The Problem:

The Department of Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) needed to modernize its systems used for immigration status verification. USCIS processes millions of requests for Immigration Benefits per year; It needed a system that could keep up with a rapidly increasing case volume. The monolithic legacy systems in place could not keep pace with the flood of requests and policy changes.

The Solution:

Geocent worked with the USCIS OIT leadership, with little oversight, to design and implement modernize systems used by USCIS Verifications. We provided two Scrum teams consisting of 12 people, along with a Program Manager, DevSecOps Architect, and a Data Specialist. Utilizing a DevSecOps methodology, Geocent helped replace these burdensome legacy systems with agile, efficient, cloud-based applications that help USCIS process claims more quickly and effectively. Geocent also used open-source technologies whenever possible to limit costs and increase flexibility.

Geocent’s modern approach allowed for a true Continuous Delivery (CD) environment by leveraging automation and continuous monitoring with a quality-first mindset. The result? A faster, more efficient USCIS. See more:

The Results:

USCIS uses the following applications, provided by Geocent, to improve their processes:

Status Verification System Modernization (SVS-MOD)

SVS-MOD replaced the original legacy application, which was slow and inflexible. The new modified application helped USCIS Verifications better organize a backlog in Immigration Benefits claims and increase efficiency in processing cases. The modernized system accomplished this by providing automated case assignment based on USCIS Verifications business rules, better information to Verifications personnel through expanded data availability, and enhanced metrics to leadership so they could better understand the dynamic challenges of this this process.

These improvements helped USCIS reduce its case backlog from hundreds of thousands to around 10,000. As a result, case processing time was also reduced tremendously.

myE-Verify

This application, available to the public, set up a system to allow individuals to check their eligibility for employment at any time. The new, standalone application provides enhanced security for users and interfaced with external USCIS partners such as Verizon, Equifax, and Akamai to enhance service offerings to public users. There are now more than 30,000 user accounts on myE-Verify.

E-Verify/Social Security Administration Tentative Non-Confirmation Automated Response (EV-STAR)

Social Security Administration offices across the country use EV-STAR to help resolve E-Verify cases where applicants receive a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) because of negative data flagged in their SSA file. Geocent modernized this application using DevSecOps principles into a standalone system and thus greatly enhanced stability, scalability, and flexibility. This effort was completed ahead of schedule, while still ensuring SSA satisfaction and seamless migration for end-users. The application now has more than 11,000 users worldwide.

Verification Reports as a Service

USCIS uses internal reports in nearly every aspect of its day-to-day operations. With its legacy system, reporting capabilities were inherently tied to the inflexible, monolithic system. With Geocent’s help, a modernized, standalone reporting system was implemented that allows for reports to be automatically generated from a wider set of data and consumed as a service across USCIS Verifications applications.

This post is written by Geocent