What is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services?


Quick Answer

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that manages applications, employment, integration, adoptions and humanitarian programs for noncitizens who want to immigrate to the United States, reports the USCIS. It replaced the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2003.

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Full Answer

Among its duties, the USCIS receives applications from foreign nationals wishing to become U.S. citizens, processes the applications, determines eligibility and administers the Oath of Allegiance for qualified individuals, according to the USCIS. It also administrates the petitions of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to bring relatives or other individuals such as fiancés to reside in the United States. The USCIS oversees the temporary and permanent employment of noncitizens in the United States. It administrates the online system called E-Verify by which employers can research whether noncitizens are eligible to work.

Among its humanitarian programs, the USCIS assists refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, battered children and spouses, and other individuals from outside the United States who need shelter and aid, reports the USCIS. The USCIS is responsible for determining the eligibility of parents who want to adopt children from overseas and children who are potentially adoptable. It also provides new immigrants with information and training to help them integrate successfully into U.S. culture.

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