USCIS Makes Major Strides During 2008
WASHINGTON—More than one million new citizens took the Oath of Allegiance during fiscal year 2008, just one of the significant accomplishments introduced today by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Acting Director Jonathan Scharfen highlighted the agency’s progress throughout the past year and discussed future goals, saying the positive results are directly attributable to the USCIS workforce.
“The tremendous dedication and hard work of more than 18,000 USCIS employees and contractors has resulted in the continuous progress we’ve realized this past year,” Scharfen said. “We set aggressive goals to reduce application processing times, further cut the FBI name check backlog, and began a viable transformation process for the agency. I’m proud to say that we are achieving those goals while ensuring that national security is an essential part of our ongoing customer service improvements.”
Key accomplishments for the year include the following:
During FY09, USCIS’ goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in processing times for the majority of key petitions and applications, in spite of having to work through an unexpected surge of applications received during FY07. The agency plans a five-month processing time for naturalization applications (N-400s) and a four-month processing time for both adjustment of status applications (I-485s) and petitions for alien workers
USCIS moves into 2009 with a more aggressive agenda to improve its services to customers. The agency has awarded the Transformation Solution Architect task order to IBM, a five-year investment to improve its filing and adjudication systems. The task order is just one of the building blocks of USCIS’ overall transformation plan made possible through last year’s implementation of a new fee structure.
“We’re proud of 2008 and the milestones we’ve met,” Scharfen added. “But, much work remains. We are gearing up for 2009 with a forward-looking and robust agenda that will result in an even better immigration service for our customers and our great Nation.”