On May 22, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the launch of an electronic immigration benefits system, USCIS ELIS. This marks the first phase of the agency’s transition from paper-based filings to a more modern online process for filing and adjudicating applications for immigration benefits.
Electronic filings are not entirely new for USCIS. In 2005, USCIS began accepting e-Filing applications for limited immigration benefits including replacement of lost or stolen green cards, immigrant visa petitions, employment authorization documents and requests for premium processing. Under the current e-Filing system, applicants are required to mail USCIS supporting documentation to complete an application. USCIS ELIS is more convenient: applicants may upload supporting documentation for an application through a secure web site. This change should lead to faster processing times.
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