Later this month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is set to expand online modernization initiatives to six new field offices, including the Detroit Field Office and several offices in the L.A. district. The modernization program, which is set to reach districts on the east coast and in the Midwest next year, should improve information efficiency for all classes of immigration applicants.
The End of InfoPass
Included in the modernization initiative is a new means of information services that would eliminate the self-scheduled InfoPass appointment system. Currently, applicants can schedule appointments online to meet in-person with USCIS representative to receive general information about their case and resources regarding their application. The new system would streamline information services by ending the Infopass appointment system and centralizing case status inquires and information resources through the USCIS Contact Center. There, applicants can receive immediate assistance through online messaging and live phone based support. USCIS hopes by ending the InfoPass appointment service, “emergency and other services that can only be provided in person” will receive more focused support.
Based on internal surveys, USCIS found that many users of the InfoPass self-scheduled appointment program could have saved time by calling the USCIS Contact Center or checking the USCIS website. In the long term, the new modernization efforts will help applicants save time by limiting the hassle of scheduling an in-person appointment. USCIS additionally hopes that by limiting in-person appointments, the service can better allocate resources and staff towards processing and adjudicating applications. For those who require in-person assistance, USCIS states that applicants will still maintain the right to schedule an appointment, and can receive assistance to do so through the new modernized information service program.