USCIS just launched its first pilot program to test the Secure Information Management Service (SIMS), the agency’s newest web-based information management tool. The pilot program was deployed on July 5, 2007 to process inter-country adoption applications domestically in Memphis, Tennessee and Newark, New Jersey, and internationally in Frankfurt, Germany; Bangkok, Thailand; and Mexico City, Mexico.
During the initial phase of this pilot program, all inter-country adoptions filing requirements and processing dates will not change. Applicants will remain required to submit Form I-600A (the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition), Form I-600 (the Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative), and Form N-600 (the Application for Certificate of Citizenship).
After submission of these forms, USCIS will create an individual customer account in the SIMS database and process the applications. During this pilot period, USCIS will work with its employees, the customers and relevant adoption agencies to look specifically at how the pilot tool is working.
USCIS’s goal is to expand the SIMS tool nationwide to include all agency petitions and applications. “The cumulative results of SIMS, the inter-country adoption pilot, and the overall USCIS transformation effort will change the way we do business and will streamline outdated processes,” said Emilio Gonzales, director of USCIS. “These improvements will not only mean better service for our customers, but will also enable us to enhance security, prevent fraud, and equip us with the means for better interaction with other state and federal agencies.”