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Ombudsman Partners with USCIS to Inform Public on the Release of a Revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

Earlier this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plan to release a revised Form I-539 and Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (edition date 02/04/19) on March 11, 2019. The revised form makes several changes, including the addition of signature and biometrics fee requirements.

DHS/USCIS/PIA-076 Continuous Immigration Vetting

In 2017, through an effort known as Continuous Immigration Vetting (CIV), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began vetting information from certain immigration benefit applications throughout the entire application adjudication period as new information is received, rather than only performing point-in-time checks, to further enhance the agency’s ability to identify national security concerns. CIV is an event-based1 vetting tool that automates and streamlines the process of notifying USCIS of potential derogatory information in Government databases that may relate to individuals in USCIS systems, as new information is discovered. USCIS is now incrementally expanding CIV to encompass screening and vetting immigrant and nonimmigrant applications and petitions throughout the duration of the benefit or status, until the individual becomes a naturalized U.S. Citizen. USCIS is publishing this Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to provide greater transparency into the CIV initiative and to assess the impact of automating event-based vetting for individuals from the time of an initial benefit filing up until naturalization.

DHS/USCIS/PIA-075 RAILS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), operates the USCIS RAILS1 Application System, which modernized and replaced the National File Tracking System (NFTS). RAILS is an automated file system that tracks internal immigrant files and receipt files, and allows for certain DHS users to request immigration files. RAILS enables USCIS to (1) electronically maintain an accurate file inventory, (2) track the location of paper and electronic immigration files via a web-based system and/or mobile application, and (3) allow users to order, transfer, and receive official paper and electronic immigration records related to the Alien Number (A-Number).

DHS/USCIS/PIA-074 IMPACT

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) developed IMPACT, a secure web-based system, to alleviate the need for USCIS adjudicators to perform manual system comparisons when adjudicating an immigration benefit request. IMPACT will perform requisite DHS and USCIS system checks to move a case from one status in an adjudication queue to another.

DHS/USCIS/PIA-073 USCIS and CISOMB Information Sharing

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CISOMB), established by Section 452 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, provides independent analysis of problems encountered by individuals and employers who have submitted benefit request filings to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and proposes changes to mitigate those problems. Sharing information between USCIS and CISOMB, where there is proper consent, is crucial to fulfilling this statutory mandate.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Somalia

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Somalia with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia’s current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Somalia’s TPS designation for 18 months.

Secretary Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Yemen

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Yemen is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Yemen with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined that the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Yemen’s current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Yemen’s TPS designation for 18 months.

DHS/USCIS/PIA-072 CAP Tracker

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees lawful immigration and non-immigration benefits. For all incoming applications, petitions, and forms, USCIS reviews the completeness and acceptability of each one and rejects those failing to meet the stated criteria. USCIS developed the CAP Tracker system to track and maintain an inventory of all rejected filings. CAP Tracker is also used to generate standardized rejection notices sent to applicants or petitioners and, if applicable, legal representatives.

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