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13 April 2011

Did You Know?: The INS No Longer Exists

Each month, USCIS publishes a report on traffic to our website, which includes statistics on popular search terms people use to find our site. And every month, tens of thousands of visitors search “INS” to find us. In January 2011, our report registered nearly 30,000 searches for the term “INS.”

This leaves us wondering. After all, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has not existed since March 1, 2003. On that date, most INS functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is one of those three components. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are the other two.

So if INS was abolished eight years ago, why do so many people think it still exists? Why are so many people still searching for it online? Why has the word not gotten out to everyone? Do movie and television portrayals of “INS agents” keep the legend going?

Let us know your thoughts. Why do you think so many people believe the INS still exists?  

194 Comments:

At April 13, 2011 at 2:10:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most likely because it was in existance for so long, I think.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:11:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

because the USCIS forms still state INS

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:12:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of asking what's wrong with the public that they can't get it right . . . why you don't you change the name back. INS is short and easy to remember. USCIS sounds like typical bureaucratic gov-speak. Simple is better.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:12:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think INS was easier and everyone was used to it. USCIS doesn't flow as easily and is not as easy to remember. Plus INS was the agency that did everything and so you look that up. Now you have to figure out which one to go to.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't remember ever seeing anything to communicate otherwise. This is a good step in clearing up any confusion.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know it doesn't exist - it's just a faster and easier term to use. It's simply the same habit as referring to all facial tissue as "Kleenex."

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old habits are hard to break.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think that INS is easy to remember than USCIS. Some people search INS, eventhough they know that the name has been changed, simply because they do not remember it correctly so they hope when they type INS the real name will pop up.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:15:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's the main reason, but I want to point out that most TV shows still use INS when talking about USCIS. They also depict false ways to get citizenship - but that's another issue.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above post. INS is easier to remember than USCIS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:19:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because when somebody asks to lawyer or google it regarding whatever issues they have(either visa or immigration status or benefits eligibility or any other legal work related to US Govt., it still says that INS - instead of 3 specific components of it.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:19:00 PM EDT , Blogger Cynthia said...

Many people do not understand the complexity of the immigration system, split among so many agencies, DOS for consulate matters,DOL for labor certs, DHS, DOJ. besides the split of ICE and CBP. Also, many people pronounce USCIS as "useless", not a great combination of initials

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:20:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do they still say "Green Card?"

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:21:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the terms "INS" and "The Service" are deeply ingrained, both with the practitioners of immigration law and the general public. And for awhile there was the issue of just what to call the benefits side -- CIS, then BCIS, then USCIS. There may also be some confusion as to what subdivision covers what and when. If you use the the old terms to cover benefits and enforcement -- it is a lazy way to cover the bases.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:21:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think the movies makes it going. it is what the people are used to. it will take a generation to wipe this out.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. All this time I never knew that. I'm agreed with everyone else. INS is easier to remember. Who cares really, as long as Google still sends it to http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have been taught 1+1 = 2, we will not say other numbers.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:26:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Jodi Gustafson said...

Until recently, even Wikipedia did not make it clear that INS no longer exists. And yes, the news has not made it to the popular culture.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:27:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you'd start saying INS is now ICE, I'm sure that would catch on. ICE is even more appropriate.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:27:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Movies and TV still refer to your agency as INS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:27:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts...those looking up the INS would be our illegal immigrants. They, for sure, would not know of USCIS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Krishnan said...

Following is an example of why INS is still being widely used.

Bombay and Madras were two big Indian cities (originally named Mumbai and Chennai respectively), during the British rule. They were then renamed to their original names in 1995 and 1996, by Indian Government. But, airport codes for them are still BOM for Mumbai and MAA for Chennai. It is hard-coded in so many global systems, that it is really hard to stop people from searching for Bombay (BOM) and Chennai (MAA).

INS still exists because of the similarity to the consequences in the above example.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be that people long for the days when services of Immigration and Nationalization was run efficiently by the experts at the Justice Department. YOU THINK?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I know it is no longer used, but I also thought this was a recent event, dating maybe 1 or 2 years ago.

Regardless of this, I keep using the term INS whenever I need to look for USCIS website because its EASIER to remember. The three letters INS are less confusing than USCIS. Most of the people that look for immigration services are not Americans but aliens who's main speaking language is not English, so long terms or words are harder to recall.

That is my opinion of why people like me keep searching for INS and not USCIS.

Thanks

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:30:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like cynthia's comments ... It looks like govt wants to complicate everything .. Our neighbour Canada is refining its rules and regulations every other year on immigration and making it very clear and bold. Our govt, is making politics in making simple and bold immigration process.

You guys don't want to do anything, just sit on same useless process for decades and decades. Is this problem kept alive just to capture people's vote and sit in power always? dunno where this country is going ?? oh! god, save this country.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:31:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like the FBI they haven't existed for quite awhile either, but people respond to those three letters FBI. OK, maybe they still exist in spirit.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:31:00 PM EDT , Blogger jojo said...

It's a matter of getting use to it, just like when you want to copy a document, people still say "xerox it" when it's supposed to be "photocopy it" for me it doesn't matter as long as I get to the site, that's all it matters.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:32:00 PM EDT , Blogger Sayid said...

Old habit dies slowly.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:32:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having things under 3 different divisions if very confusing to the public. Many feel it all falls under INS, so they still use that term.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:32:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change it to "La Migra" and go back to enforcing the Immigration laws like when I was an INS Criminal Investigator. Seal the borders and enforce the law! I would put my name but I do not want Homeland Security persecuting me.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most US enforcement agencies have 3-letter words - FBI, DEA, CIA, ATF, etc.etc. It gives some fear into the hearts of many. But USCIS?? C'mon!! Might as well name it AFFSTMUSA (Agency for Foreigners Seeking to Migrate to the United States of America).
Who comes up with these initials anyway??

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very funny. Everyone keeps trying to reinvent themselves. Janitors to Janitors/Janitress to Sanitation Engineer.

