USCIS Expands Virtual Assistant to Answer Questions in Spanish

Thursday, June 2, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services expanded the capabilities of “Emma,” a virtual assistant that allows customers to quickly find accurate immigration information. Now, Emma can answer questions and direct users to relevant USCIS web pages in Spanish as well as English.

You can find the new version on USCIS’ Spanish language site, , accessible from any device. As with the English version, launched in December 2015 on, you do not need to know official government terms to ask a question. Just select “Haga una pregunta” in the upper-right corner of the screen and type a question in your own words.

Emma is named after Emma Lazarus, the poet whose famous words are inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. The virtual assistant was developed in response to a growing interest in customer service self-help tools. USCIS call centers currently receive many general information requests that can be provided through the web, and Emma helps provide that information.

As customers ask more questions, Emma gets smarter and can better assist future customers. The English version currently can answer 90 percent of commonly asked questions. Even though the Spanish-language Emma is new, she can already answer over 80 percent of questions, including those that use idiomatic terms and mixtures of Spanish and English.

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