U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, bears responsibility for overseeing all lawful U.S. immigration, according to the agency's website. USCIS employs more than 19,000 staff and contractors and operates 223 offices across the globe. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 replaced the Immigration and Naturalization Service with the USCIS as well as the Customs Enforcement and Customers and Border Protection agencies, all of which operate under the Department of Homeland Security.
USCIS's strategic goals focus on enhancing the security of the county's immigration system, taking a customer-focused approach to providing immigrants with information services, ensuring successful integration of immigrants and engagement with U.S. culture, promoting robust government policy and enhancing organizational structure. The organization also strives to act as a well-performing agency that promotes a positive work culture and develops a skilled workforce. Its core values include integrity, respect, ingenuity and vigilance, explains the agency.
USCIS is largely self-funded, with 95 percent of its $3 billion budget coming directly from visa application charges. As a result, it was one of the few federal agencies to remain operational during the 2013 government shutdown, according to VisaNow.com. In 2010, the USCIS introduced a new, RFID-enabled green card, which also features holographic images, laser-engraved fingerprints and ultra-high-resolution microscopic images intended to help prevent counterfeiting and tampering, notes CitizenPath.com.