USCIS – Green Card Lottery Articles DV Lottery Resources Wed, 04 Apr 2018 07:25:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Immigration Departments in the Department of Homeland Security /articles/immigration-departments-in-the-department-of-homeland-security/ /articles/immigration-departments-in-the-department-of-homeland-security/#respond Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:42:45 +0000 Until 2002 the matter of immigration to the United States was handled by an organization called Immigration and Naturalization Services, commonly referred to as INS. However, the US government decided to restructure immigration services by grouping all of the relevant organizations into one managing organization: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Along with this restructuring, the responsibilities of INS were subdivided and given to a variety of new agencies. By doing so, oversight of the organizations can be better managed and policies better executed and developed.

Winners of the Green Card Lottery will not have a great deal of interaction with these organizations at first, but in time most of their interaction with the US government will be through the following groups.

Below, we will summarize and discuss the various duties of the important immigration organizations under the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security.


The USCIS—United States Citizenship and Immigration Services—is the organization concerned with the service aspects of the immigration processes. It is primarily concerned with handling immigration applications and the processing of forms.

Permanent Residency is granted solely by the USCIS. Green Card holders looking to become citizens must apply with the USCIS who will then analyze one’s application for eligibility.

The USCIS also handles interviews and grants work permits to visa applicants to the United States.

An interesting fact about the USCIS is that it is almost entirely funded by the fees it receives from immigrants. Taxpayers only provide a miniscule part of its budget.


The CBP—Customs and Border Protection—is much like every other customs organization from any other country in the world.

The CBP organizes and regulates the import and export of goods as well as all international trade to the United States. They are also responsible for the collection of duties and taxes upon entry to the United States.

The CBP has several enforcement powers and responsibilities that it conducts on a daily basis and is responsible for the apprehension of those individuals attempting to trespass United States regulation.

Customs and Border Protection is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States with more than 45,000 agents and it’s no wonder considering the US’ extremely large border.


ICE—Immigration and Customs Enforcement—is very similar to Customs and Border protection in that they are both responsible for law enforcement especially at the border, but the primary difference is when their duties are to be conducted.

While CBP takes a very active approach in detecting and intercepting violations of US law, ICE is more interested in conducting investigations designed to find the violators who slipped through the cracks. Their goal is also to improve the general workings of international flow in the United States.

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Immigration Affairs and US Government Offices /articles/immigration-affairs-and-us-government-offices/ /articles/immigration-affairs-and-us-government-offices/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2012 10:30:23 +0000 Immigration OfficesThere are various issues related to immigration and there are different US government agencies that handle the administrative tasks related to US immigration. One specific agency is not assigned to deal with all immigration issues. If you are a person who is seeking to immigrate to the United States, seeking employment, or a US citizen who is planning to sponsor your relatives for permanent resident status in the United States, you will have to deal with more than one government agency in order to get what you want.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: USCIS which was formerly known as the INS, is the government agency that deals with the immigration and naturalization application processes. A US citizen wanting to  sponsor a family member or a US employer sponsoring an employee for permanent resident status in the United States must file an application with the USCIS. Filing an application with the USCIS is the first step in the process of getting a Green Card for a relative. USCIS deals with the application process for most non-immigrant visas. There are some other offices administered by the USCIS, such as, service centers, asylum offices, district offices, sub offices and application support centers.

US Customs and Border Protection: Customs and Border Protection is a large and complex department administered by the US Department of Homeland Security. The mission of this agency is to prevent the terrorists from entering the United States. It enforces US regulations along with enforcing drug and immigration laws. One of its duties include checking the paperwork when an immigrant enters the United States and it also makes sure that the visa is genuine.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement: This US agency is the main investigative branch under the US Department of Homeland security. It is also the federal government’s second largest investigative bureau. This agency promotes public safety by enforcing the civil and criminal federal laws. It governs immigration, customs and border control. ICE arrests undocumented immigrants and manages deportations.

US Department of Homeland Security: The mission of this agency is to keep the United States safe. It has a wide range of duties and it comprises of three agencies, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The US Department of State: This agency is responsible to protect the lives of American citizens by strengthening the security of the borders of the United States. It is watchful in the adjudication of visas and passports. This agency also encourages international understanding. Department of State issues travel documents that allow the Americans to travel around the world. It permits lawful immigrants and tourists to travel to the United States. The US department of State works though the US consulates and embassies around the world. The embassies and consulates are responsible for conducting personal interviews when foreign nationals try to enter the United States, either on immigrant visas or on non-immigrant visas.

US Department of Labor: A labor certification will be required if a foreign national wishes to get employment opportunities in the United States. Foreign labor certification program is designed by the DoL to make sure that the foreign workers who are allowed to work in the United States on permanent or temporary basis will not affect the job opportunities of the American workers.

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What is USCIS? /articles/what-is-uscis/ Mon, 06 Jun 2011 05:54:04 +0000 Foreign nationals from all over the world immigrate to the US to reunite with family members, or in search of a better life. Some come for an advanced education, some for a visit, while others work in a wide variety of business sectors, providing services ranging from unskilled labor to highly specialized positions.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees immigration of foreign nationals who wish to temporarily or permanently settle in the United States and is the authority that grants or denies immigration benefits to those individuals.

The USCIS was established on March 1, 2003 as one branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It enjoys a legacy of more than 100 years of federal immigration and naturalization administration. Before its inception, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was responsible for all matters related with immigration, including administrative and investigative functions. After the drastic events of September 11, 2001, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was passed, which resulted in the dismantling of the INS into three agencies within the DHS to safeguard national security and improve efficiency.

The USCIS which is responsible for immigration service functions and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bureaus take care of immigration enforcement and border security functions. The USCIS was briefly named the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), before taking the name USCIS.

99% of USCIS’ budget comes from fees the USCIS collects from processing millions of immigration benefit applications and petitions every year.

The mission of the USCIS is to secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to it’s customers. Apart from granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, they ensure the integrity of the immigration system. There are 18,000 government employees and contractors of USCIS working at 250 offices across the world.

USCIS’ main goal is to strengthen the security and integrity of the immigration system and provide effective customer-oriented immigration benefits and information services. Apart from these, supporting immigrants’ integration, participating in American civic culture and promoting flexible and sound immigration policies and programs form an important part of its responsibilities.

Considering the present situation of increased global threats and national security challenges, the main responsibility of the USCIS is to provide immigration service in a manner that strengthens and fortifies the nation. The USCIS is mindful of exercising a holistic approach to vigilance as they perform their mission. They carefully administer every aspect of their immigration mission so that new immigrants and citizens can hold in high regard the privileges and advantages of lawful presence in the United States.

Apart from processing all the immigration petitions/applications, USCIS also provides instructions and training on citizenship rights and responsibilities and provides immigrants with the necessary information and tools to successfully integrate into American civic culture. They also administer humanitarian programs that gives protection to individuals inside and outside the US who are displaced by war, famine and civil and political unrest.