Visa 2.0: Upgrading Immigration Technology
Preparing to immigrate to the United States, or currently find yourself in the process of filing to keep your status current with the government?
Successfully navigating U.S. Immigration Services has historically been a long, complicated and often expensive process. With a de facto requirement of meticulous record keeping and note taking at every step, hiring an immigration lawyer to navigate the process on your behalf has often been the smartest choice.
But what if you find yourself without the funds to hire a skilled attorney or are applying for a green card from a jurisdiction with lawyers unfamiliar with United States immigration law?
Thankfully, the White House has begun implementing changes to immigration policy and procedures aiming to streamline the entire process; finally leveraging 21st century technology to aide a system that has been run on physical paper for decades.
At the behest of the White House and stemming from continued Executive Orders aimed at fixing the overall immigration process, the U.S. Digital Service team (headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson) has released its report entitled “Modernizing & Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.”
The document makes a myriad of concrete recommendations including, as reported by Engadget and Wired, charging applicant’s fees in one lump sum – as opposed to the current system wherein fees are charged throughout the process as different agencies become involved – as well as a reduction in document redundancy (the study reports many immigration documents change hands no fewer than six times) by, “by implementing a better back-end technology and creating a “cross-agency digital services team” so that users no longer need to shuttle documents back and forth.”
The report also suggests the implantation of a “Known Employer” program to expedite certain classes of worker application, improvements to foreign investor opportunities and a simplification of humanitarian relief efforts.
Revamping the Current System
Part of the reforms have already begun, with the United States government launching myUSCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) earlier in the year. myUSCIS is designed to be a one-stop platform to guide all applicants through the immigration process by providing information on next steps, outlining the different qualifications-based options for applying, and (eventually) housing visa applicants and immigrants’ entire online application package.
Form I-90 (Green Card renewal application) can now be filed fully electronically via the myUSCIS service with more key forms and applications to follow as the service expands in the coming months. While nothing can replace the assistance of a skilled immigration attorney, the new program aims to make as much of the immigration process as “self-service” friendly as possible for both new and continuing applicants.
Are You Interested in Immigrating to the US?
The United States is the world’s most popular immigration destination. Hundreds of thousands of immigration applications are submitted each year. We have over 15 years of experience in handling thousands of U.S. visa and U.S. immigration applications and we can help you too!
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