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Service provider

Citizenship and Immigration Services

Description

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Every day, USCIS staff adjudicates more than 26,000 requests for immigration benefits, processes refugee applications around the world in support of refugee admissions, responds to 150,000 inquiries and services requests, grants lawful permanent residence to more than 2,500 people and nearly 6,200 Green Cards, and ensures the employment eligibility of 100,000 new hires in the United States.


Designated Services

Previously-reported Services


Service

Scheduling an in-person appointment at a USCIS field office

Description

Customers for in-person services include those with applications or petitions pending with USCIS. The largest number of those seeking appointments are generally lawful permanent residents (“Green-Card” holders) who have an expired card and need evidence of their status to maintain employment or travel. However, there are nearly 20 reasons why an in-person appointment might be scheduled, including someone who is not a permanent resident but needs authorization to travel (advance parole) or an attorney that might need to pay for a fee. Appointments scheduled by the USCIS Contact Center at field offices allow an applicant to receive some form of documentary service that is required to show their current immigration status. This may be a stamp in a passport that indicates they are a lawful permanent resident or an advance parole document that allows them to travel and re-enter the United States. The need for an in-person appointment at a field office is determined on a case-by-case basis. Applicants request an appointment by calling the toll-free number for the USCIS Contact Center.

Why this service was designated

USCIS receives millions of applications and conducts thousands of in-person appointments annually across all field offices. Previously, applicants could self-schedule through an online portal and often were seen in offices for reasons that could be handled over the phone. With the Contact Center vetting the appointment request, USCIS has greatly reduced the number of in-person appointments annually. This saves the applicant the burden of attending an in-person appointment and allows field offices to shift resources toward processing cases.

Service

Filing a USCIS immigration benefit form electronically

Description

Applicants, petitioners, beneficiaries, and requestors seeking immigration benefits and services, as well as the legal representatives and public/private organizations that support them (e.g., attorneys, accredited representatives, community-based organizations, etc.) engage with USCIS to request new immigration benefits, renew existing benefits, and replace documents provided by the agency. Immigration benefit forms typically fall into one of the following categories: Citizenship and Naturalization-Based Forms; Employment-Based Forms; Family-Based Forms; Permanent Resident (“Green-Card”)-Based Forms; Humanitarian-Based Forms and Adoption-Based Forms.

The ability to file a form electronically affords USCIS’s customers a more straightforward, faster, and more efficient method to apply for immigration benefits. These benefits include: Avoiding common filing mistakes that could potentially result in the benefit application being rejected; immediate receipt of the online form by USCIS once successfully submitted; instant access to the receipt notice upon successful submission of the online application; immediate access to account features such as a secure inbox that allows the user to communicate directly with USCIS Contact Center Immigration Services Officers.

Why this service was designated

Filing electronically makes applying for immigration benefits easier, less error-prone, and increases operational efficiencies by eliminating manual processes. Today, nearly 30% of all applications, petitions, and requests (and required payments) are filed by its customers electronically (versus by paper), and USCIS has the capacity to intake 50% of all filings electronically. To expand electronic filing, USCIS has a goal of enabling electronic processing for all forms by Fiscal Year 2026. The effort also includes promoting and encouraging users to choose electronic filing over paper filing when available.


Previously-reported Services

Prior to the first service designation exercise in 2022, HISPs were collecting data using methods unique to each agency, resulting in data that was not standardized. This previously-reported data was collected to increase visibility and awareness regarding customer experience through feedback data. Per A-11 guidance, service providers will collect feedback in a more standardized way.


Service   Previously-reported

Contacting the USCIS contact center

Description

The USCIS Contact Center is the centralized resource for providing information services to the public. The Contact Center helps the public using multiple channels to provide accurate, timely and consistent information about applications and benefits. They employ a multi-tiered, integrated framework to address inquiries ranging from simple case status questions to those who have experienced significant issues or long delays.

Quarterly data reported

Q3 2023

What we learned from this quarter's data:

Our survey customer satisfaction scores cover the first level of our USCIS Contact Center live support, which is provided by our vendor at Tier 1. At this level of engagement, Tier 1 provides general immigration information, case status updates, and escalates inquiries they cannot resolve to our Immigration Services Officers (ISOs) at Tier2. FY23, Q3 experienced increases in responses of customers “who agree” and “strongly agree” with 3 of our survey questions. Out of the 7 survey questions, the largest percentage increases were observed in the questions “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do (increased from 78.3% to 79.7%), and “I am satisfied with the service I received from the USCIS contact center (Increased from 84.0% to 84.2%)”. During Q3, we experienced ongoing intermittent technical issues within Qualtrics, our automated survey tool, which caused an impact on the amount of fully completed surveys we received.

