INS, CIS and Other Acronyms

Yesterday Yumi and I made a trip to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) office to check on a question we had about her Green Card. Normally, I’d file any discussion on the INS under イライラ—the ‘what was he thinking?’ files, but I have to say it was very pleasant.

USCIS logoYears ago INS changed its name. For some reason I could never remember what it was. I made a point to learn it yesterday. Turns out the new acronym is CIS. After having been introduced to the television series of the same name (who copied whom?) a few years ago, I don’t think remembering the new name will be a problem now. I am not sure what it stands for but my best guess would be the ‘I’ means ‘immigration.’

We were allowed in twenty minutes before our appointment and ten minutes later, we were talking with the officer. She answered our questions and promptly took care of the problem—all with a smile. We pulled out of the parking lot about eight minutes after our appointment time.


I remember in the days before we knew about scheduling appointments on the Internet, we had to get to the INS office before 6 AM and wait in line. We live about an hour and a half away and the joys of waking up at 4:00 AM to leave by 4:30 AM are short lived.

One time we got there at 6 and were made to wait in the cold for the next two hours before they let us in. Then we had another several hours wait, but at least we were inside. Definitely make appointments.

One other time, we had an appointment BUT mistaking north for south, we (I) accidentally entered the next State and, backtracking, arrived eight minutes late. (We have to switch interstates twice to get to the office and it is a little confusing.) The rules state if we are late, our appointment is canceled. But thankfully, after explaining how far we came and the mistaking north for south part, the officer let us in.


2 thoughts on “INS, CIS and Other Acronyms

  1. For a while there, between INS and CIS (not CSI, like the TV series you’re probably thinking of), the agency was also going by the acronym BCIS. Wait a couple of years and they’ll probably change again :). At least now you can make an appointment via the Internet, which is nice as it means you can avoid the long lines of walk-ins. Of course, the best thing is if you don’t have to deal with them at all.

  2. Hehe. Boy do I feel stupid. CSI not CIS… I guess I should watch TV more often.

    Yes, it was BCIS and I couldn’t remember those letters for anything. Now, I think, it is officially USCIS.

    Thanks for setting me straight.

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