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Digital Approach to Modernize and Streamline the U.S. Immigration System

Modernize and Streamline the U.S. Immigration SystemAfter waiting for the U.S. Congress to come up with a solution to fix a broken immigration system, President Obama announced a series of executive actions in November 2014. One of the requirements of this temporary fix was for federal agencies to explore ways to modernize the country’s immigration system.

The country’s legal immigration system needs to be efficient and simple. The U.S. is now in need of a 21st century immigration system. The White House, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) worked with their stakeholders and came up certain actions to transform and modernize the U.S. immigration system. The President wants a system that will help the country’s businesses, protect families and help the economy grow.

A new report on “Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century” was released recently. It includes information on new actions that will be taken by the federal agencies to improve the U.S. visa system. This report also includes actions that will be taken to improve the visa experience for workers, employers and those applying for other types of immigration relief.

It is well known that the current visa application process is complex and confusing. Thousands of visa applications are processed every year by the immigration agency. Now the federal agencies are looking to modernize this process by creating electronic filing. Moreover, the paper based visa application process is complex. To make it simple and easy, the current paper-based process will be shifted to an efficient digital system.

A team sent by the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) worked with the DOS and DHS and analyzed the needs of the people who use immigrant visa services. They understood that the users are overwhelmed by the roles played by the different immigration agencies in processing their applications. The team now aims at streamlining the application adjudication process and reducing confusion.

The application process needs to be made simple. Only if the users understand the process, they will be able to prepare themselves and file a request. At present, a lot of users are unaware of the immigration benefits that are available. More information will now be provided in order to help the users become familiar with the immigration services offered to them. The process will simplified so that the applicants don’t feel they are submitting several forms to different immigration agencies. This will make them feel secure that they have filed their forms with the respective agency.

Modernizing the immigration system may fix a few issues; it cannot solve all the problems. Though President Obama is doing his best to fix the system, immigration will prosper only if the U.S. Congress does its part.

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