United States Immigration Services

Online Guide to U.S. Visas, ESTA, Green Cards & More

United States Immigration Services is a major publisher of immigration guides and legal eBooks. Our do-it-yourself immigration guides are designed to assist immigrants in navigating the complicated United States immigration system. We strive to provide the best information about immigration to the United States.

The USCIS (or the United States Citizen and Immigration Service) is a Department within the Department of Homeland Security. The Homeland created the USCIS.

Security Act of 2002. This was formerly the benefit-and-service functions of U.S. Immigration (INS) and Naturalization Service. There are approximately 15,000 USCIS employees and 250 offices in the world.

Officially, the USCIS was created on March 1, 2003 after the INS was decommissioned. Services previously handled by the INS were transferred to the USCIS. The USCIS' funding comes almost entirely from the processing fees required to process most forms and petitions. Jonathan "Jack" Scharfen, who replaced Emilio T. Gonzalez Ph.D., is the acting director of USCIS. Formerly, Mr. Scharfen served as the Deputy Director for the USCIS and was responsible to manage the day-to-day operations of the United States Citizen and Immigration Service. The USCIS also includes The Office of Citizenship which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. This USCIS branch disseminates information on the responsibilities of US citizenship as well as educational materials related to U.S. history, civic culture, and politics.

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The USCIS is responsible for processing all forms and materials related to naturalization and immigration. The USCIS has the following responsibilities:

The USCIS is responsible for processing all forms and materials related to naturalization and immigration. The USCIS has the following responsibilities:

  • Review of immigrant visa petitions
  • Naturalization petitions adjudications
  • Administration of benefits and immigration services
  • Arbitration of asylum and refugee claims
  • Issuing employment authorization documents (EAD)
  • Adjudication of petitions for temporary nonimmigrant workers ( HTML1B, , etc.
  • Legal permanent resident status
  • Granting citizenship

The USCIS has a mission that includes:

  • Promote national security
  • Customer service can be improved
  • Avoid an immigration backlog
They will work towards finding solutions to the immigration problems that are brought to their attention through the public, special interests groups, government agencies, Congress, and Congress.
All adjudications made by ex-INS are also handled by the USCIS, which includes adjudications at USCIS service centers. The USCIS manages immigrant service programs such as foreign student authorization, refugee status and inter-country adoptions. It also oversees employment authorization and replacement immigration documents. U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) handles immigration enforcement. The USCIS is not responsible for this.
Recent news from the USCIS revealed that naturalization applications are in a three-year backlog due to an increase in applications. The USCIS received more than three times as many applications from May to July 2007 than it normally receives. The USCIS announced in January 2007 that it would increase the processing fees for adult naturalization forms (N-400). The surge in applications meant that the processing time for the summer 2007 applications would take between 16-18 months, as opposed to the usual 7-month period for previous applications. Many speculate that the increase in applications could be due to the heated immigration debate and the upcoming Presidential election. The USCIS responded by increasing agency hours and staffing to meet the demand.