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Modernizing the American Dream: Helping USCIS Dramatically Reduce Verification Case Processing Times

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At the turn of the last century, officials hand-processed 12 million arrivals at Ellis Island. Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the gateway to the United States, where 19,000 federal employees and contractors at 237 offices globally provide immigration services to over 37 million people each year. After years of struggling to keep up with paper forms and applications, the agency refocused its mission to improve customer service, strengthen security, and eliminate case backlogs. A refocused mission required stronger IT, but many USCIS legacy systems struggled to keep pace with changing demands. Following a recent successful collaboration on the myUSCIS digital portal, USCIS turned to Excella to help update the three legacy systems responsible for verifying employment, including E-Verify, Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), and Status Verification System (SVS).

Excella partnered with USCIS to clearly define the business problem, provided a cross-functional team with the right skills to rapidly deliver, and collaborated with a dedicated USCIS Product Owner to elicit customer and stakeholder needs. The modernized E-Verify system is used by hundreds of thousands of employers to verify employment eligibility for millions. The team transformed a cumbersome legacy application into a cutting-edge microservices-based architecture that increased employer enrollment by 45% and decreased abandoned enrollment by 22.9%. The program won the 2017 ACT IAC Igniting Innovation Overall Award, making Excella and USCIS the only partnership to win the award twice. Since this project completed, USCIS sees more recent verifiable results. By helping the system reach unprecedented levels of scalability, SAVE was able to handle a 300% increase of cases processed in a single week during COVID-19 with no service interruptions or downtime.

Read this case study to see how our experts worked with USCIS to deliver these results using key methods, such as:

  • Cloud Re-architecture
  • Fully Automated Testing
  • Continuous Deployment
  • UX Research
  • Communities of Practice
  • Proving then Scaling



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