In the past few years, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been developing and promoting a plan to modernize its systems through electronic filing. On March 7, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security provided its five-year plan under Section 4103 of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, detailing its plans to enable online filing of all applications and petitions for immigration benefits.
The system currently allows an online filing of certain applications and petitions, such as the N-400 Application for Naturalization and I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. One of the latest additions was the electronic registration process for the H1-B cap. Although H1-B applications filing is not yet available online, this first step signals USCIS’s plans.
A significant advantage of the current online filing system is that it enables applicants to fill and submit applications online without gathering and mailing physical documents (also more environment-friendly). Another benefit is that USCIS will send notifications and requests through the online account, enabling attorneys and petitioners to keep track and respond to USCIS requests for additional information.
However, it is essential to emphasize that the online filing system is not a shield from applications’ rejections. Incomplete information and omission of documentation can still cause delays. Moreover, when filing online, one should also keep in mind that even though the online system intends to save time and make the process more efficient, USCIS does not act as an advocate for the user. The system will search and flag certain omissions. However, it will not notify the user about any mistakes or wrong answers and will not prevent the submission of unnecessary information that might harm the case. These errors can cause more delays and create complications in the long term. Thus, working with an experienced immigration lawyer who will guide you through the process is advisable.
If you are interested in exploring the option of filing your USCIS applications online, please get in touch with us at email@example.com, and we will be happy to assist you.
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