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Modernized biometrics services help USCIS cut immigration backlog

Modernized biometrics services help USCIS cut immigration backlog

The agency that administers the U.S. immigration service says it cut its caseload backlog 15 percent year over year in fiscal 2023.

Biometrics are collected as part of the immigration application process, and automation of that process played a supporting role in the reported improvement in the caseload and customer experience.

It’s the first time in 10 years that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, had reduced its backlog. Staff completed 10 million immigration cases, according to the agency.

A $407 million contract to automate USCIS biometrics and demographic information collection was awarded to Amentum in September. Pluribus Digital won a $135 million contract with USCIS to modernize in-person interactions in July.

A self-service online application went live in fiscal 2023 that enables people to reschedule biometrics appointments, including more than 33,000 last year. And agency leaders removed a fee for biometrics scans in instances when applicants need to change their nonimmigrant status.

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