INS to CIS to BCIS to USCIS. I saw them all. When an agency can't figure out who they are, how can the public?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many other govt agencies have 3-letter names (CIA, FBI, DOJ, DHS, IRS), it's just easier to keep up that trend and think of the INS. In our soundbyte culture, more than 3 letters and you've lost your audience.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess only old people who doesn't know what USCIS is doing most of it for them are still going to INS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the INS the red-headed step-child of the IRS?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the fact that some websites still mentions , "formally known as INS" may contribute to that, Also INS is much easier and it makes more sense,the word IMMIGRATION is the first word that comes to people's mind & therefore when one googlies INS comes up first.....

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of the 24 comments, only 3 have posted their "names" - the rest are anonymous (including me).
Doesn't that tell you something??

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Social Security Cards still state "not valid for work without INS Authorization" That confusing things..

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:43:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there are a few reasons why the INS acronym seems to linger on long after the agency has passed on.First INS was around a very long time;secondly, USCIS has not advertised itself very well to the public at large and third, most federal agencies have a 3 letter acronyms. There are a few federal agencies with 4 letter acronyns, however I beleive USCIS is the only federal agency with such an extensive acronym. Change it to CIS and see what happens to the use of the INS acronym.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:45:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People still use INS because, after so many name changes, nobody believes that "USCIS" is actually the permanent name for the agency.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Petur S. Williams, Esq. said...

I think there has been no good reason for the general public, especially the likely to be foreign born and bred public that is your constituency, to figure out that INS is actually gone, not just hiding behind some other set of government agency initials....as was well said above,
"Instead of asking what's wrong with the public that they can't get it right . . . why you don't you change the name back. INS is short and easy to remember. USCIS sounds like typical bureaucratic gov-speak. Simple is better."

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEVER received a communication (Call-Letter-Notice from INS or USCIS) or an Acknowledgement of my letters to them. So this does not surprise me. DHS and USCIS should look inside to explain why they are not able to communicate with their customers. May have a lot to do with the effectiveness of the contractors that are now preforming the outsourced functions.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS...uhn? New TV show? INS is short and sweet...I'll keep using it...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Maryanna Quintyne said...

I think it was a lot easier to remember! "INS or USCIS"! As long as you are able to get the necessary information to secure your status legally; I think that's what that really matters.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up to today I still did not know what USCIS stands for.I'm sure if you ask all who posted comments today you would get different answers.INS jumps out at you, USCIS don't

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:52:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

During my gereration, people are familiar with the word IRS. I believe the people with younger gereations who take History classes or whatever classes that use the word USCIS will use the word USCIS because INS is going to fade away generation by generation. The fact is that when I go back to my country that I left more than 30 years ago, I have trouble to understand some newly used words that were not exist when I was there.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:54:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is easier to remember. USCIS is too difficult, plus change is never easy!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:55:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of people think the word "INS" would automatically reroute to a new immigration service website.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:56:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

because uscis and cbp and ice and dhs all still "la migra" and "la migra is imigrasun an naturalisashun service"

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:57:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually they have moved on to "not valid for work without DHS Authorization". Doesn't mention USCIS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone in the public knows the formation of Homeland Security was just a bureaucratic land grab to consolidate power. It had nothing whatsoever to do with serving and/or protecting the public better.

The result, as far as public service is concerned was just a more complicated, bigger, bureaucracy with a new, indecypherable acronym alphabet soop.

So, we ignore the changes, and just use the labels that make sense.

The fact that the public doesn't even know the basics is the best evidence of the failure of the policy to have any impact on the public. Period.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 2:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it seems to be where the average American gets information, it's time for another, newfangled acronym t.v. show:
USCIS: LA,TX,FL,CA & America! **smile!**
~vnf

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number one reason is certainly all the movie/television portrayals. Also, there are other acronyms that sound close to USCIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, Computer Information Systems, USC, etc) such that somebody using that acronym may not be sure that the listener will understand unambiguously.

Not like the government has (or should) spend a lot of money on marketing the name change.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for google...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:00:00 PM EDT , Blogger Jaki said...

INS is short for Immigration & Naturalization Services INS .. easy to remember. What is USCIS short for? I'm not seeing it

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:01:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what it should be - using "DHS" rather than USCIS in everyday conversation. I don't think people are interested in differentiating WHICH branch of DHS unless they are filing for something in particular...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:01:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

These immigration issues take so long to resolve that many people started the process when the agency was still known as the INS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All old timers remember it as INS. And it is so easy to remember.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:06:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS is terrible and confusing and NOT transparent and is never going to catch on, for all the reasons everyone else has given, so at some point you are going to change it, probably change it back. So why bother to learn it?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:07:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because we DON'T CARE what you call yourself, but we DO CARE what you're doing. Or rather NOT doing. How about guarding the borders and stopping the flow of illegals into this country...you know, sort of like you were SUPPOSED to be doing? Eh? Whaddya say? Too radical for you INS? (or whatever you're calling yourselves these days?)

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS was a TLA (three-letter acronym) which sounds official. Every time you make the name have a longer acronym, it is harder to remember, harder to say, and less official sounding. A three-letter domain name on the internet is generally more valuable than one with more letters. Also, USC already stands for two things: United States Code and University of Southern California, and it is is the start of USCG (United States Coast Guard). The ending of the abbreviation, CIS, was the Commmonweatlth of Independent States after the old USSR broke up. Changing the abbreviation is like McDonalds Restaurants changing their name to Quick and Tasty Food for Cheap, and expecting us to remember QTFC instead of McDonalds.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these abbreviations mean nothing to the public,it only means something to the people who work at these offices, because it divides who does what paper....USCIS,DHS, & NVC and your latest NBC

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it broken? Did it need fixing? US Citizenship and Immigration Service. You'll need a bachelors' to figure out what to look for. There is no need to add to the confusion of the WWW. Many people still use the yellow pages and they would never find it.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:10:00 PM EDT , Blogger Nancy said...

