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USCIS Upgrades Virtual Assistant to Include Spanish-Speaking Capabilities


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website has had a virtual assistant – named Emma – for a while now. She helps direct users to the right pages, can answer basic questions, and is generally helpful. But only to a certain extent. As a virtual assistant who could only speak and read English, her usefulness was understandably limited.

In order to make Emma better and visitors happier, the USCIS has recently upgraded Emma to speak and read Spanish. When you are on the USCIS website (, you should see Emma in the top-right corner next to the “Ask a Question” button. When you click on it, a chat pane will open up and you will be given the option to switch to Spanish, a feature that was not available before June 1, 2016.

Emma is as intelligent as she is helpful and friendly. The virtual assistant uses a script that allows her to learn better responses to questions and comments the more people talk to her. The USCIS boasts that the English-speaking Emma will get the right answer 90% of the time and in a fraction of a second, something call-centers cannot accomplish, and the Spanish-speaking Emma is already up to 80% accuracy in just about a week. Given a little while longer and she should be just as accurate, or better, than her English edition.

If the feedback for Spanish-speaking Emma is positive, it may be possible that the USCIS will continue to upgrade her to include additional languages. Since many immigrants looking to enter the country through employment visas and other means are still mastering their English, it makes sense for the website’s virtual assistant to offer help in foreign languages.

Here at Akula & Associates, P.C., we can also help make immigration easy for you and your family. Collectively, our Dallas immigration attorneys speak English, Spanish, Thai, Laos, Yoruba, Hausa, Nepali, Russian, Hindu, and Armenian. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about immigration law and visa petitions.

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