CIS Continues to Shift Processing Sites
April 27, 2006

In the past year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has continued its initiative toward establishing centralized processing for various types of immigration applications and petitions. For all family based applicants seeking to adjust status in the U.S., filings are being accepted at a centralized PO Box in Chicago, and the documents are then forwarded to the National Benefits Center in Lees Summit, Missouri for initial processing, including receipt issuance. From there, files are eventually distributed to CIS local offices across the U.S., depending on the applicant’s state of residence, for further processing, including the scheduling of the adjustment of status interview.

Also, individuals in the U.S. who have filed I-130, Alien Relative Petitions, on behalf of overseas family members may have noticed that the initial CIS receipt notice is being issued by a CIS Service Center other than the one they filed their paperwork with. For example, individuals residing in the Chicago area who are filing I-130 petitions with CIS’ Nebraska Service Center on behalf of overseas family are receiving receipt notices issued by CIS’ California Service Center. That is because the Nebraska Service Center has, for the time being, been parceling out all of their I-130 petition processing to California, presumably because it is the CIS’ long term goal to centralize all I-130 petition processing there.

More recently, as of April 1, CIS has announced a “Bi-Specialization” program where petitioning employers are to submit all I-129 temporary work visa filings (including H-1B and L-1) to the CIS’ Vermont Service Center – as opposed to one of the 4 Service Centers formerly having jurisdiction of their particular geographic region of the U.S. From there, the filing will be randomly assigned for further processing to either remain in Vermont, or shipped off to CIS’ California Service Center.

Additionally, as to I-140, Immigrant Worker Petitions, petitioning employers are now directed to forward all such filings to CIS’ Nebraska Service Center, and from there, the documentation will be randomly assigned for further processing to either remain in Nebraska or forwarded to CIS’ Texas Service Center. For further information, log onto to: USCIS NOTIFIES EMPLOYERS FO FILING CHANGES [PDF]

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