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USCIS Electronic Immigration System(ELIS)

Digital Transformation of U.S. Naturalization and Immigration System

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The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), under the Department of Homeland Security, manages immigration and naturalization. The Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) is vital for processing applications online, replacing an outdated paper-based system requiring multiple forms and direct mail handling. The agency was overwhelmed by monolithic applications and systems, from mainframes and databases to unstructured data, all needing continuous updates. ADG partnered with DHS on ELIS’s Digital Modernization journey that blends technology, data, and Agile DevSecOps for efficient outcomes. This collaboration aims to enhance application accessibility, reduce processing times, and align strategic goals with tangible solutions using advanced methods and technology.


USCIS aims to uphold its role in immigration by offering precise information, granting benefits, and ensuring ELIS integrity. Transitioning to AWS Cloud became essential for modernizing ELIS due to its evolving functions. Complex immigration laws, changing regulations, and system integration challenges persisted for 20 years. To address these, USCIS modernized its immigration application on AWS Cloud to improve accuracy for adjudicators, digitize paper-based processes, and minimize downtime through autonomous microservices. This step aimed to enhance user experience, reduce lead times, and align with evolving immigration patterns while maintaining operational efficiency.


ADG's Agile, DevSecOps, and UX experts tackled complexities by adopting containerized and microservices-based structures, enhancing USCIS ELIS's agility and innovation. Through a CI/CD pipeline and advanced tools, they iteratively delivered features, spanning user research, prototype design, usability, and testing. Data visibility across services improved, ensuring consistent quality assurance and adjudication via a single system. Utilizing Agile Kanban, Application Modernization, and Case Management, ADG navigated challenges in a multi-vendor setting. Their Digital Modernization approach assured USCIS ELIS's long-term success, promoting technical support, knowledge sharing, and collaborative solutions. The foundation encompassed Continuous Integration/Delivery, cloud-native hosting, microservices, user-centric design, and cost efficiency.


USCIS ELIS faced challenges in creating an Agile solution to expedite adjudication, digitize benefits, and enhance workflows. Our teams build a secure, scalable containerized and microservice-based architecture, integrating a new fee structure while minimizing system downtimes. Through a CI/CD pipeline, legacy systems were transitioned onto a modern architecture, reducing workload, and improving staff productivity by 19%. Digital technology reduced paper transactions by 55%, optimizing work distribution and enhancing reliability with an uptime of 99.9%, thus streamlining USCIS operations effectively.

About ADG

ADG is a leading provider of digital modernization solutions with over 20 years of experience. We specialize in helping organizations transform their operations, systems, and services through the adoption of cutting-edge digital technologies.  By leveraging our deep industry knowledge and innovative approaches, we empower our clients to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and drive meaningful outcomes. With a customer-centric focus and a commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements, ADG is your trusted partner in achieving digital excellence and maximizing the potential of your organization.

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