"INS" became over the years more than an acronym. It became a widely recognized 'word' in the English language and stubbornly remains so. This would be true regardless of TV portrayals. "USCIS" does not roll off the tongue and is a bad substitute linguistically for replacing a long-used short 'word.' USCIS remains a cumbersome acronym. Why not rename the three-fold agency "Immigration, Naturalization and Security" - then you can go back to INS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People probably still think there is an INS because I don't recall there being a public campaign to educate people by DHS or USCIS. Plus most TV dramas and movies still talk about the INS if there is an immigration related part of the story.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might be because a lot of people still can't tell what each of these "new" components of the DHS does.

When they refer to common immigration requests like green card or fiancée visa's etc, they probably can't tell what of these components to go to. That's why they search for INS as a main hub for their requests.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:13:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the consensus is:
INS is memorable and easier to use.
INS is a trade name like Xerox and Kleenex.
INS is shorter and fits in with our culture
INS is still used on government forms
INS is still used by government workers
INS does not sound as bureaucratic as USCIS
Bottomline: Just embrace it. You can be both.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait... if you guys are new INS, who the heck is the new United States Computer Information Services?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should do what Prince did. He tried out, "The Artist Formerly Know As..." for a few years until he realized that "Prince" was just better all around. Maybe you've already confused the public enough though, with the 5 minutes that you were "BCIS," but then your big brother "ICE" bullied you and CPB into dropping the "B." You, USCIS, are the most important one anyway - why not rebel, go back to "INS" and ask ICE, get a nose ring, and CBP to shove it?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:22:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People as a whole don't require Immigration unless they are getting a passport. Also, INS should be the title as it was meant to be so that there is no confusion! Then we can all get along! lol

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:31:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because USCIS is such a bland acronym that it could pretty much stand for any government department.

US Criminal Investigative Service - FBI
US Committee on Interior Services - National Park Service
US Constitutional Integrity System - Federal Court System
US Currency Integrity and Security - Secret Service (counterfeiting division)
US Commerce and Industry Services - Commerce department
US Chief Institute of Security - DoD
US Commission of International Services - State Department

There's something to be said for name that is both simple and descriptive. USCIS is neither.

(And it really sounds like you are trying to rip off NCIS.)

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet you're sorry now that you asked the question.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:34:00 PM EDT , Blogger George said...

If it had changed from USINS to CIS, people would more readily adopt the change. Two extra letters makes the accronym much more unwieldy.

Solution? Call it the CIS. The INS didn't need US before it...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For just a month shy of 70 years we had INS. Suddenly with all the bureaucratic reshuffling after 9/11 in an effort to make it feel like things are getting done, it becomes splintered across 3 departments of Homeland Security. Our government is awash with redundancy and needless departmentalization and you can't expect the US people to even bother to keep track when the general perception is that half of these new organizations can't even define themselves effectively! Have a problem? Throw another anagram at it!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:45:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, let's see, I search for(historical) INS annual reports for my research, and I can't be the only one...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sir(s);

Does anyone remember the late 70s & the 80s...Wow!For most of Americans, we were still blinded to believe in "Honor" back then, well,well, all of the sudden Big Companies, Stores were ALLOWED to change their NAMES (ring a Bell?)So many American, honest tax payers just "Let Go" in the NAME of Bankrupcy while the same Company was practically opening another branch with "A NEW NAME" and hiring at a lot less overhead...Good American families were forced to sell their homes, and sadly in the past 8 yrs to this embarrassing disgrace of administration that has proven to be against the goodness of humanity! So if you ask me? NO Sir, this doesn't surprise me at all from the American Gov...If you haven't yet opened your eyes on how "Honor, Ethics, Morality " are not a part of the US for decades...changing NAMES has been a stragedy and an abuse to the taxpayers.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps USCIS should make an effort towards clarifying this point.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think INS is more easier and known for years in the minds of people. it will be nice if you change it back to INS

 
At April 13, 2011 at 3:58:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

30,000 searches for the term “INS” doesn't sound that much to me.
I'm one of the annual 50,000 (DV-2001) winners of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. Just imagine this: To do the 10-year renewal of the Permanent Resident Card you ordinarily take a look at your old documents and especially at the cover letter mail which contained IT, THE GREEN CARD. Guess what, you read INS everywhere. So as a matter of course everyone in that situation searches/googles for INS first.
And I'm just one of 50,000 DV's. And this is just one of many other explanations...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:14:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) INS was synonymous with immigration services as a whole.
(2) Now there is ICE, CBP, CIS, and what-have-you, under the umbrella of DHS which also covers other important govt. agencies. It bewilders those who are not immigration lawyers - and the large majority is not.
(3) It can be confusing to try and ascertain with which agency one is or should be dealing. Therefore referring to the entire spectrum of immigration-related agencies as INS (as it indeed was) is much easier.
(4) INS was in use for a very long time.
(5) The acronym (INS) rolls off the tongue much more easily than CIS, or USCIS.
(6) Bring INS back!
(7) Maybe, just maybe, the name change back will return some little sanity to a somewhat shaky immigration system. Obviously though, it is people that make a system - or break a system.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:25:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

JUST BECAUSE THE FOREING PEOPLE THINK, "INMIGRATION" WORD; TO COMUNICATE WITH THE GOVERMENT, TO DO THE PAPER WORK TO MIGRATE

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word USCIS is harder to speak but INS is easier to speak, i guess

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous kwidjibo said...

In case you guys have trouble keeping track, ICE is the branch that kicks down your front door without a warrant and arrests your entire family. USCIS is the one that denies your visa application when your spouse dies. hth.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:40:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Dr.Azam said...

It is because the word INS is still seen on the internet especially on the unofficial and commercial sites, these sites forcefully pop in when somebody is browsing.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

because the "Department of Homeland Security" concept was such a boondoggle that every name change resulting from it was pretty much ignored.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:43:00 PM EDT , Anonymous billy williams said...

I wish we had an INS that was given the authority to completely shut down the US/Mexico border!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:44:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE USCIS IS HARD TO REMEMBER AND AFTER SO MANY YEARS MANY ARE NOT AWARE OF THE CHANGE AND IF YOU ASK SOMEBODY IN THE STREETS WHAT USCIS IS OR STANDS FOR THEY MAY DO NOT KNOW .

