The DHS has published the first in a series of regulations intended to promote the migration of USCIS benefit filings from a paper-based environment to an electronic one. USCIS said the regulation “is an important step toward modernizing how USCIS handles the more than 6 million benefit applications submitted annually.”

Over the next several years, USCIS plans to roll out an online account system that will enable people to submit benefit requests and supporting documents electronically. The new Web-based system is intended to simplify the process of applying for immigration benefits. It will assign new users a unique account that will enable them to access case status information, respond to USCIS requests for additional information, update certain personal information, and receive decisions and other communications from USCIS.

The new regulation revises more than 50 parts of DHS title 8 regulations. It eliminates references to outdated USCIS benefit request forms and descriptions of paper-based procedures. In addition, the regulation removes numerous obsolete provisions.