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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today launched the first
phase of its electronic immigration benefits system, known as USCIS ELIS.
The system has been created to modernize the process for filing and
adjudicating immigration benefits.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our agency’s history,” said USCIS
Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “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 6-7
million applications we receive each year.”
This initial launch brings the agency closer to realizing the future of
immigration services. Beginning today, individuals can establish a USCIS
ELIS account and apply online to extend or change their nonimmigrant 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. Today’s launch 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.
This important transition for America’s immigration benefits system will
take time and continued dedication to fully implement. Following this first
release, 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.
Mayorkas attributed today’s successful launch to the steadfast dedication
of the USCIS workforce. “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 said.
Visit www.uscis.gov/uscis-elis to take a tour of the new system, learn about
eligibility and the benefits of using USCIS ELIS, and find frequently asked