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi the answer is easy. INS is the word that every one know since many years ago, and when all the generation pass away, maybe the new generation call diferent

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this country is in real trouble if this is what's occupying the time of our federal employees that are supposed to be enforcing immigration laws. Get to work and start deporting the hordes of illegal aliens that are bankrupting the state of California!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Les Mc said...

Quite simply if someone is looking for the department that deals with naturalization they are not going to connect it to immigration enforcement, (ICE) or border control departments (CBP). They are looking therefore, for something that says naturalization, so INS is still what people will look for until one of the departments includes naturalization in their title.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:52:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe INS is easier to remember! I don't say INS; I just say Immigration!People are used with the word INS for so long that it is hard to forget about! Human brain, I guess. But is that any problem if we call " tiger, Lion"? INS and USCIS aren't they the same services?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 4:55:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1-INS is faster to type than USCIS and it takes you to the same place.
2-Immigration starts with I (INS)not U (USCIS)

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:14:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some people don't just love changes at all and such just love to stick to thier old ideas.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it is still in transition with in popular culture and the generation gap. Give it about 90 years, and people will catch on...

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:20:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea they were no longer INS. Since they know most search for INS why not put a LINK to the new name so it directs one to the correct site. A very simple solution, it's not rocket science folks.
Obviously they know there's a problem, SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:40:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is much easier to remember. (KISS) Keep It Simple....its like IRS/FBI/CIA/FCC/SEC/DMV. And the list goes on! USCIS???

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is legendary and people do not forget legends and do not believe that legends change. INS has all the initials of Immigration,Naturalization. People do not care about name-change, they focus on what the names does. If you change the name of some countries, it will not change how people perceive the country and many will still call it the old name.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 5:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the moment it was formed, DHS and all the federal agencies it consumed from other executive Departments seemed like a random patchwork quilt. The appearance was of creating a superfluous bureaucracy to make it seem that the administration was Doing Something about terrorist threats. In reality, all the functions of the current DHS were being performed well by existing agencies. INS did a fine job and was respected by many, feared by a few. Now you have two top-level agencies with Immigration in their name, but with names that sound like govspeak gobbledygook. At least ICE has a cool acronym, but most citizens could not tell you what it stands for, where their charter ends and USCIS' begins. By forming DHS as a Frankenstein from other departments' parts, several of which were very widely known (INS, Border Patrol, etc.) and enmeshing them in a new and impenetrable bureaucracy, the identities of these agencies were lost. That's one reason why people have not learned about DHS and its components. The other major reason is that people are stupid. Maybe you should make TV commercials with the Old Spice guy or hire Gilbert Gottfried to supply the voice of an eagle that squawks "USCIS!"

 
At April 13, 2011 at 6:31:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honestly had no idea that the controlling dept. was no longer the DOJ, nor that it had been moved to the DHS (which is also another acronym for the Dept. of Human Services). No wonder people are so confused. And then to split into 3 agencies from there - what where they thinking??? ICE is the only agency of the 3 mentioned that I am familiar with. Anyone else confused?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:06:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is just as stated, easy-simple. No one remembers current complicated ititials-name with all the abbreviations these days. Plus it makes no sense. Why do you all change things that work instead of changing those that do not??

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of the comments. INS is much easier to remember then US USCIS. Also, when people do the online search, the first word they usually type in is "immigration" and Not "citizenship" (the last word for someone being more difficult to spell :)

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:40:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is a lot easier. On the other hand, maybe you can get Donald Bellisario to produce a hit television series, that seems to have helped NCIS shed the NIS acronym.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:43:00 PM EDT , Blogger ID said...

Just change the name back to INS or register INS.gov and let it redirects to USCIS.gov because INS will live for ever in the heads of people. INS is easy to remember and people are used to it. Immigration and Citizensship Services (ICS) is better name that is more encompassing and easy to remember just like INS. Immigration and Naturalization Service of United Sates(INSUS) is another good option. The division of the former INSto U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) should not have caused the name to change. From INS to CIS, from CIS to BCIS and from BCIS to USCIS shows no good identity. In the worse case change the name to CIS if you don't want to go back to INS.

Lng Live United States of America!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:55:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like first impressions are hard to change, so are name changes. At times, AT&T wireless is still referred to as Cingular, for example.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 7:58:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

why make a link to new institution of the word INS is more easy and know this

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:02:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like we will be surprise at the Goverment, making things easier. Did you ever heard of(MISS) Make it Simple Stupid..

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:32:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The INS letters are like an ICON in people's brain. It's familiar and very easy to consolidate the complete scenario regarding to immigration issues.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a recently produced movie the other day and one of the characters referred to calling in the INS! USCIS has done very little to brand itself in the public's eye- maybe you should start your OWN tv show!!! You may even clear up some general misconceptions about immigration into this country!

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has it now come down to worrying about why so many people use INS instead of USCIS? Really? Seems like a few people at USCIS are running out of things to do... Hmmm.... How about using the down time to process applications quickly?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno. Why don't you spend more of my hard earned tax money to find out why rather than just reading these comments. Better yet, spend it to change the name to something even more completely useless like USA#1TALKTOUSIFYOUWANTTOCOMEHERE.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:42:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS had been embedded in the peoples mind in the same way as the Statue of Liberty is associated with the State of New York. Try switching the Space Needle of Seattle, Washington with the Statue of Liberty, NY. The Resident Alien Card is still called "green card". For most people, rhyme is easier to remember. CIS or USCIS or USBCIS does not rhyme and it sounds ridiculous. Try telling people, "yahoo it" or "I tried Yahooing it", instead of "google it" or I tried googling it"
Personally, I still use INS when I refer to USCIS, it is easier, faster and everyone know what I am talking about.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one cares?