Service details
Description USCIS call center customer satisfaction survey
Transaction point
Channel automated_phone
People served 4221866
Surveys offered 4221866
Responses 4037


Q2 2023

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The USCIS Contact Center is a muti-tiered system that provides help to 14 million immigration customers each year. The system begins with self-service in our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Tier 0, with the ability to transfer to Tier 1 live assistance for complex inquiries. We survey customers to obtain feedback at different points. An assessment of Q2 showed an overall increase with all customer satisfaction questions. Out of the seven survey questions, the largest increases were observed in the questions, “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do” (increased from 75.8% to 78.3%), “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” (increased from 78.3% to 80.0%), and “The interaction increased my confidence in the USCIS Contact Center” (Increased from 81.3% to 83.0%). This increase was attributed to faster and more personalized responses to customers about their case status. Callers can self-service by checking their case status within the IVR system. This was a result of improvements to our IVR system that reduced agent search and retrieval times by passing the receipt number information on the backend in order for the Tier 1 agent to view it directly on their screen.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3751946
Surveys offered 3751946
Responses 34821


Q1 2023

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center phone channel inquiries via Tier 0 through Tiers 1-3 of live assistance, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million callers a year. FY23, Q1 experienced increases in all customer satisfaction survey questions. Out of the 7 survey questions, the largest percentage increases were observed in the questions “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” (increased from 75.1% to 78.3%) and “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do (increased from 70.6% to 75.8%). This increase in satisfaction was attributed to continuous content refinement within the IVR system’s capabilities that give more callers the ability to resolve their inquiry using self-service. An increase in staffing at the first level of live assistance has reduced wait times and also contributes to improved satisfaction. For future plans, the agency will be providing more robust online account services to increase self-service for needs such as address changes, biometrics rescheduling, expedite requests, and other requests commonly handled by the Contact Center.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 2930047
Surveys offered 2930047
Responses 27707


Q4 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million callers a year. FY22, Q4 experienced increases in customer satisfaction for 6 out of 7 survey questions. The largest percentage increases were observed in the questions “Employees I interacted with were helpful” (increased from 83.2% to 84.5%) and “I am satisfied with the service I received from the USCIS Contact Center” (increased from 79.5% to 80.7). This increase in satisfaction can, in part, be attributed to the agency’s continuous content refinement within the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system’s capabilities that give more callers the ability to resolve their inquiry using self-service. Additionally, ongoing collaboration between the Contact Center and Field Operations has increased availability of in-person appointments, which accounts for a large number and percentage of overall inquiries escalated within live service channels. The agency recognizes that while we have made strides in responding to customer needs there remains a lot that can be done to ensure all those in need of timely and responsive service are able to access it. Accordingly, the agency is working to decrease call times, provide notice of call backs, create online appointment requests, and expand appointment capacity. For future plans, the agency will be providing more robust online account services to increase self-service for needs such as address changes, expedite requests and other requests commonly handled by the Contact Center.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3735596
Surveys offered 3735596
Responses 35123


Q3 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration help to around 14 million people annually. FY22, Q3 experienced a minor decrease in customer satisfaction for all seven survey questions. This overall decline, and corresponding increase in call volume was partially attributed to the overall increase in agency backlogs that resulted from agency closures and limited services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest declines were in the questions “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do,” (decreased from 74.3% to 71.0%) and “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” (decreased from 77.5% to 74.6%). The slight decrease in “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do,” may be attributed to our vendor experiencing retention and recruiting challenges, causing longer wait times for calls, particularly in Spanish. To improve performance, USCIS deployed banner messaging, refined options for call queues, and directed our vendor to aggressively increase recruiting and retention efforts. Additionally, our agency continues to refine the Interactive Voice Response system’s capabilities and content to give more callers the ability to resolve their inquiry using self-service. For future plans, the agency will be providing more robust online account services to increase self-service for needs such as case status, address changes, and expedite requests, which are commonly handled by the Contact Center.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3012698
Surveys offered 3012698
Responses 33757


