[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 225 (Wednesday, November 22, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67623-67624]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-19697]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Citizenship and Immigration Services

RIN 1615-ZA44
[DHS Docket No. USCIS-2006-0066]


Changes to the Regional, District and Field Office Organizational 
Structure Within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice informs the public of changes to U.S. Citizenship 
and Immigration Services' (USCIS') regional, district and field office 
organizational structure due to a recent realignment of the command and 
control responsibilities within USCIS' Domestic Operations Directorate, 
Field Operations Division. This action is necessary to balance the 
workload and personnel among USCIS field offices and improve customer 
service. USCIS does not plan to close any of its existing offices as a 
result of this realignment.

DATES: This notice is effective November 22, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Gulick, Chief of Staff, Domestic 
Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd 
Floor, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 272-2700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background.

    Upon its establishment in 2003, USCIS inherited legacy Immigration 
and Naturalization Service's (legacy INS's) domestic field office 
structure consisting of 3 regions and 33 districts. USCIS' workload and 
workforce distribution, however, varies greatly from that of legacy 
INS. Consequently, the continuation of the legacy INS field office 
structure resulted in an unbalanced USCIS field office chain of command 
structure with one region having a larger workforce than the other two 
regions combined, and the largest districts having workforces up to 50 
times larger than other districts.
    In addition, within the pre-existing chain of command, in those 
districts with multiple field offices, the district director served as 
the office manager for one of the field offices while also managing the 
other field offices within the district. This dual role has been an 
obstacle to overall management of a district.
    Moreover, under the pre-existing organizational structure, each 
regional office, district office, field office or sub-office had an 
assigned geographic area of responsibility. A field office manager 
could not exercise any power or authority over a matter that involved a 
customer whose place of residence or employment was located outside of 
his or her geographical area of responsibility, absent an express 
delegation of such authority by the appropriate USCIS official. In the 
adjudications context, rigid jurisdictional boundaries based on 
geography have led to situations where the USCIS office that is 
physically located closer to a customer's residence or place of 
employment does not have geographical jurisdiction to provide the 
customer with the requested service.
    In view of the aforementioned considerations, USCIS has made a 
determination to realign the domestic operations field office command 
and control structure. This realignment is effective November 22, 2006.

II. Realignment

    Under this realignment, the following are the changes to the 
command and control structure within USCIS Domestic Operations 
Directorate, Field Operations Division.

Field Offices, Districts, and Regions

    The keystones of USCIS' in-person services are its local offices. 
USCIS field offices exist based on the geographic distribution of 
workload requiring in-person services. No USCIS field office will be 
closed as a result of this realignment, nor will this realignment 
change the locations of any of the existing USCIS local offices. For 
clarity, USCIS will refer to each of these offices as a ``field 
office,'' managed by a ``field office director,'' rather than 
``district office,'' managed by a ``district director.'' Field offices 
will continue to be responsible for the administration and enforcement 
of the Immigration and Nationality Act and all other laws relating to 
immigration and naturalization.
    Where USCIS determines that an interview is necessary, it will 
schedule the applicant's interview at the appropriate field office. 
While most information and customer services are provided through the 
USCIS Web-site and toll-free customer service telephone number, 
individuals who believe they need in-person service can also use their 
zip code to make an appointment on-line at the appropriate office. 
Individuals without internet access can contact any USCIS office in-
person for assistance in making an appointment. Using zip codes, rather 
than the current geographic jurisdictional alignment, to determine 
service areas will allow USCIS to shift interviews and other in-person 
services to the most convenient field office.
    While the realignment does not change the locations of USCIS field 
offices, it does change the command structure for managing these field 
offices. USCIS will maintain a district management structure to lead a 
network of field offices. Each field office will be managed by a field 
office director who reports to a District Director. In the previous 
structure, the district director was both the field office director as 
well

[[Page 67624]]

as the manager of a district that, in many cases, included additional 
field offices. The new structure allows the District Director to focus 
on the management of the district. Further, to achieve better balance 
in terms of the size of the operations managed by each district, the 
overall number of district offices will be reduced from 33 to 26. While 
primarily a consolidation of district management structures, the 26 
district offices will include 2 new district offices created by 
splitting the existing San Francisco and Miami districts each into 2 
districts.
    Similarly, to achieve better balance and span of control, USCIS is 
increasing from 3 management regional offices to 4 management regional 
offices. The fourth regional office will be established in Orlando, 
Florida to manage USCIS operations in the Southeast. Establishing this 
new regional office also gives USCIS a regional office closer to the 
Caribbean, and thus improves USCIS capability to respond to events 
there.

Field Office Structure

    Accordingly, the following is the USCIS' Domestic Operations field 
office management structure. While management districts will be 
identified by number rather than by location, the list also indicates 
(by asterisk) the city where the district manager will be located:

District 1

Boston, Massachusetts*
Manchester, New Hampshire
Portland, Maine
Providence, Rhode Island

District 2

Albany, New York
Buffalo, New York*
Hartford, Connecticut
St. Albans, Vermont

District 3

New York City, New York*

District 4

Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey*

District 5

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania*
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

District 6

Baltimore, Maryland*

District 7

Fairfax, Virginia*
Norfolk, Virginia

District 8

Atlanta, Georgia*
Charleston, South Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (under development)

District 9

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands
Miami, Florida*
San Juan, Puerto Rico

District 10

Jacksonville, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Tampa, Florida*
West Palm Beach, Florida

District 11

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Memphis, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana*

District 12

Detroit, Michigan*

District 13

Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio*
Columbus, Ohio
Indianapolis, Indiana
Louisville, Kentucky

District 14

Chicago, Illinois*
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

District 15

Des Moines, Iowa
Kansas City, Missouri*
Omaha, Nebraska
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Paul, Minnesota

District 16

Dallas, Texas*
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

District 17

Houston, Texas*

District 18

El Paso, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
San Antonio, Texas*

District 19

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Boise, Idaho
Denver, Colorado*
Helena, Montana
Salt Lake City, Utah

District 20

Anchorage, Alaska
Portland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington*
Spokane, Washington
Yakima, Washington

District 21

San Francisco, California*
San Jose, California

District 22

Fresno, California
Sacramento, California*

District 23

Los Angeles, California*
San Bernardino, California
Santa Ana, California

District 24

San Diego, California*

District 25

Las Vegas, Nevada
Phoenix, Arizona *
Reno, Nevada
Tucson, Arizona

District 26

Hagatna, Guam
Honolulu, Hawaii

Regional Structure

    USCIS will maintain its existing regional offices in:
     Burlington, VT, which will manage Districts 1 through 7, 
and be referred to as the Northeast Region;
     Dallas, TX, which will manage Districts 12 through 19, and 
be known as the Central Region; and in
     Laguna Niguel, CA, which will manage Districts 20 through 
26, and be known as the Western Region.
    USCIS will establish the new regional office in:
     Orlando, FL which will manage Districts 8 through 11, and 
will be known as the Southeast Region. While this regional office is in 
the process of being established, the Northeast Region will provide 
support.

    Dated: November 15, 2006.
Jonathan Scharfen,
Deputy Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 [FR Doc. E6-19697 Filed 11-21-06; 8:45 am]
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