The NEW Electronic Filing System
Question: I have heard that there is a new electronic filing system at USCIS. Is that true?
Answer: It is called USCIS ELIS.USCIS ELIS is a user-friendly system created to streamline the application process for immigration benefits. It allows immigration benefit seekers and their legal representatives to create an account and file benefit requests online. USCIS ELIS provides more accurate and secure customer service. It also allows USCIS to process cases in a more efficient, consistent and secure environment.
Question: Who will be able to use USCIS ELIS?
Answer: In the initial release, certain applicants can electronically file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Over time, USCIS ELIS will include more benefit types and increased functions.
Question: Why open a USCIS ELIS account?
Answer: Open an account online that you may use to interact with USCIS; Sign up to receive email notifications and text messages Manage your account preferences and contact information in real time;Manage your interactions with USCIS securely and electronically; Electronically file (e-file) benefit requests from your account;Submit evidence electronically; Use a credit card or bank account (from a U.S. institution) to submit payment; Have an attorney or accredited representative file benefit requests in USCIS ELIS on your behalf; Get detailed help and current case status; File a benefit request with step-by-step help from an online setup assistant; Access online help in the “Tips” and “Help” sections of the setup assistant; and Obtain real-time, detailed case status information.
Question: Who can currently use this ELIS?
Answer: If you are currently a B-1, B-2, F-1, M-1 or M-2 and want to extend your status; If you want to change your status to want to B-1, B-2, F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1 or M-2 ; or if you want to reinstate your status to F-1, F-2, M-1 or M-2.
Question: What about other types of applications?
Answer: Since this is a new system, USCIS is testing the waters out with these petitions only. As the system becomes more useable, more petitions will be added.
Question: What Should I Know Before Filing?
Answer: Before USCIS can grant your benefit request, you must establish your eligibility. You will be required to answer questions. USCIS will review your answers to determine if you are
eligible. If you must provide additional evidence, USCIS ELIS allows you to scan and upload evidence at the time you initially file your benefit request or in response to a Request for Evidence (RFE). If you have evidence that you believe supports your case, scan and upload it into USCIS ELIS before submitting your request. If you have trouble scanning and uploading documents and evidence after you have electronically submitted your application, you may mail the additional evidence to USCIS. However, mailing documents will add to the time it takes to process your application, so it is strongly encouraged you to scan and upload documents, if possible. If you must mail documents to USCIS, please provide the USCIS ELIS receipt number on the cover page and submit them to:
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Weldon St.
St Albans, VT 05479
USCIS may deny a benefit request submitted with false documents, misrepresentations of facts, or other fraudulent content. Persons involved in such fraudulent activity may lose the right to file for current and/or future immigration benefits and services. They may also face severe penalties, criminal and/or civil prosecution, fines, and/or imprisonment.
However, the system does appear to finally get into the 21st century and allow and make it possible to begin filing everything electronically.