The United States population expands by approximately 2.7%, or 700,000 people, with new applicants for citizenship each year. To streamline the citizenship process the Department of Homeland Security announced the introduction of a new online app, to be launched in the next few weeks, designed to replace the antiquated paper-based application system that has been used since the immigration boom of the early 1900s.
The current application process for United States citizenship is paper-based and extensive, making it labor intensive, time consuming, and complicated to navigate. It currently includes an 8 page PDF flow chart, eighteen pages of instructions, and the required N-400 form, which is 20 pages long. The length of the process makes it very confusing, exposing the more vulnerable applicants to falling victim to scam by fake immigration advisers. Because of these flaws, the Department of Homeland Security is working on redesigning the process from the ground up in order to make it more user friendly.
To streamline the process, the Department of Homeland Services has developed an online app that reduces the flow chart to a few questions and helps applicants navigate the application process. It will provide an overview of the process and indicate what materials an applicant may need to submit with their application.
It will also assist in streamlining the application process by auto-filling information on multiple pages where applicants may have to put in certain information multiple times. For examples, in the current application, applicants are asked to re-enter their address on multiple pages within the twenty-page application, so the auto-fill feature will save them a great deal of time and frustration.
To date, more than one million people have used the digital format of the forms now displayed at MyUSCIS, the digital portal for the Untied States Customs and Immigration Service, to prepare for civics exams, navigate the agency’s benefits’ options, and perform various tasks. Currently, the new application is utilized by about 25% of users and as it becomes more functional, that number is expected to increase to about 40% by the end of the year.
For more information on the United States citizen application process, go to MyUSCIS.