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USCIS Transformation: December 2011 Deployment of the New Electronic System

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On July 27, 2011, the Office of Transformation Coordination (OTC) and the Office of Public Engagement (OPE) hosted a stakeholder engagement to review the implementation and use of the agency’s new online system. During the session, USCIS representatives provided an overview of the transformation initiative, introduced the deployment strategy, and explained how external stakeholder feedback has informed the development and deployment of the new online system. In addition, USCIS heard stakeholder concerns about obstacles that may limit or deter voluntary usage of the system in the first release.

USCIS is undertaking an agency-wide initiative to move immigration services from a paper-based system to a new electronic, account-based system that uses improved technologies and re-designed business processes.  Over the next several years, USCIS will deploy a simplified, web-based system that will allow customers to submit and track their applications and enhance USCIS’s ability to process cases with greater precision, security, and timeliness.

The first release of the new system will be in December 2011. The stand-alone Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) will be the first benefit type to be part of the new online system. The initial release will directly affect applicants who are attempting to extend, change or reinstate the following nonimmigrant visa classifications:

BTemporary Visitor for Business or Pleasure
FAcademic Student
JExchange Visitor
MVocational or Other Nonacademic Student

Over the last several years, USCIS has sought stakeholder feedback in local listening sessions and national engagements. This feedback has been instrumental in informing the development and deployment of the new system. USCIS has also used this feedback to identify challenges for stakeholder acceptance of the system. During this engagement, USCIS will share examples of how Transformation is addressing stakeholder issues in the initial and future deployments.

We are now evaluating how USCIS can support the voluntary adoption of the online system by individuals who will be directly affected by this initial release. We are also planning to have scheduled releases that will add features and functions that are targeted for deployment approximately every 6 months after this initial deployment. Therefore, USCIS is particularly interested in engaging stakeholders on the following questions:

  • Which features or functions are most important to address in a timely manner?
  • How can USCIS overcome specific obstacles or concerns?
  • How can USCIS support stakeholders through the transition?



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