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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

USCIS Develops Transformation System: Testing in Progress

Release Date:


Posted by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

UPDATE: Listen to a radio interview with Director Mayorkas on Transformation.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is in the post-development testing phase of a new system that will transform our paper-based agency into an electronic, online organization.  This is an unprecedented step for the world’s largest and most complex immigration system.  To view what we have developed – the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) – we encourage you to watch our informational video. 

USCIS’s transformation to ELIS will be accomplished in periodic releases, with each release covering different immigration benefits or adding enhanced functionality.  The first release, covering one benefit type (the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status), provides the foundational architecture for the remaining releases.  The post-development testing phase now underway is time consuming and challenging, as is characteristic of projects of this scale, complexity, and ambition.  While we sought to roll-out the first release this month, our testing is not complete.  We will inform you of our recalibrated timeframe for our first release after more testing is completed in the next few weeks.  We are committed to comprehensive testing in order to deliver a quality release for the benefit of our employees and our customers.

We are grateful to the OIG and GAO for their recent reports and recommendations that support our transformation process and sharpen our ability to deploy sequenced releases in a cost-efficient and timely manner.  We have concurred with and begun implementation of their recommended actions.

Past efforts to transform our agency have not reached the point where we are today: the testing phase of a system that has been developed.  Our progress is attributable to hard work and tremendous dedication, and to a vision that all of us share of a modernized agency in the service of its noble mission.

For more, you can visit our new Transformation Web pages which give more detailed information on USCIS ELIS and the Transformation endeavor.