[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 199 (Friday, October 14, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63941-63942]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-26653]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Citizenship and Immigration Services


Agency Information Collection Activities: Business 
Transformation--Automated Integrated Operating Environment (IOE), New 
Information Collection; Comment Request

ACTION: 30-Day notice of information collection under review: Business 
Transformation--Electronic Immigration System (ELIS).

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
on March 28, 2011, USCIS published a 60-day notice in the Federal 
Register at 76 FR 1745, seeking comment on USCIS's information 
collection request for the Automated Integrated Operating Environment 
(IOE). The comment period expired May 27, 2011. USCIS is reviewing all 
comments received and will address those comments in a separate notice. 
USCIS has decided to change the name of the IOE to the USCIS 
``Electronic Immigration System'' (ELIS). This notice provides the 
general public and Federal agencies with notice of the name change to 
the information collection request. The name change does not materially 
change the collection that was posted for comment.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
November 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) 
contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public 
burden and associated response time, should be directed to the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS, Chief, Regulatory 
Products Division, Office of the Executive Secretariat, 20 
Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529-2020. Comments may also 
be submitted to DHS via facsimile to 202-272-0997 or via e-mail at 
USCISFRComment@dhs.gov. When submitting comments by e-mail, please be 
sure to add ``USCIS ELIS'' in the subject box. Please do not submit 
requests for individual case status inquiries to this address. If you 
are seeking information about the status of your individual case, 
please check ``My Case Status'' online at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-
800-375-5283. If you need a copy of this information collection 
instrument, please visit the Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/or 
call the Regulatory Products Division at (202) 272-8377.

Background

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is transforming 
its business processes and systems to improve operational efficiency 
and customer service, and to strengthen the security and integrity of 
the immigration system. As part of this effort, USCIS may modify its 
data collection practices to eventually convert all data collections to 
e-filing in the USCIS ELIS. The intent of this change is to improve the 
consistency and timeliness of its immigration benefit adjudications, as 
well as to support identity management, evaluate benefit eligibility, 
promote customer service, and manage national security and benefit 
risk. This change will also serve to bring USCIS in to compliance with 
the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), Public Law 105-277, 
tit. XVII, section 1703, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-749 (Oct. 21, 1998), 44 
U.S.C. 3504 note, and the E-Government Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-347, 
116 Stat. 2899, 44 U.S.C. 3601 note). GPEA provides that Federal 
agencies use electronic forms, electronic filing, and electronic 
submissions, when possible, to conduct agency business with the public. 
The E-Government Act promotes the use of the Internet by federal 
agencies through efforts like USCIS' Business Transformation 
initiative.
    The USCIS ELIS will be implemented by USCIS and made available in 
increments for the public to submit various benefit requests over the 
next few years USCIS has termed these increments ``releases'' and 
``phases.'' As each phase is implemented, DHS will announce each 
benefit request type that has been converted to an e-filing format in 
the USCIS ELIS, if the USCIS ELIS will be the sole filing option 
available, or if the option of filing a paper form will remain 
available for that benefit for all or certain groups that may seek to 
submit the applicable request. In general, the USCIS ELIS will follow 
the immigration ``lifecycle'' to first include nonimmigrant benefits, 
proceeding eventually to applications for naturalization.
    The first benefit type available in the automated USCIS ELIS under 
Release A, Phase 1, will be the Application to Extend/Change 
Nonimmigrant Status. Beginning in December 2011, USCIS customers will 
be able to apply for an extension or change of their nonimmigrant 
status using the USCIS ELIS or continue to use the current paper Form 
I-539 (OMB Control No. 1615-0003). In the future, however, USCIS may 
allow the current paper Form I-539 to expire, eliminate the option of 
filing on a paper form, and instead require this benefit application to 
be filed through the automated USCIS ELIS. USCIS is very interested in 
receiving comments concerning mandatory e-filing of this benefit and 
any future benefits that are added to the automated ELIS. USCIS also 
welcomes comments on which groups, individuals, or businesses for which 
it would be the most appropriate for USCIS to require (or not require) 
electronic filing of all benefit requests.
    The supporting statement for this information collection contains a 
more detailed description of the USCIS Business Transformation 
initiative and wizard technology. The supporting statement can be 
viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov/.
    USCIS is also interested in public comment addressing the following 
issues:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the

[[Page 63942]]

functions of the agency, including whether the information will have 
practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.

Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: New information collection.
    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Business Transformation--USCIS 
Electronic Immigration System (ELIS).
    (3) Agency Form Number, if any, and the Applicable Component of the 
Department of Homeland Security Sponsoring the Collection: No form 
number; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    (4) Affected Public Who Will Be Asked or Required to Respond, as 
Well as a Brief Abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. As part 
of the Business Transformation initiative, USCIS is developing an 
automated Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS). The USCIS ELIS 
will use wizard technology and will allow e-filing. Wizard technology 
gives USCIS the ability to electronically interact with its customers 
by guiding them through the application process and assisting them to 
file complete and accurate benefit requests.
    (5) An Estimate of the Total Number of Respondents and the Amount 
of Time Estimated for an Average Respondent to Respond: 58,500 
responses at an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes per response.
    (6) An Estimate of the Total Public Burden (In Hours) Associated 
With the Collection: 131,625 annual burden hours.
    The information collection request contains selected screen shots 
that demonstrate the look and feel of the automated USCIS ELIS, and a 
decision tree to show the sequence of questions that the public will be 
asked by the wizard and the order in which the questions will be asked. 
For example, when the user answers the question ``What is your First 
Name?'' then he or she will be prompted with the question: ``What is 
your Given Name?'' If you need to review this information collection 
instrument, please visit the Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/.

     Dated: October 11, 2011.
Sunday Aigbe,
Chief, Regulatory Products Division, Office of the Executive 
Secretariat, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2011-26653 Filed 10-13-11; 8:45 am]
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