USCIS wants to reduce barriers to its services

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Request for public comments includes H-1B, adjustment of status, naturalization, asylum, parole.

US immigration authorities want to know how they can reduce barriers that prevent both US and foreign citizens from obtaining access to the full assortment of legally available immigration services and benefits.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has sought public comments on barriers to its services relating to H-1B nonimmigrant status, widely used by Indian tech professionals, among others.

Other services and benefits include, but not limited to, adjustment of status, naturalization, refugee status, asylum, and parole.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requests feedback about any regulations or processes that disproportionally burden disadvantaged, vulnerable, or marginalized communities, it said in a press release.

READ: USCIS completes H-1B cap lottery process for FY 2022 (March 31, 2021)

A central goal of the request published Monday in the Federal Register is to promote equity, above all by reducing administrative burdens, undue complexity, unnecessary confusion, and processing and waiting times.

This effort will help identify process improvements for USCIS to operate more efficiently and effectively, and to improve its administration of the nation’s immigration benefits, a core pillar in the agency’s mission, it said.

These improvements have the potential to provide major benefits to individuals; state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; small business and startups; educational institutions of all kinds; and nonprofits, the release said.

DHS said its announcement is a part of its commitment to fulfill the promise of President Joe Biden’s Feb. 2, 2021, Executive Order 14012, “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans.”

The order directed responsible Federal agencies to identify strategies that promote inclusion and identify barriers that impede access to immigration benefits.

The public may submit comments, identified by docket number USCIS-2021-0004, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal on or before May 19.

Comments submitted in a manner other than the one listed in the Federal Register, including e-mails or letters sent to DHS or USCIS officials, may not be reviewed, the release said.

Feedback from this initiative will be used to refine and strengthen strategic plans, consider reforms, and execute reports pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, it said.

DHS said changes and or process improvements, based on this feedback, will be at its sole discretion.

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