U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been working to create a more online environment and to get away from paper-based solutions in order to reduce costs and to become more environmentally-friendly. As part of that effort, the USCIS has recently introduced USCIS ELIS, its online immigration benefits system. USCIS ELIS allows the process of adjudicating and filing for immigration benefits to be simplified and modernized.
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas stated that the launch of USCIS ELIS is the start of a more web-based system for the USCIS and represents a significant step forward for the agency. USCIS ELIS will help the USCIS with the six to seven million applications the agency processes each year and it will hopefully make it easier for the USCIS to interact with petitioners.
Applicants can already create an USCIS ELIS account and apply online using the system. Applications to change or extend some visa types are already available online. Applicants who travel to the US on a temporary basis for schooling, medical treatment, or vacation are now eligible for use the new USCIS ELIS system. The system will also permit officers of the USCIS to adjudicate and review online petitions from multiple agencies.
Before the new USCIS ELIS system, applications had to apply for many benefits via traditional mail. USCIS authorities then had to review and adjudicate paper documents and ship the files from agency to various offices in order to complete the application process. It is hoped that the new system will streamline this process and make it easier.
The USCIS has plans to add new features and functions as well as different USCIS forms to the USCIS ELIS system. The aim is to eventually permit filing and adjudication for all USCIS benefits through the system. The USCIS will be taking user feedback and considering it as it makes changes to USCIS ELIS. The agency has promised to keep computer access and the diversity of applicants in mind when moving forward with plans to make more applications available online.
So far, the benefits of USCIS ELIS seem promising. The system allows for shorter processing times and allows petitioners to enjoy the convenience of applying and paying fees online. With the new system, users will easily be able to receive notices, update their profiles, and reply to electronic requests easily and from any computer. The USCIS also promises that the new system will help combat fraud and will enhance security for users.