions on the last Wednesday of every month using the hashtag #AskFAFSA, an effort that’s helped build its digital engagement significantly in recent years.

Immigration is a politically charged issue, however, and USCIS may have some trolls to deal with. In its blog post, USCIS said the agency will not take “questions about policies or take questions from the media, government agencies or stakeholder organizations.” It probably won’t feed the trolls, either.

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