I dunno - probably for the same reason I didn't know Massachusetts had changed from DSS to DCF for its social services department. If you don't do business with the department, why would you know or care that its name changed?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:53:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the FBI changed its name to, say, "USDOCI" (US Department of Domestic Criminal Investigation) - I'm sure the same thing would happen.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:58:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like why do people still call Russia the Soviet Union?
Lack of awareness and/or knowledge.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 8:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

30,000 people a month can't be wrong -- I say bring back INS! And the green "green card" too! Now *there's* a search term that will never die.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 9:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

@April 13, 2011 3:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous:
Prince had a legal dispute with his record label, that why he didn't use the name "Prince." Once that was resolved, he changed back from TAFKAP to Prince.

As far as INS is concerned, besides being in use for a long time, it just goes easier off the tongue than CIS or USCIS.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 9:37:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Marnel Tuble said...

Most probably because some people don't read updates coming from official government websites and other related publications

 
At April 13, 2011 at 9:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that so many people have been running from immigration authorities since it still was INS that they pass it along to the newer arrivals out of habit and ignorance.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 10:30:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I never really took the Department of Homeland Security very seriously, so I would never search for anything official or useful with them.

 
At April 13, 2011 at 10:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing I read this list because I didn't realize that we now have 3 little cubicles to travel between within Homeland Security. Seems a bit overdone. Please keep in mind that DHS in many states also stands for Department of Human Services and because I just dealt with that department in my state I didn't even think about Dept. of Homeland Security. All the acronyms might make sense to those in those areas but they are not always helpful to the general public. Do the employees in Homeland Security know all the departments and their functions?

 
At April 13, 2011 at 10:40:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame it on Hollywood as well to some extent- Ever wonder why they still refer to it as INS in the movies and the TV dramas? Why not create an awareness campaign too in Hollywood?Afterall, most people watch the procedurals on TV

 
At April 13, 2011 at 11:21:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think INS is simple and easy to say and remember.
It could also be a suggestion to revert to INS since it is a popular choice as indicated by your finding over 8 years. USCIS twist the tongue alot.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 12:44:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The INS is so popular that without knowing the meaning of it, you right away know that it has to be related with the government immigration and that's all u needed to know then and still now... the 3 new components are babies when it comes to population's knowledge of gov abbreviations .....

 
At April 14, 2011 at 12:55:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The INS, an easy to say acronym, was in charge of helping immigrants with valid paperwork to complete the immigration process to the United States. The USCIS has a well-earned reputation for denying visas despite proper application materials. Is it any wonder that the US public yearns for the halcyon days of the "INS" when American citizens-by-choice were given a reasonably fair and judicious appraisal? Change the name back, and dispose of all of the Bush era "misunderestimations."

 
At April 14, 2011 at 1:03:00 AM EDT , Blogger Taymon Beal said...

I consider myself a relatively informed person, but before reading this page, I had absolutely no idea that this was the case. Maybe the change wasn't well-publicized and the general public never got the memo.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 1:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is obvious the acronym stands for United States Citizen and Immigration Services. If INS stood for Immigration and Naturalization Service without the words "United States" and people still understood what it meant, why not just delete the US from the USCIS acronym and let it become CIS? That might solve this whole question permanently. Imagine if INS were USNIS. Just give it a try. Make the change to CIS.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 1:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Prashanth said...

I did not know that INS has ceased to exist for the past 8 years.

I have always used INS in my search for information on Immigration and the links have led me to the site which gave all the information, unfortunately I never checked the URL properly.

INS is easy to remember, unfortunately no awareness campaign has been created about the change in the status of INS, at least now efforts should be made to inform the general public about the change in the status of INS.

The danger of lack of awareness of the change is that unscrupulous elements may cheat gullible people by sending mails under the name of INS giving wrong information and perpetrate immigration fraud.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 3:15:00 AM EDT , Blogger nobodez said...

I'm a natural born US citizen. I heard about ICE when it started raids, but I didn't know where it came from until a few months later when I heard it called Imigration and Customs Enforcement. Same with CBP, I only knew about them from context. I didn't know about the USCIS (should be CIS, just like it's not USCBP), mainly because there wan't any need, since ICE and CBP are the most public display of the former INS. Though, the Hollywood angle is important, since USCIS isn't used much in the news, there's no exposure to the public. ICE and CBP are enforcement agencies, but from what I can tell, USCIS isn't.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 3:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous lgfitness said...

To assume that USCIS deviates from their true job just because they ask such question is quite naive. Just see how many answers turn such frivolous subject into a political matter. USCIS is better than some of you give them credit for and your answers may be just what they're after. As a legal immigrant who's been in the U.S. for 22 years (finally becoming an American Citizen this month; God willing that is) I think it's a mistake to undermine the immigrant's ability to understand acronyms and name changing. Some of you may forget that the terrorists attacks of 9/11/01 was an affront to most civilized world, not just the United States. And so for the legal or illegal immigrant living in the U.S. it's not so hard to identify changes and adapt to it. "INS" was nice, simple and concise but we all need to learn to move on in life and we need to learn to stop pointing fingers at one another while turning our attention to our own commitment and contribution in our community and country. The switch from a long term acronym to another makes no direct or indirect impact for the immigrant and the naturalization process and perhaps it's Google who best supports my view here. The real problem is not what USCIS asks but why we invest our effort and time answering such frivolous questions (perhaps one reason USCIS asks such thing???). We live critical times in America and this is not time to waste time in things such as these. It's easy to blame government for immigration issues. But immigration is affected by various things such as global economy, the immigrant moral integrity, government (both foreign and domestic), geographic calamity (Japan being the most recent example), and by USCIS workers and natural born Americans who do or do not care! I feel it's time for this generation to understand why people come to America but unfortunately for the new generation of Americans as well as immigrants who seek freedom and justice, the people of this country are forgetting the very reason the U.S. has such impact on global migration that drives our country to be the number one attracting land. It goes back to the very country moral foundation, the Constitution, Founding Fathers and all the people who died to assure the liberties we enjoy today. But as the united people find themselves 'not so united' anymore, especially when it comes to faith, family and political views, it's very easy to see that such diversity, unlike the one that has to do with culture background, is not as much (if at all) to our benefit as being united in the American core values is as it is to be diverse culturally. Let's look around and seek to spend time changing and addressing real problems, starting with our personal moral ones. Nonetheless, I must say it was quite entertaining reading some of the answers. May God bless all of us and may we turn the course of our history to become once again a united nation! :)

 
At April 14, 2011 at 4:19:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply because - First impression is last impression.
Alkesh, Ahmedabad, India

 
At April 14, 2011 at 4:37:00 AM EDT , Anonymous lgfitness said...

