Lockbox Facilities Take Citizenship Applications into Digital Age

By December 12, 2011Immigration Policy

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently changed the processing method for some naturalization and citizenship forms, often called N-Forms.

In an attempt to streamline the collection and processing and improve the consistency of intake, USCIS now requires all N-300, N-336, N-600 and N-600K forms to be secure lockbox facilities instead of local offices.

The N-300 form is an application for a permanent resident to file declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen. The N-366 form is a request for a hearing on a naturalization proceedings decision. The N-600 form is an application for a citizenship certificate. The N-600K form is an application for citizenship for a child who lives abroad to get U.S. citizenship because of the child’s parents.

USCIS began using the lockbox facilities in 2001 to electronically process information from forms, forward that information to the appropriate location, collect fees and generate acceptance or rejection notices.

Beginning in 2007, USCIS has been moving all fee-based immigration forms to this new lockbox system. Because the USCIS is a congressionally mandated and self-funded agency, the timely and accurate collection of fees is imperative. In FY 2009, the agency’s lockbox facilities processed almost 4.5 million applications and more than $1 billion in fees. Last year, USCIS used the lockbox centers to process more than $1.6 billion in fees, according to the agency.

USCIS has lockbox facilities in Chicago, Phoenix and Dallas and a data verification office supporting the lockbox facilities in Burlington, Vt. The immigration forms include the correct address to the lockbox facilities.

In addition to streamlining the application and fee collection process, the lockbox facilities may also free up the local offices to handle daily issues regarding immigration.

The move to lockbox locations has not been without its challenges. About a year ago, the Office of Intake and Document Production Lockbox Processing published a report outlining issues that came up and fixes the agency applied to correct the problems. In response to stakeholder concerns, USCIS changed the working on rejection notices so they would be easier to understand and retrained some employees on which applications to accept and which to deny based on the timing of some forms.

An undertaking of this magnitude is going to create a number of issues to be resolved as the process changes, and the lockbox transition has had plenty.
An experienced immigration attorney can help navigate all the changes in USCIS’ forms and processing. In order to not waste money on fees that are sent in with the wrong forms to the wrong location, contact Houston immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.