Late last month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) launched the first phase of its electronic immigration system (known as “ELIS”), which was created to modernize the process of filing and adjudicating immigration-related applications and petitions.
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly said that “USCIS ELIS will transform how we interact with our customers and how we manage the six to seven million applications we receive each year.” It is expected to shorten processing times by enabling online activities, such as filings, fee payments, updates, notices and responses to requests for additional information.
As of now, certain individuals can establish a USCIS ELIS account and apply online to extend or change their nonimmigrant status for certain visa types. Those eligible to use USCIS ELIS at this time include foreign citizens who travel to the U.S. temporarily to study, conduct business, receive medical treatment, or visit on vacation.
In the past, individuals have had to apply for most immigration or visa-related decisions by mail and await the review of paper files and shipping of documents between offices necessary to complete an application. USCIS ELIS should eventually replace that archaic process with rapid electronic responses for all or most all immigration or visa-related decisions.
Interested individuals can visit the USCIS Website to take a tour of the new system and find answers to frequently asked questions.
If you are seeking immigration or visa-related counsel for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 to speak with a qualified lawyer. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.