I'd like to add that I do agree with the fellow that said something needs to be done about illegal immigrants. People who enter this country illegally should be held accountable but such is a 'hard core' task that involves the responsibility and accountability of each one of us and going back to a point I made in my previous comment, which involves being united as a people in our nation's basic moral values and acting responsibly rather than just point fingers at government and immigrants, I must say that illegal immigrants find an easy target in a legal/court system that have 'predatory' American counsel seeking their own enrichment while completely disregarding their own country to defend those who do not deserve to be here. It's easy to blame the illegal immigrant alone but the problem is much bigger than people having poor judgment and morals. Illegal immigrants are a huge threat and burden to the U.S. and as a legal immigrant and American Citizen, I know that good morals is what made/make this country attractive to the immigrant and so only those who uphold good moral at entry and those who also choose to live out such good morals while here permanently or not, should be welcomed, embraced and supported. But solely penalizing illegal immigrants without pursuing to correct our legal internal problems and while penalizing the crooks who give a bad name to lawyers will not solve U.S. immigration problems on a long term. Illegal immigrants problem is one that deserves our attention, time and efforts. God blesses,

 
At April 14, 2011 at 5:50:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it should be IMM instead of INS due to "immigration" where most people search for the word immigration in most search engines.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 7:09:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people searching are from different countries therefore first two words are Immigration and Naturalization and when they do a web search they will type these 2 words.for most people uscis is unknown and they do not know what is stand for.
Also take into consideration green card lottery over seas they all use ins word.think about roles of movies and shows.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 7:19:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'm Not Sure.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 8:05:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion its not just because of TV and movies. Still in different Departments for acquiring information from public this term is used frequently. Recently I received a letter from my daughters college which states "your INS Status is undocumented". I think this term is used very commonly every where and is not out dated because it is used by officials too. Public awareness is the key. Proper terminology practiced by officials could make a great change.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 8:18:00 AM EDT , Anonymous William H. Richards IV said...

In order to save taxpayer money and eliminate public confusion, DHS should end use of the names CIS, CBP, ICE, TSA, FEMA, USCG and USSS. This alphabet soup of agencies creates fiefdoms within DHS which are unnecessary and counterproductive to creating a coherent mission and public image. Hence, DHS should be the only public term used.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 9:55:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is still stated in many online forms and laws cross references.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 12:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing is wrong with the common people still using INS - it is short, it makes sense, and easy to remember. Acronyms SHOULD be very clear. USCIS is hard to remember because IMMIGRATION is the lead word in any search of Immigration matters. I myself know exactly well that the name has changed long ago, but for my convenience I ALWAYS google INS. The middle letter in the acronym UScIS is very confusing - it is hard to remember what it stands for. I know English pretty well, this is not the problem, simply I think, 'Immigration', as the lead word, should start the acronym. Government serves for people - right? So why to make it sound so alien to everybody (not only aliens)? Thank you.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 2:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anup Shah said...

I agree some of the comments that INS name itself become popular over the time and it takes time people to get aware of new structure. but since 2003, i.e. 8years is not short time.
for many people What matters is the shortest way of information. so they type in INS on internet and they know internet is smart enough to route their request to correct website.

generally I spend time if I come across such important things. but that’s is also true I care if related to me at that moment. for Example I know about USCIC and what are major function through my school when I came USA in 2005.

then I become familiar about CBP in 2009, when I wanted to know if someone need Transit Visa of London in certain situation.

yet I am not aware of ICE. what are the thing it deals with. how this is different than other two. but now I know. So I am going to wait until I really need it to know.

I think this is completely subjective. some people likes to have information before they need it. or even if they do not need they like to share with other or who is in need.
and some people only care when they are in need Indeed.

I think there should be also steps from Govmt/Admin to propagate such changes frequently over time and have available those thing in simpler manner not just with PDF document listing out all things. I am sure over 60% of people hate to read long documents. especially in such cases.

Suggestions:
1) have small PPT describing original + new + difference with block, pictures, and brief bullet points
2) have as much as possible example/use cases demonstrating new structure. so people will know exactly where to go, whom to ask if they are in similar situation
3) have free chat session once in a month for public. everyone one know about SheelaMurty's chat session, right!

Of course they need to monitor/screen and manage history of all those things but eventually people feel good about this and it boosts their interest to know information from right place. isn't this safe also?

plenty of things can be done if WE ALL really want to improve this.

some things from other side, and on our side we need to start and then continue look for information at right place not SHORTEST way.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 3:15:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This simple question has turned into a political forum. Time to shut it down. Overall, most people voted for INS over USCIS. The one immigrant made a point about making it easy for immigrants since they use the USCIS (formerly known as the INS). Most of the others found this entertaining. I know I did. Finally, I agree this is a trivial thing to be using up valuable time, but how else would the marketeers earn their money?

 
At April 14, 2011 at 3:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is concise, elegant and actually clever. It contains "IN", which is what people are trying to get. In, that is. To the U.S.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 3:48:00 PM EDT , Blogger Sandhya Sundar said...

I think INS has remained/stayed in the "customer's mind" for a longer time and it is now near to impossible for the users to accept the change (which was implemented some 8 years back!!).

 
At April 14, 2011 at 5:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still on your FORMS & DOCUMENTS.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 7:04:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of the posts; INS is just so much easier to remember. Anyways, this was supposed to be a simple Q & A not a political debate about immigration.

 
At April 14, 2011 at 11:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's because if you say to someone "Did you hear about the new CIS regulations?' people don't know what you're talking about. If you say "Did you hear about the new INS regulations?" people understand. It's ingrained in the media and in everyday language that INS is the immigration service. If the IRS changed it's name, it would take years and large public campaign before people would start using the new acronym. Either expect a long period before the public gets it right, or change it back.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 12:36:00 AM EDT , Anonymous mdgandhi21@hotmail.com said...

