The government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. USCIS officers make the decision on the initial application filed by the sponsor. They also process the detailed application for applicants who request an adjustment of status, but hand over to the Department of State for applicants who are going through consular processing. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and handles permanent immigration rather than temporary visas. USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.