On May 22, 2012, USCIS launched the first phase of its new online immigration system, known as ELIS. Individuals in a certain number of nonimmigrant categories (including visitors and students) can now utilize ELIS to file applications to extend or change their nonimmigrant status online. Following this initial release, USCIS anticipates making adjustments and improvements in response to user feedback. The ELIS system will eventually allow for the filing, processing, and adjudication of all types of petitions and applications, thereby replacing the paper and mail-based system in use today.
Once fully implemented, USCIS promises that ELIS will result in greater convenience, and shorter processing times, over the paper-based system. We will follow the rollout of the ELIS system closely, and keep you apprised of updates as they become available.