Even UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is known as America or U.S.A. or US. Does it make any difference?

JFK is still known as New York Airport.

INS is very old and short form of green Card and Citizenship subjects and USCIS is not easily rememberable as compared to INS. Even if any one searches for INS, the site should automatically redirected to USCIS. In today's net services it should not be impossible.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 6:33:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Muhammad Alii said...

Because people are not well informed about it, I think ,,,,,,

 
At April 15, 2011 at 9:59:00 AM EDT , Blogger Sarah said...

It was stupid to think that changing the name would magically repair the reputation of the agency, and btw, changing the name was stupid. So, what, exactly, are you wondering about? Do you think that you have adequately informed the public that the INS is now USCIS?

 
At April 15, 2011 at 10:00:00 AM EDT , Blogger Sarah said...

If you are wondering whether you should change the name back, please do so!

 
At April 15, 2011 at 10:32:00 AM EDT , Blogger USCIS Blog Team said...

Please let us know where you are seeing the references to "INS" on forms and documents. Any links? Thanks! Great conversation.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 11:51:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because people who are looking for you can't remember 5 letters. They only can remember 3.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 12:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is easier to recall.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 1:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People think the INS still exists because the federal documents you provide still use INS:

1) The I-17 has "Immigration and Naturalization Service" at the top of each page of the form, and refers to the INS within the form.
2) The I-20 has "Immigration and Naturalization Service" at the top of each page of the form, and refers to the INS within the form.
3) Breaking a simple agency name (Immigration and Naturalization Service) into three separaate agencies has been confusing. The many policies that apply, for instance, to an F-1 student, fall under USCIS, CPB and ICE. SHould we just say "DHS" now, instead of INS, when referring to all immigration-relatede services?

 
At April 15, 2011 at 1:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear, Sr./Madam:
When I see the acronym INS, the first thing coming to my mind is: Family reunited, Jobs, American Dream, etc...However, when I see the acronym USCIS the first thing coming to my mind is: Deportation, No Jobs, Family separation, what is more the American Nightmare. Maybe this is why people unconsciously keep thinking INS.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 4:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous James said...

I think that it was for so long time on the internet so that many people had a habbit to search it like me, i am also one of visitor from that people.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 6:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one poster noted above, the Form I-20 which an individual must use to obtain an F-1 Student visa still boldly displays Department of Justice and Immigration and Naturalization Service on the top of the front page. And states “The information solicited will be used by the Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to determine eligibility for the benefits requested” on the instructional second page along with 11 more full INS references.
So every international student who has entered the US for the last 8 years, with this incorrect form that is critical to his or her immigration status, is under the mistaken impression that the INS still exists. And you are asking why????
I submit this question to you. Since the INS is a nonexistent agency, then should the Form I-20 have no standing as a valid legal document?

 
At April 15, 2011 at 11:02:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess: It reflects the general lack of knowledge Americans have with respect to all things concerning immigration into their country.

 
At April 16, 2011 at 2:24:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is much easy to remember and it also makes sense: Immigration. Usually people google immigration when finding information not USCIS.

 
At April 16, 2011 at 3:20:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's run by DHS, enough said. Seriously.

 
At April 17, 2011 at 12:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is simple, fast and efficent. What more?! Keep it simple, fast and efficent Government!

 
At April 17, 2011 at 10:10:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just establish a redirect link so that when someone searches for "INS" they'll be directed to "USCIS"? Or is that too easy?

 
At April 17, 2011 at 1:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

just say why. I don't like to be guessing

 
At April 18, 2011 at 12:11:00 AM EDT , OpenID onemorecup said...

This is another classic example of U.S. government bureaucratic bullsquat. Seriously, what can you expect if all forms are still registered under INS and just about every Act pursuant to Title VIII is online as a INS document. Furthermore, when visiting most research sites, for further action when one goes to the references most of them are coded INS - or Immigration Act;

It is just another example of how inept our governmental services are. Bare minimum and I'll do it at your expense...write an article much the same as you had here only with humor, background, and correctly word-smythed. Publish the darn thing in the most widely trafficted newspapers. Cheers!

jp

 
At April 18, 2011 at 12:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS made several errors on a case that I know and dealing with ongoing basis, no one is willing to take the responsibility it seems because INS does not exist, though it is so black and white clear. People are same, name is changed and so is attitude. To those INS still exists as nightmare.

 
At April 18, 2011 at 3:53:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a time when people who came to this country were EXPECTED to "naturalize". Otherwise,
why go to all the trouble of getting here? As long
as the META TAG directs the public to the services
available now, INS is a good search.

 
At April 18, 2011 at 6:18:00 PM EDT , Blogger pavalos said...

It is in part because "INS" it’s easy to remember than USCIS that are more letters. INS is straighter forward and it did exist for many years that people that don't use the services too often, they just don't find a way to refer to that page. On option to make it easier it would be to remove the US letter and leave it just as CIS, so people can get used to it easier.

 
At April 19, 2011 at 1:12:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The words Immigration and Naturalization and Services - INS-is plain and simple and exactly what the service is about and really what people need info.on. Department of Homeland Security suggests problems and security.

 
At April 19, 2011 at 3:13:00 PM EDT , Blogger Carla said...

Movies and TV? Seriously?? That the USCIS thinks that could truly be the reason, is probably the reason!

 
At April 19, 2011 at 4:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people still use ins because a lot of americans equate DHS to be just anti-terrorism.

 
At April 19, 2011 at 8:52:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS is a tongue-twister, especially if you have a lisp or braces.

 
At April 20, 2011 at 10:05:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys should spend time in making stronger border, less process time for legal entrants, and punish illegal entrants. Name change won't improve image of this agency, prove it in work.

 
At April 22, 2011 at 2:16:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god, where is this country going? USA is a very special and wonderful country in this earth, please don't spoil it. Future generation has to get what old generation received from this country.

