What exactly is the USCIS government doing



Source description last updated: July 3, 2008. Note: USCIS stopped publishing country of origin information on its website in mid-2004 (as of October 19, 2011).

Mission statement / mandate:

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a "government agency of 15,000 federal employees and contractors working in approximately 250 locations and offices around the world." USCIS is "responsible for the administration of immigration and decisions about naturalization as well as for strategies and priority setting of the immigration service." On March 1, 2003, the services and support of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were added to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assigned (USCIS website> About USCIS, accessed July 3, 2008, translation by ACCORD).

Target group:

United States Congress; Asylum and immigration officers in the US; USCIS does not conduct research for the public or for private lawyers (USCIS website> Education & Resources> Asylum Resources, accessed July 3, 2008).


The Resource Information Center (RIC) The Asylum Division of USCIS seeks to "meet the information needs of asylum and immigration officials in the United States by providing information about conditions in the countries of origin of asylum seekers." COI is compiled in various publications, mainly query responses as part of the “question and answer series” that are distributed to officials (Refworld, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,USCIS,QUERYRESPONSE,,,0 .html, accessed June 19, 2008, translation ACCORD).


According to the Department of Homeland Security website, USCIS has a self-financing mandate from the US Congress. USCIS generates income from fees for processing applications (e.g. naturalization, work permits, status determination, biometrics) (USCIS: Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2007. Financial Snapshot, p. 32, http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments /financial_snapshot.pdf, accessed July 3, 2008).

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: All countries in the world (except USA).

Thematic focus: Information about new social and political developments in countries of origin; Chronologies of political events, summaries of changes of government including coups d'état, or information about specific ethnic, political, religious or social risk groups (USCIS website> Education & Resources> Asylum Resources> Questions and Answers Series, accessed July 3, 2008).

Reporting methodology:

Query responses are provided by external experts and / or the employees of the Resource Information Center (RIC) created. Information from publicly available documents of the "Department of State, of Office of International Affairs and other sources, as well as information from other credible sources such as international organizations, private volunteer agencies, news organizations or academic institutions ”(see disclaimer in RIC query responses on the USCIS website> Education & Resources> Asylum Resources> Questions and Answers Series, access on July 3, 2008, translation by ACCORD). Occasionally, inquiries are also carried out via email or telephone interviews to obtain information. References are given.

Publication cycle:

Query responses of the USCIS Resource Information Center (RIC) were published at irregular intervals. No responses to queries have been published since 2004.



Navigation on the website:

Home> Education & Resources> Asylum Resources: Leads to 3 Categories (Profile Series; Perspectives Series; Question and Answer Series).

Query responses of the Resource Information Center are only accessible via the search function (search term: RIC query). All query responses published by USCIS RIC can also be called up using the advanced search on ecoi.net (respective country and source US Citizenship and Immigration Service choose).

Additional Information:

In response to questions from stakeholders in the US, USCIS writes, “The Asylum Department is reviewing information posted on the USCIS website and working with the USCIS web team to make a change. [...] The Asylum Department no longer produces many of the country situation documents listed on the RIC country information page, so newer versions are not available for publication. In addition, the Asylum Department does not plan to publish further newly created documents on the country situation [...]. ”(Baughman & Wang, Attorneys at Law Weblog: USCIS answers questions, Question 13, May 22, 2008, http: //lawbw.blogspot .com / 2008/05 / uscis-answers-questionsapril-29-2008.html, accessed on July 3, 2008, translation ACCORD)