Useful Tips on Technology for Individuals interested in Immigration
By Bruce A. Coane and James P. McCollom, Jr.
In the last few years, there has been a revolution in technology
that has also affected individuals who are interested in
immigration. You may be interested to know some examples. Doubtless,
you can find out many more.
Bruce A. Coane
First, you might explore the website for the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At this website, you
can find out the law regarding many topics. Not only are there
articles on many topics but there is also the law itself. Of course,
when a lay person is reading the law, she should defer to an
attorney for guidance.
We recommend an excellent feature of this website: the automatic
e-mail notification of case updates. When you have an immigration
case, you can sign up at the USCIS website to receive email updates
on the case. You can also look up the updates and processing times
by entering the information manually onto the website.
The website also contains the latest immigration forms and lists the
versions that USCIS accepts. The website lists fees and
instructions. The website also lists the places where you should
mail forms. The USCIS changes all of this information almost on a
daily basis. A lay person should consult an attorney for guidance.
Second, you should note that the fingerprinting and card production
processes are becoming computerized. For that reason, once a green
card is approved, the USCIS officer can enter the information on the
computer. Another computer at another location will then produce the
green card and the immigrant will have the green card within three
or four days. Before, it might take months.
Third, in certain circumstances, attorneys are able to communicate
directly with the local USCIS district office through email
regarding particular cases. Lay persons are not able to do so but
lay persons do have the option of scheduling an INFOPASS appointment
through the USCIS website to inquire about their case.
Fourth, in some immigration courts, attorneys are able to file
documents electronically through the internet. In federal court, in
most jurisdictions, all attorneys must file all documents
electronically. Most foreign nationals do not go to federal court to
fight their case but you might decide to go to federal court if the
USCIS is taking too long to process your case. You also might go to
federal court to fight a denial of a case or to gain naturalization.
In federal court, attorneys can keep track through the internet
through the PACER system of documents filed in cases all over the
Fifth, The United States government had the ambitious plan of US
VISIT where they propose to track everyone who enters and leaves the
United States. This plan has apparently been abandoned for now.
There are many other technological wrinkles that might affect you if
you are an individual interested in immigration matters. You can
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss a point about
technology and immigration or if you have another question about
BRUCE A. COANE is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law
by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The law firm of Coane &
Associates has offices at 407 Lincoln Road, Suite 306, Miami Beach,
Florida 33139, Tel. (786) 457-VISA (8472). The law firm website is
www.coane.com. The law firm email is email@example.com. JAMES P. McCOLLOM, JR. is an associate attorney at the firm.