U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand its Information Services Modernization Program to key field offices, beginning with the Detroit Field Office and the five offices in the Los Angeles District on Nov. 13. Field offices in the Newark, Great Lakes, and San Francisco districts will implement the program during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2019. USCIS anticipates expanding the program to all remaining field offices by the end of FY 2019.
The Information Services Modernization Program ends self-scheduling of InfoPass appointments and instead encourages applicants to use USCIS online information resources to view general how-to information and check case statuses through the USCIS Contact Center. Recent improvements to online tools provide applicants the ability to obtain their case status and other immigration information without having to visit a local field office.
Since USCIS launched a pilot of this program in March, transitioning from the InfoPass appointment system to the Information Services Modernization Program has improved the delivery of emergency and other services that can only be provided in person and made operations more efficient overall.
“Expanding this program is a significant step in our efforts to move more USCIS services and information online,” said USCIS Director Francis Cissna. “It also frees up agency staff to spend more time adjudicating benefit requests which should help reduce case processing times. USCIS remains committed to pursuing the most effective and efficient ways to administer our nation’s lawful immigration system.”
Based on surveys and other data, USCIS determined that most people who made in-person information service appointments through InfoPass could have received the same information by calling the USCIS Contact Center or checking the USCIS website. Importantly, when it is determined an applicant does need in-person assistance under the Information Services Modernization Program, personnel at the USCIS Contact Center will help schedule an appointment without the individual having to search for available timeslots.
Early results indicate the Information Services Modernization Program provides essential assistance while saving the public time and effort. The program will also allow USCIS to better align resources to reduce case processing times.