Meet Emma, The New Virtual Assistant for Spanish Users of the USCIS Immigration Website
By Raul Ray, Esq.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, (USCIS), processes applications for such immigration benefits as green cards, work permits, travel document and naturalization. As an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS is primarily responsible for overseeing lawful immigration to the USA.
USCIS customers can visit the USCIS website at <www.uscis.gov> for immigration information, forms, make an appointment to visit a local USCIS office, check application processing times and check the status of any pending application. However, navigating the website is not easy and can be overwhelming for those trying to find information on the site, especially Spanish-speaking customers.
Since last December, customers have been able to turn to “Emma” for help in English when visiting the USCIS website. Emma is a virtual assistant who receives questions, provides answers and directs people to the right location on the website using the English language. She is named after Emma Lazarus, a famous poet whose words are engraved on a plaque located at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Since June of this year, Emma is now able to provide help and guidance on the USCIS website in Spanish as well. You can find Emma at the top right hand side of the USCIS website or by going to the Spanish USCIS website homepage at <www.uscis.gov/es>. Spanish customers do not need to know immigration terminology to ask Emma a question. Just select “Haga una pregunta” in the upper-right corner of the screen and type a question in your own words.
I wanted to know just how accurate Emma really is so I tested her by asking such questions in Spanish as “How to do I apply for a green card? ”and “ How do I apply for citizenship?” I was very impressed with Emma. She was able to provide me with pretty good answers to my questions, and directed me to USCIS web pages in Spanish as well as English that contained more information that were related to my questions.
Overall moving forward, I believe Emma will be a very useful virtual assistant tool that will aid Spanish customers to find accurate immigration information quicker and easier by asking their questions in Spanish.
According to USCIS, at the present time, its call centers currently receive many general information requests that can be responded to with information directly from the web. And who would be the source providing that immigration online? It would be “Emma” of course.
Also according to USCIS, even though the Spanish-language version of Emma is new, she can already answer over 80 percent of questions posed to her by Spanish customers. And with time and experience, Emma will only serve to become more smarter and proficient in terms of assisting future customers who visit the government website.
Remember contact ONLY a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice or immigration relief concerning your case. We will continue to keep you apprised on the very latest immigration news around the country.
For more information please feel free to contact Raul Ray, Attorney at Law, at Law Offices of Raul Ray, (408)279-5793, 1671 The Alameda, Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95126. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.