Instead of spending so much time in re-branding INS,

(1) Why don't you people(Gov-e), do productive effort in making legal immigration simpler without too much complication and wait time. If you guys issue immigration application for a decade, more illegal will flow this country.

(2) Make strict rules in punishing business who hire illegals, so that people crossing border will stop.

God, save this country ...

 
At April 25, 2011 at 2:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still say INS even though I know it is already USCIS. Easy to say. why USCIS is worried what people say? USCIS need to focus on improving the process time. Because of this lengthy process to get green card, future is undecided - very frustrating. I am planning to move back to my country in next 2 years. ENOUGH is enough - already waited 5 years

 
At April 25, 2011 at 4:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems processing times during INS was very good, now USCIS is very slow. Seems at the current processing speed of USCIS, I could get US Citizenship when I am about to retire or to put in another way, you could stamp my U.S. Citizenship when you are about to retire. If changing name back to INS provide U.S. Citizenship in a max of 12 years, then please go for it ;-).

 
At April 26, 2011 at 2:04:00 PM EDT , Anonymous U ! Kom said...

The words Immigration and Naturalization and Services - INS-is plain and simple and exactly what the service is about and really what people need info.on. Department of Homeland Security suggests problems and security.

 
At April 26, 2011 at 5:04:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for one of the DHS components and I didn't even know there was a "USCIS"!!!

 
At April 27, 2011 at 4:30:00 PM EDT , Anonymous 411 New York said...

Showing results for USSCI. Did you mean: USCIS
---
When you type "INS" in the search, you guarantee yourself in finding the right page in the top 5.
With spelling errors of USCIS, you may get lost.

With phishing sites and those making a buck, searchers must be cautious.

 
At April 28, 2011 at 8:22:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name change will not help you ... you cannot hide for long time ...

Please FIX your broken process, implement IT solution to help your team in issuing GC/Citizenship in less than one month.

Most important ... hire quality people, inject fresh blood in your team ...get rid of in-efficient members in your team ... without these, what ever budget is allocated to this agency, is like throwing it in sea.

 
At April 30, 2011 at 2:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Jose Gil - Anuncios tv said...

Because of the Internet results I think.

 
At May 1, 2011 at 3:48:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about changing USCIS to just CIS or ICS?

 
At May 1, 2011 at 8:23:00 PM EDT , Blogger . said...

What do you guys think of Detroit and Immigration??

http://randomnewslinks.blogspot.com/2011/05/detroit-economy-fixed-by-immigration.html

 
At May 8, 2011 at 1:19:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it is better to keep the INS acronym just to keep it simple; Why do the bureaucrat's want to always change stuff, don't they know that cost more tax payer dollars.
Leave it as INS no one can remember the other name you call it.

 
At May 8, 2011 at 7:23:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the government still uses the term, people will continue to use it to. The EOIR 800 number makes references to INS -- for example, "The INS brief is due...."

 
At May 9, 2011 at 7:37:00 PM EDT , Blogger Bill said...

Americans never make thinks easier for anyone. They are so complicated and not practical. Why not to renew INS site? All of you spent so much time and money to change what is was so good, didn´t make any effort! Hope I helped.

 
At May 30, 2011 at 1:50:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the USCIS/INS have yet developed an even adequate system of tracking applications? They sure as heck had not 3 years ago when I was blessed to become a US Citizen BUT lost $400+ dollars because they "lost" my Green Card Renewal (their error, not mine BUT "they" still kept my $400+ PLUS the $675 for citizenship application)
To a previous post I was NOT an illegal alien BUT a green (pink) card holder, having to deal with USCIS/INS out of necessity, trust me NOT by choice.
USCIS and organization is a true uxymoron.

 
At May 31, 2011 at 3:42:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every one refers to the citizenship as 'Naturalization' and the citizenship application form is N-400 coming from the INS days, whereas the abbreviation USCIS, simply ignored the word 'N' for Naturalization. To make it more associated why should not call naturalization as 'Citizenship' and form N-400 as form 'C-400' & further the 'Certificate of Naturalization as 'Certificate of Citizenship' - to match with the words Citizenship in USCIS.

 
At June 27, 2011 at 5:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it folks, ICE makes a better acronym that INS. Watch the landscaping crew run & hide in the bushes when the bossman yells ICE?, when he really wants to know if they want ice in their drinking water.

 
At August 10, 2011 at 4:18:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

INS is easier to say and remember than USCIS, unless you pronounce it like Us Kiss. Do you guys really want to be known as Us Kiss?

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:25:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is still referred to in tv shows as INS.

 
At March 15, 2012 at 12:22:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many other govt agencies have 3-letter
names (CIA, FBI, DOJ, DHS, IRS), it's just
easier to keep up that trend and think of the
INS. In our soundbyte culture, more than 3
letters and you've lost your audience. fapturbo.name

 
At August 23, 2012 at 8:36:00 PM EDT , Anonymous dizigun said...

The words Immigration and Naturalization and Services - INS-is plain and simple and exactly what the service is about and really what people need info.on. Department of Homeland Security suggests problems and security.

 
At January 11, 2013 at 1:22:00 PM EST , Anonymous professional editing said...

Old habits die hard, so goes a saying. Most of the time, when we do somethig, we do by reflex action. For example, when we are driving, if we notice something or someone going across the road, it is by reflex action that we apply the brakes. We do not do a voluntary movement with our legs. So is the case with names which we have been using for years. We do not wait to think and get the new name before we type it in google. It is the relex action logic which works here. The word INS has been imprinted into our sub-conscious mind for years and it is also this sub-conscious mind that tells us that google will find the new site for us even if we use INS or using INS is not illegal.

 
At March 6, 2013 at 3:44:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article tells us what ICE and CBP mean. Ironically, the US is left off of both of them. But you don't tell us what USCIS stands for. With so much confusion even on this web site it is no wonder no one knows the new name.

 
At June 8, 2014 at 11:11:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Tarrence said...

Lets stay true to our American way of 3 letter acronyms please, INS was so simple.

 

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