On Nov. 1, 2003 the BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services) was replaced by the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Although the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) transitioned into the DHS, all customer services remained in place. All familiar immigration customer services were retained through this transition. In addition, all INS enforcement-related information also remained in place.
Official forms and documents issued by the former INS are still valid and will continue to be accepted by USCIS and other agencies as evidence of status in the United States.
USCIS local offices remained in existing INS locations, including Application Support Centers and Service Centers. There was no immediate change in office locations, although some offices may have since changed. You can look up the office nearest you through Legal Language Services USCIS Office Locator.
The services provided by the USCIS include: the adjudication of family and employment-based petitions; issuance of employment authorization documents, asylum and refugee processing; naturalization; and implementation of special status programs such as Temporary Protected Status.
While the administration of immigration benefits was taken over by the USCIS, the vast majority of the other functions performed by INS were incorporated into two other bureaus under the Department of Homeland Security. Those bureaus are:
Due to the former INS functions being placed within the new DHS, many new acronyms have been formed:
The new website of the former INS is now US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at http://www.uscis.gov.