Stuck for US immigration advice? Ask Emma

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a virtual assistant named “Emma” on its website, which allows customers to quickly find accurate information.

According to a USCIS news release, Emma “answers questions in plain English and navigates users to relevant USCIS web pages.”

The programme is named after Emma Lazarus, whose famous words are inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Emma was developed in response to a growing interest in self-help tools and to enhance customer service. USCIS call centres currently receive many questions concerning general information requests that staff believe can be provided through the Web.

Although Emma can currently answer many commonly asked questions, the USCIS warns that her knowledge base is still growing. It says that as customers ask more questions, Emma gets smarter and will be better able to assist future customers.

You can access Emma on a desktop or laptop, and she’ll soon be expanding to mobile devices. A Spanish version of the programme will be arriving early next year.

To try the system for yourself, simply log on to the USCIS website and click the “Ask a Question” link in the upper right-hand corner of the page.