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Casework FAQ

One challenge to congressional casework is the widely held public perception that Members of Congress can initiate a broad array of actions resulting in a speedy, favorable outcome. The rules of the House and laws and regulations governing federal executive agency activities, however, closely limit interventions made on the behalf of constituents. When performing casework, congressional staff cannot circumvent existing procedures or force an agency to expedite a case or act in favor of a constituent. However, congressional staff can intervene to facilitate the appropriate administrative processes, encourage an agency to give a case consideration, and, in limited circumstances, advocate for a favorable outcome.”

Can Congressman Nadler help me with my case that involves a city or state agency?

  • For assistance with a city or state agency or department, you should write to your representatives in the New York State Senate or Assembly and/or the New York City Council. Staff in these offices have direct access to city and state agencies and can better assist you. My constituent services team is not able to take on casework without a clear federal nexus or federal agency involved.

  • You can find your city/state representatives at

  • Examples of issues that involve city agencies: voting, zoning, sanitation, etc.

  • Examples of issues that involve state agencies: MTA, DMV, jury duty, child support, inheritances and estates, NYS taxes, etc.


Can you help me with an issue that involves a pending court case?

  • Congressional Ethics Guidelines prevent my staff from providing legal advice or intervening in any judicial proceeding.


Can you help me find affordable housing?

  • I understand how challenging it can be to identify affordable options in New York City. However, I do not have the ability to place constituents in apartments or the ability to identify available apartments for constituents. Here are some resources that might be helpful in your search:

    • NYC Housing Connect

    • NYC Mitchell-Lama Connect
      • View Mitchell-Lama developments that are accepting entries. You can create or update your account and enter waiting list lotteries. Mitchell-Lama apartments are sold or rented through waiting lists kept by each development.

    • NYC Housing Development Corporation
      • HDC finances rental properties reserved for households that meet certain income restrictions, commonly referred to as either low-income or middle-income.

      • To see rental opportunities for low-income applicants, please click here. For middle-income rentals, please click here. To apply, please follow the instructions on the application information or advertisement posted for each development. All apartments are awarded through a lottery; your eligibility is determined by income.

    • NYCHA
      • The New York City Housing Authority's mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Apply here.

    • Emergency housing
      • If you are a homeless family, a single pregnant woman, or a single adult, you can apply to enter the shelter system. Runaway shelters are available to young people under 21 who are homeless or in crisis. Pregnant girls and young people under 21 with children are also eligible for crisis shelter. Services for sexually-exploited youth and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth are also available. For more information, visit:


I applied for an immigration benefit through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), how can you assist my application?

  • USCIS is taking a long time to process my application for an immigration benefit (green card, citizenship, etc.). When should I contact your office for help?

    • Before contacting my office, check the USCIS Processing Times website to see if your application receipt date is still within the average processing times posted for the applicable service center or field office. If it is outside of the posted processing times, please submit casework to my office for assistance.

    • Please note that the average processing times for applications to the USCIS New York City Field Office are significantly longer than in the rest of the country. My constituent services team generally cannot submit inquiries for cases that are still within average processing times absent compelling urgent circumstances.


I applied for advance parole, but I need to travel in the immediate future. What should I do if my advance parole application is still pending?

  • Call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 to schedule an appointment at the NYC Field Office for Emergency Advance Parole.


I want to expedite my Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application. Can you assist my application?

  • My office can submit an expedite request on your behalf if your request falls within one of USCIS’ expedite criteria:

    • USCIS may expedite a petition or application if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
      • Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
      1. File the benefit request or the expedite request in a reasonable time frame, or
      2. Respond to any requests for additional evidence in a reasonably timely manner;
      • Urgent humanitarian reasons;
      • Compelling U.S. government interests (such as urgent cases for the Department of Defense or DHS, or other public safety or national security interests); or
      • Clear USCIS error.

  • Virtually everyone seeking work authorization needs their EAD to be approved as soon as possible. If you feel that you absolutely cannot wait for your case to be approved through the normal processing channels, you will need to convince USCIS that your application should take priority over every other applicant’s.

  • Your expedite request should be accompanied by thorough documentation of your claim (i.e. if you are requesting an expedite request under “emergency situation” you must provide documentation of the situation such as medical records, police reports, etc.). The more documentation you can provide, the stronger your expedite request will be. If you cannot provide supporting documentation, you should write a letter explaining the basis of your request.

  • It is important to note that, per USCIS, “a pending employment offer or start date does not qualify under USCIS’s severe financial loss expedite criteria.” If you submit an expedite request based on a pending job offer and nothing else, your request will be denied.


My current EAD is expiring soon but USCIS has not yet approved my renewal application. Can you help?

  • First, check if your application falls within one of the categories listed here.

  • If your category is listed, your current EAD is automatically extended 180 days past the expiration date listed on your card.

  • If your category is not listed, please submit casework to my office for assistance.


My family member interviewed for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad but has not received their visa yet. Can you help?

  • First, check the status of the visa application on the US State Department website here.

  • Many visa applications will undergo administrative processing, which can take many months to over a year depending on the type of visa requested. My office can contact U.S. embassies and consulates to inquire about the status of a visa application but cannot compel the Department of State to approve an application.

  • If a non-immigrant visa (student, tourist, employee, etc.) has been denied, my constituent services team may be able to assist. Submit a casework request along with as much detailed information about the applicant as possible.


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