Smart Automated Responsive Assistant (SARA)

SARA is our managed Smart Automated Responsive Assistant for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Information Technology (OIT).


SARA provides an intelligent, end-to-end conversational experience, instantly resolving common requests, allowing agents to focus on the most pressing issues, to increase both employee and customer satisfaction.

As part of the Information Technology User and Field Operations Support (NEON) program, GovCIO implements this ServiceNow virtual agent for USCIS; increasing access, functionality and enhanced natural language understanding models to better enhance their needs.

During the recent rebrand to SARA, the platform transformed not only visually, showcasing a new virtual agent icon along with refined menus and choice selections updates, but we also updated common greeting scripts and enhancing link pathways.

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SARA’s Impact on USCIS

Spotlight on Allison Bennett

Allison Bennett

Enhancing NLU Models

GovCIO refined the natural language understanding (NLU) models for the most common customer service conversations. By building and turning sophisticated models specific to USCIS’s vocabulary and acronyms, we have significantly improved the chatbot’s performance and efficiency.

IT team on computers

Key Results


User Satisfaction Rate

We enhanced SARA’s performance and efficiency with our refined Natural Language Understanding models, tailored to USCIS’ unique vocabulary and acronyms.


Conversation Completion Rate

SARA provides an intelligent, end-to-end conversational experience, instantly resolving common requests, increasing both employee and customer satisfaction.


Decrease in “Not Useful” Articles

Each time users receive a Knowledge Base Article, they can rate it as useful or not useful. By refining the Natural Language models, SARA now delivers high-quality articles consistently on the first try.

Robert Tuma, GovCIO

"The virtual agent at USCIS dramatically enhances operational efficiency, providing customers with a powerful tool to find answers for problems quickly. Each update further boosts its effectiveness and user satisfaction."

Robert Tuma, PMP, ITIL
Project Manager, NEON RAD Team, USCIS OIT

Continuously Improving the User Experience

Enhancing SARA

Our commitment to improving the virtual agent is ongoing, we continually monitor and enhance SARA to optimize the customer experience. Recent upgrades include:

  • Knowledge search query enhancements
  • Improved search prediction
  • Response delays fix
  • Streamlined processes for reporting

SARA is a key component to the accessibility, functionality and efficiency of our customer providing an optimal experience for milliions of individuals served by USCIS annually.


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