Q2 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million individuals a year. FY22, Q2 experienced an increase in customer satisfaction in 6 out of 7 survey questions. The largest percentage gains were observed in the questions “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” (increased from 76.2% to 77.5%) and “I am satisfied with the support I received from the USCIS contact center (increased from 81.2% to 82.2%). The slight decrease in “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do”, may be attributed to our vendor experiencing a reduction in bilingual agents, causing longer wait times for calls in Spanish. To improve performance, USCIS deployed banner messaging and throttling options for call queues and our vendor introduced new onboarding bonuses to bolster bilingual agent recruiting efforts.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3397047
Surveys offered 3397047
Responses 35747


Q1 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million individuals a year. FY22, Q1 experienced an increase in satisfaction in 7 out of 7 survey questions. The percentage gains over FY21 are substantial with the largest improvements observed in the questions “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” (increased from 73.3 to 76.2) and “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed…” (increased 64.7 to 74.7). We addressed the technical issues from FY21 Q3-Q4 with emergency patch fixes. To improve the Contact Center’s performance, our Tier 1 vendor is actively recruiting more agents under a new contract, and the agency continues to refine the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system’s capabilities and content to give more callers the ability to resolve their inquiry using self-service. For future plans, the agency will be providing more robust online account services to further increase self-service for needs such as address changes, submitting expedite requests and other requests commonly handled by the Contact Center.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 2909720
Surveys offered 2909720
Responses 12947


Q4 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million individuals a year. During FY21 Q4 we experienced a 23% decline in the number of survey respondents and an overall decline of 1.6%-3.9% in six of the seven survey questions. There was a 9.4% decrease from 74.1% in Q3 to 64.7% in Q4 for the survey question, “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do.” We attribute the overall decline in customer satisfaction to technical bug issues we experienced during Q4 within our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System and Tier 1 understaffed call centers due to a longer process of staff clearance and attrition. To remedy the technical issues, our mitigating strategy consisted of upgrading our servers and adding additional server alerts to notify us of issues which may impact customer routing transfer times and agent average speed of answer times. This will also assist with improving the technical experience and interaction with our users. We also continue to work with the Office of Security and Integrity to expedite the security onboarding process for new agents, and we continue to refine our promotion of our digital tools to reduce call volumes and provide alternative self-help tools for users.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3651670
Surveys offered 3651670
Responses 22927


Q3 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data covers the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million individuals a year. FY21, Q3 experienced an increase in satisfaction in 3 out of 7 survey questions. Additionally, similar to FY21 Q2, data suggests the public is generally satisfied with contact center staff. For example, for the statements “This interaction increased my confidence” and “It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed…” 81.0% and 74.1% of respondents, respectively, agreed or strongly agreed. During Q3, there were some systems issues that impacted transfers to our live assistance. To improve the contact center’s performance, our agency is increasing its webform services, our Tier 1 vendor is actively recruiting more agents with the new contract, and the agency continues to refine the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and content refinement, in order to give more callers the ability to resolve their inquiry using self-service.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3541068
Surveys offered 29707
Responses 29707


Q2 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The survey data represents the USCIS Contact Center, a multi-tiered operation providing immigration assistance to over 14 million individuals annually. As provided within our submission last quarter, our contact center implemented an automated survey tool (Qualtrics) in FY20 and started using Qualtrics to track and report the OMB A-11 questions in FY21, Q1. Transitioning to Qualtrics has allowed us to eliminate the manual telephone survey and substantially increase the number of quarterly survey responses from 1,800 (prior to Qualtrics) to 38,519 in Q1 and 34,019 in Q2.

The survey scores for Q2 are relatively stable across all seven questions, with very little change from Q1. The highest rated questions were “I was treated fairly” and “Employees I interacted with were helpful” with 86.4% and 86.3% agreeing or strongly agreeing, respectively. The lowest rated questions were ““It took a reasonable amount of time to do what I needed to do” and “It was easy to complete what I needed to do” with 73.6% and 76.3% agreeing or strongly agreeing, respectively.

To improve the contact center’s performance, we continue to actively increase staffing and refine the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system so that more callers can resolve their inquiry using self-service.

Service details
Description Contact Center Services
Transaction point Follow up survey after contact with 1-800 number
Channel computer
People served 3998774
Surveys offered
Responses 34019