Thursday, September 24, 2009

New USCIS Site

On Tuesday I was asked to participate in a call with USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. The Director reached out to several prominent bloggers. The purpose of the call was to get feedback on the new USCIS website. To the Director's credit, he participated directly on the call. He answered questions directly from the bloggers and had several USCIS officials there to help him with some of the details that the director of a huge agency could not possibly know.

The new site has some very nice features. The most immediate improvement is that the site is clean and user-friendly. The updates to the Case Status section are commendable. Looking ahead, the Director explained that in May 2010 the site will alllow for interactive email service queries.

The site is still buggy. Many of the new links are not operable at this time; USCIS expects to fix the bugs in the next few days/months. Curiously the webpage URL’s are still unusually long. In the future, USCIS expects simplified URLs (e.g. www.uscis.gov/forms instead of http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD. This URL is not a joke!).

The Director showed a self-deprecating sense of humor. After acknowledging that the link to the Leadership Biography page was not yet fully operable, he coyly remarked that the reason for the delay was because his biography was lengthy and he had not yet finished it.

But the best message that I heard is that the USCIS took the time to reach out to the community. In the past, USCIS announcements often come with a simple Press Release. This “new” USCIS approach to community outreach is laudable. The Director and his team deserves kudos.

4 comments:

  1. hai cris

    what about new uscis website? Its showing processing volumes and trends...i think it is favoured for who is waiting for us visa., isn't?

    thanks

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  2. Actually no, Pious. There is no preference for those in the US versus those overseas. They process at identical processing times.

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  3. Co-sponsors for HR5924

    Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 6/3/2008 Rep Baird, Brian [WA-3] - 7/24/2008
    Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50] - 9/9/2008 Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-11] - 7/10/2008
    Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 5/22/2008 Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] - 7/31/2008
    Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 6/3/2008 Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario [FL-25] - 7/8/2008
    Rep Feeney, Tom [FL-24] - 7/8/2008 Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 7/10/2008
    Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 6/3/2008 Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 6/3/2008
    Rep Keller, Ric [FL-8] - 6/12/2008 Rep Kuhl, John R. "Randy", Jr. [NY-29] - 7/8/2008
    Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] - 5/14/2008 Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 5/22/2008
    Rep Porter, Jon C. [NV-3] - 9/15/2008 Rep Putnam, Adam H. [FL-12] - 5/14/2008
    Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] - 7/10/2008 Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [MD-2] - 9/18/2008
    Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-5] - 4/29/2008 Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 6/4/2008

    I wonder if anybody ever persuaded them to be on board for the current bill. There is a perception in the U.S. that due to an economic downturn and other reasons like delayed retirement, rejoining of nursing forces etc., the nursing shortage is over. If this is the case, then how come travel nursing exists. This might be somewhat true for metro cities, but far from reality in small town community hospitals. Some of these hospitals are paying $20 000 plus relocation etc., to join them. I think the best person to change the perception of the president about the need for foreign nurses is Mr. Wexler himself, as he is quite close to him.

    With all being said, I do not think any bill has a chance unless there is a major change in the unemployment rate.

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  4. I think that you raise a very good point, which is that often international nurses are used to replace travel and other temporary nursing solutions. I have yet to ever see an international nurse take the job of a qualified permanent nurses.

    ReplyDelete