[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 59 (Monday, March 28, 2011)]
[Pages 17145-17146]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7186]



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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

ACTION: 60-Day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Business 
Transformation--Integrated Operating Environment (IOE); OMB Control No. 


SUMMARY: USCIS is developing an automated Integrated Operating 
Environment (IOE) to process benefit applications. The IOE will collect 
information by asking sequential questions using ``wizard'' technology. 
The IOE will allow immigration benefit requests to be filed directly 
via the internet or ``e-filed.'' In accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) this notice provides the general public and 
Federal agencies with notice that USCIS will be submitting this 
information collection request to OMB and the public will have an 
opportunity to review and comment.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
May 27, 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 
rfs.regs@dhs.gov. When submitting comments by e-mail, please be sure to 
add ``Automated IOE'' 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 IOE. 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 
into 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 sought to promote the use of the 
Internet by Federal Agencies through efforts like USCIS' Business 
Transformation initiative.
    The IOE will be implemented by USCIS and made available for the 
public to submit requests over the next few years in increments that 
USCIS has termed as ``releases'' and ``phases.'' As each phase is 
implemented, DHS will announce each request that has been converted to 
the IOE, if the IOE 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 IOE will follow the immigration ``lifecycle'' 
to first include nonimmigrant benefits, proceeding eventually to 
applications for naturalization.
    The first benefit type available in the automated IOE 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 
IOE 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 IOE. USCIS is very interested in receiving comments 
concerning mandatory e-filing of this benefit and any future benefits 
that are added to the automated IOE. 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 
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the 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--
Automated Integrated Operating Environment (IOE).
    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the 
Department of Homeland Security

[[Page 17146]]

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 Integrated Operating Environment (IOE). The IOE 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 IOE, 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: March 23, 2011.
Sunday Aigbe,
Chief, Regulatory Products Division, Office of the Executive 
Secretariat, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2011-7186 Filed 3-25-11; 8:45 am]