Budget, Planning and Performance
Measuring and managing performance is essential to effective, efficient, and economical delivery of services to the public. We are always working to make our measures more meaningful and better focused on those we serve.
Budget and Performance
The Budget-in-Brief for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (PDF, 395 KB) provides a brief account of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) funding and resources available to support our legislatively mandated mission. See the USCIS Budget-in-Brief for FY 2021.
Strategic Plan 2019-2021
- Strengthen our investment in an empowered workforce to better accomplish the agency’s mission;
- Safeguard the homeland by deterring, detecting and addressing vulnerabilities in the immigration system;
- Ensure fair and efficient benefit adjudication and information delivery; and
- Continuously improve key processes, programs and systems.
USCIS funding comes primarily from fees we charge applicants or petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits. These fee collections fund the cost of fairly and efficiently adjudicating immigration benefit requests. Fees we collect from individuals and entities filing immigration benefit requests are deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEFA). The IEFA was created by Congress in 1988, establishing the authority to recover the full cost of immigration benefit processing. This account comprises approximately 97 percent of USCIS' total FY 2021 spending authority.In accordance with the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act), 31 U.S.C. 901-03, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25, USCIS biennially reviews the non-statutory fees deposited into the IEFA. If necessary, DHS proposes fee adjustments to ensure full cost recovery.  The remaining budget authority comes from two other mandatory fee accounts and appropriated funding for the E-Verify program.
 USCIS proposed fee adjustments as a result of the FY 2019/2020 IEFA fee review. See https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USCIS-2019-0010
USCIS Fiscal Year 2019 Accomplishments
Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP): USCIS worked with other DHS components to answer President Donald Trump’s call to address the crisis at the southern border. MPP was established by the Trump Administration in January 2019 to restore a safe and orderly immigration process along the U.S. southern border and decrease the number of aliens attempting to deceive the immigration system. Under MPP and Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), aliens attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico without proper documentation may be returned to Mexico to wait outside of the U.S. during their immigration proceedings.
Third Country Transit Asylum Rule: In July 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a joint interim final rule to enhance the integrity of the asylum process. With limited exceptions, the rule bars aliens who entered along the southern border from receiving asylum in the U.S. if they did not apply for asylum in at least one other country they transited through. This rule aims to mitigate the crisis at the border by better identifying and serving legitimate asylum seekers.
Public Charge: In August 2019, USCIS published the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule, clarifying the self-sufficiency requirement envisioned by Congress for over 100 years. The rule prescribes how DHS will determine whether aliens applying for admission or adjustment of status are inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the INA, because they are likely at any time to become a public charge.
The final rule defines certain terms critical to the public charge determination, such as “public charge” and “public benefit,” which are not defined in the statute, and explains the factors DHS will consider when making a public charge inadmissibility determination. The final rule also addresses USCIS' authority to issue public charge bonds under section 213 of the INA, in the context of applications for adjustment of status. The rule further requires that aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status demonstrate that they have not, since they obtained the nonimmigrant status they seek to extend or change, received public benefits over the threshold defined in the rule. This rule ensures that those seeking to come to or stay in the United States are self-sufficient.
H-1B Electronic Registration: USCIS published final rules making the H-1B cap selection process more efficient. These rules require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period and pay a $10 registration fee. The electronic registration process will dramatically streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange and will provide an overall cost savings to petitioning employers. USCIS also reordered the cap selection process to increase the chance of selecting petitioners with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education. As a result of this change, the number of petitions for U.S. advanced degree holders selected toward the FY 2020 numerical allocations increased by more than 11% over the year before.
USCIS naturalized 833,000 new citizens in FY 2019, which is an 11-year high in new oaths of citizenship. In FY 2019, the agency also:
- Interviewed over 44,300 refugee applicants in 61 countries to support the admission of 30,000 refugees to the United States; completed 78,580 affirmative asylum applications; and processed 103,235 credible fear cases.
- Awarded nearly $10 million in Citizenship and Assimilation grants under two competitive funding opportunities to 41 organizations, located in 24 states, to help approximately 27,500 lawful permanent residents prepare for naturalization and to promote assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.
- Added approximately 93,000 employers to the E-Verify program, which grew to more than 909,000 employer participants at the end of FY 2019. The number of employee work authorization verification requests processed grew to more than 40 million in FY 2019. E-Verify reduced manual case processing by 49,000 cases, from approximately 388,000 to 339,000 cases per year. With a newly developed connection to the Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS) 2.1, E-Verify now has access to expanded Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record information, which improves the matching process and helps reduce the number of manual cases.
- Processed approximately 18 million immigration status queries from public benefit-granting agencies (e.g., federal agencies, state departments of motor vehicles, and state and local social service agencies) through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. SAVE helps these agencies ensure that only qualified applicants receive public benefits and licenses.
- Published proposed rulemaking for public comment in the Federal Register on Nov. 14, 2019, proposing adjustment to certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees.
- Completed 4,031 compliance reviews in FY 2019, including worksite visits, under the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP), finding 591 noncompliant. These reviews related to petitioners filing under four visa classifications (H-1B, L-1A, Religious Workers, and EB-5) and help ensure that employers comply with immigration laws and regulations.
- Conducted 8,512 targeted worksite visits in FY 2019 under the Targeted Site Visit and Verification Program (TSVVP), finding fraud at 324 and finding an additional 1,049 noncompliant. TSVVP is a data-driven approach to detect both fraud and compliance issues. It began in FY 2017 with H-1B petitions, but added L-1A, L-1B, E-2, H-2B, and CW-1 petitions as pilots during FY 2018 and FY 2019. By conducting further reviews of noncompliant cases found through the ASVVP and TSVVP, USCIS may revoke immigration benefits for fraudulent petitions as well as refer these cases to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other law enforcement agencies for criminal investigations. This helps deter abuse of employment-based immigration programs and protects wages and working opportunities for U.S. citizens.
- Processed more than 16.5 million screenings through law enforcement and other federal databases through ATLAS, the primary background screening system for USCIS. These screenings generated approximately 124,000 automated potential fraud, public safety, and national security detections that required further analysis and manual review by USCIS officers.