US immigration benefits system start process of moving online

by Ray Clancy on June 1, 2012

USCIS ELIS to modernise filing and adjudicating of immigration benefits

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has launched the first phase of its electronic immigration benefits system.

The system, known as USCIS ELIS, has been created to modernise the process for filing and adjudicating immigration benefits.

‘This marks a significant milestone in our agency’s history. We have launched the foundation for the web based future of our agency and our immigration benefits system. USCIS ELIS will transform how we interact with our customers and how we manage the six to seven million applications we receive each year,’ said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

Individuals can establish an account and apply online to extend or change their non-immigrant status for certain visa types. Eligible individuals include foreign citizens who travel to the United States temporarily to study, conduct business, receive medical treatment, or visit on vacation.

USCIS ELIS will also enable USCIS officers to review and adjudicate online filings from multiple agency locations across the country.

Historically, USCIS customers have had to apply for most benefits by mail and USCIS employees then review paper files and ship documents between offices to complete their adjudication. The new system signifies an important step forward and is the first of several releases. Future releases will add form types and functions to the system, gradually expanding to cover filing and adjudication for all USCIS immigration benefits.

Officials said that this important transition for America’s immigration benefits system will take time and continued dedication to be fully implemented.

USCIS anticipates making adjustments and improvements in response to user feedback. This process will enable USCIS to continually enhance the user experience for both customers and USCIS employees. It will also allow the agency to smooth the transition to electronic filing over time, mindful of those individuals without computer access and the agency’s commitment to serve our diverse customer base.

Benefits of using USCIS ELIS include filing applications and paying fees online, shorter processing times, and the ability to update user profiles, receive notices, and respond to requests electronically. The system also includes tools to combat fraud and identify national security concerns.

‘USCIS employees believe in the transformation of our agency from a paper based to an online environment. It is through their vision, unwavering commitment, and hard work that we have reached this important milestone,’ Mayorkas added.

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