In an effort to streamlines operations and the legal process, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched an updated website easier for users to navigate. The goal is to reduce wait times for immigrants applying for benefits like achieving American citizenship through naturalization or getting a green card replacement.
In addition to improving site usability and reader experience, the redesigned USCIS website, immigration authorities said, helps immigrants “better navigate our existing online tools and resources, as well as to file and manage applications and petitions online.”
“We are also making information about our processes easier to find by streamlining our navigation based on user feedback, data and best practices,” the Department of Homeland Security agency said in a press release on Tuesday.
The renewed internet page has direct links to multilingual resources, USCIS services online, the most accessed forms to apply for immigration benefits, and case management tools such as status check to track the status of an immigration application, and information about case processing times.
Digital resources for immigrants in the U.S.
According to the agency’s press release, some of the new website features are:
▪ A new design, which allows visitors to easily find immigration information.
▪ A link to easily access a user’s existing account or create a new one, streamlining the experience.
▪ Increased access to and availability of Spanish and multilingual resources.
▪ An “Explore My Options” feature that helps foreigners determine their eligibility for immigration benefits.
▪ More information on the Citizenship Resource Center for immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens through naturalization.
▪ An enhanced on-page search and filter-by features.
Which immigration forms can be filed online
Since the U.S government has given users the ability to apply for immigration benefits online, more than a million people have used the online tools available at the USCIS website.
The benefit request forms that can be submitted electronically are:
▪ I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
▪ I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
▪ N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings
▪ N-400, Application for Naturalization
▪ N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document
▪ N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
▪ N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322
▪ G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative
What are the advantages of online filing
USCIS says these are the advantages of the digital resources and tools it provides to help immigrants obtain and track benefits such as visas, work permits, green cards and citizenship:
▪ The online account provides a convenient and secure way for immigrants to send their applications and review the status of their applications or petitions during the decision process.
▪ It simplifies the way to pay the fees required.
▪ The USCIS electronic archive is compatible with cell phones and tablets, so immigrants can use those devices to access their accounts.
▪ Applicants can update their personal information online.
▪ In one single operation, immigrants can submit their application, upload supporting documents and pay the fees.
▪ Applicants can access all their information in real time and review the full history of their interactions with USCIS.
▪ It helps avoid some of the worst mistakes immigrants make applying for legal papers.
First step: Creating a USCIS online account
The online account — which can be opened on https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov — offers a secure way for immigrants to submit applications and review their status as the process moves along.
This tool allows foreign nationals to file forms, submit the evidence or proofs supporting the application, respond to requests for supporting evidence, verify the status of the applications and pay the required fees.
Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration law who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to applicants. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth. The contents of this story do not constitute legal advice.
Read this story in Spanish in el Nuevo Herald.