U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Relocates to New Facility in West Philadelphia
The Philadelphia District Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which serves as the gateway to America for thousands of immigrants, moved from its former home at 16th and Callowhill Streets in Philadelphia to a new, environmentally friendly building in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Approximately 140 USCIS employees occupy a portion of the 94,350 square-foot facility. Their jobs include processing green cards for permanent residents and swearing in new citizens. The facility also houses the USCIS Application Support Center, where immigrants submit fingerprints and photographs.
In the 1980s, an average of 6,500 immigrants per year became U.S. citizens through the Philadelphia District Office, which was small enough to fit into the basement of the federal courthouse in Center City Philadelphia. In the 1990s, the Philadelphia District Office was clearly growing, serving three times as many clients as the previous decade.
In its new location, USCIS occupies 48,161 usable square feet (USF) within the five-story building that features solar panels, shading systems to reduce heat in the summer months, rainwater recycling, and a 20,000 square foot rooftop park. The building is also conveniently located near public transportation and has onsite bicycle racks and changing rooms to encourage sustainable transportation for USCIS employees. The building has pre-certification to be a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED®) Platinum Building and GSA will achieve a LEED Platinum Certification for Commercial Interiors. The combined sustainable building features will help this facility save energy and recycle natural resources, while carrying out the USCIS agency mission and serving the public.
“Our new office space, including the addition of the Application Support Center-Center City, provides more convenient one-stop service to our clientele.” said Evangelia Klapakis, USCIS Philadelphia Acting District Director. “With the help of GSA we created a work environment that provides enhanced workflow to better serve our customers.”