View Full Version : IV Action Item : Stories needed on issues with USCIS service errors

06-15-2009, 10:19 AM
In the past few years, our members have seen their immigration petitions, at times, processed improperly or get denied for the wrong reasons. At Immigration Voice members have contacted us with various issues and we keep getting these requests even now.

We have noticed that some of these processing issues are repetitive and there seems to be a pattern to their occuring.

The most common issue we see all the time is when applicants ports his/her job through AC21 portability - an i 485 employment based petition getting denied immediately after employer revokes i 140. i 485 employment based petition must not be denied immediately if i 140 revoke happens after 180 days of filing i 485. This issue is very common and keeps happening and the only way this can now be resolved as of today is by filing for a Motion to Reopen.

Other issues we have noticed are
- USCIS denies an i 485 petition because beneficiary did not answer a request for evidence - whereas in reality the beneficiary never received the RFE
- 485 was filed in Aug 2007, when the priority dates were indeed current (USCIS issued a memo explicitly stating this), but the adjudicating officer sometimes issues a denial stating that the dates were not current

and other similar issues.

In each of these cases, the USCIS should give the applicant the benefit of the doubt and issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), or maybe a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), but never a straight denial.

As most of our members know, Immigration Voice has been helping members (especially donor members) in getting their 485 denials reversed successfully. This is being achieved by helping affected members follow up on their Motion To Reconsider (MTR) applications with their representatives of Congress, the Ombudsman, and at times directly with the USCIS.

In the long drawn process especially the i 485 application can get reviewed more than a handful of times - during filing, during pre-adjudication, during transfers between service centers (if applicable), during interviews (if applicable), during adjudication, and quite possibly reviewed by a different officer each time

Difficulties faced by applicants who get wrongful 485 denials:
- When an AOS applicant gets their 485 denied, they are faced with a barrage of stressful questions and issues,
- Applicants have 30 days to file an MTR, which can be an expensive affair - filing fees + attorney fees
- Applicants using their EAD cards to work, may have to suspend employment and go on leave without pay until their MTR is accepted and the 485 reopened. Undue delays during this phase can put their jobs at risk.
- Travel becomes an issue, since there is a question of the Advance Parole travel document becoming invalid if the 485 was denied
- Pending EAD/AP renewal applications could be jeopardized due to the denial of the 485 which was the basis for those applications
- If an applicant is overseas when the 485 is denied, they may quite possibly have trouble getting back into the country
- Local law enforcement, department of Motor vehicles, and other government agencies may not recognize the applicant's legal status in the country for the period during which the 485 is denied, which has its own set of hassles
The list could go on, but you get the gist, a 485 denial is not a pretty situation, until it gets resolved.
That being said, IV would like to work with the USCIS in taking measures to correct their processing procedures and not repeating the same errors again and again, thus saving the applicants from having to go through all the trouble, and the USCIS from the additional burden of having to review even more applications.
Our intention is not to blame, point fingers, or take up a fight with anyone. We recognize that this might be a training issue, or an oversight on the agency's part, and would like to work with them to resolve this.
The first step towards this initiative is to collect information on such denials that may have happened in the past 12 -16 months (since Jan 2008). IV is looking to get in touch with members that have had issues due to service errors and successfully resolved, and even the ones that are currently going through this.
We do understand that the first thought that might come to your mind is whether you could face any repercussions for 'taking action against a government agency'. Please realize that you are not taking any action against anyone, you are in fact helping IV help the USCIS streamline and improve its processes, which any agency would be very welcoming of.
We request our members who have faced such issues or are facing such issues to
- post a brief of their issue on this thread - such a post may not need to have personal information but a description of the issue and if it was resolved what were the steps taken (optional)
- Email a detailed issue description with dates, chronology of events and other information and hurdles you faced with your name and a contact number to info@immigrationvoice.org with a subject line "USCIS service error" (mandatory)

Please note that ONLY real stories from non anonymous members are needed. Please do not send bogus stories anonymously

At a later stage IV may request few members to provide their case information along with privacy consent after its discussions with appropriate authorities.

By doing so, you will be first and foremost, helping yourselves (we have had more than one member contact us, where the 485 was wrongfully denied on more than one occasion - so a successful MTR is not necessarily a sign that there won't be any more denials until the 485 gets approved), and helping other fellow applicants from having to deal with this very stressful and unnecessary situation.
We would like to encourage members to come forward and help us with this initiative, and also spread the word around. Helping is as easy as sending IV an email and optionally sharing your story on the forum.
With the priority dates being the way they are, and the heavy pre-adjudication activity that is said to be happening, we have an aggressive time line for this initiative, and would like to collect all information by June 30th, 2009, at the latest.
Thank you,
Immigration Voice

Chanduv23 and other volunteer members have formed a team for this effort under IV's guidance to help resolve common problems people face with USCIS errors. We have so many threads on RFEs and denials etc. Lot of people contact IV when they need help and they have nowhere to go. Just because someone does not have an RFE or Denial in error does nor mean it will not happen in future. People get panicked and seek frantic help from IV when they get into such situations. We wish to help solve this issue through this action item. If you need more information or wish to speak with someone please message chanduv23/ santb1975/mpadapa/snathan/axp817

If anyone wants to work on any other ideas and efforts, they can also form a team and contact us. We will guide you. Do not sit, wait and critique. Join hands with others and tell us your ideas and discuss them with us. Send us an email and we will talk about it. If the idea can be feasible we will certainly make that an action item.

06-16-2009, 09:52 AM

06-17-2009, 12:11 PM
As part of this intiative, members who have gone through with service errors from USCIS can help and save others who might have to go through the same ordeal.

Please note, if you feel you have been a victim of USCIS service errors, sharing it here will enable IV to discuss these with USCIS and probably work on establishing a channel where USCIS can also help resolve applicants problems faster.

But the success of this initiative comes with how many of the past service errors we are able to collect.

So I hope members who have experienced a frustrating ordeal due to USCIS Service errors and had spent thousands of dollars for attorney fees to resolve those, can at least mention their ordeal here free of cost.

Every mention helps IV to get this initiative move forward.

06-17-2009, 03:19 PM

06-19-2009, 11:00 AM

06-19-2009, 11:15 AM
Here is a recap from Murthy bulletin

USCIS Errors in Denying a Case
AILA Liaison requested that, where the USCIS denies a case in error, then the filing fee for a Motion to Reopen or appeal should be waived. It was suggested that the Ombudsmanís office needs to intervene in emergency cases, where time is of the essence.

Although the Ombudsman's office cannot adjudicate or approve a case, it believes that these channels may help in obtaining resolution via internal communications that recommend specific solutions.

It is important that the entire process with USCIS be followed in terms of filing the appeal or motion to reconsider (MTR) or other process. The CIS Ombudsman's office may attempt to intervene to resolve particular matters, but the individual or employer needs to follow the particular agency's guidelines and not miss any deadline or assume that the Ombudsman will resolve all legal concerns within a particular timeframe.

Folks - if we are not willing to help ourselves, we will have to go through these burden. So plese come forward.

If Authorities know about issues that are common and widespread - then necessary steps will be taken to correct them - otherwise we are all bound to suffer

06-19-2009, 01:32 PM

06-19-2009, 02:56 PM

06-20-2009, 10:45 PM

06-27-2009, 11:31 PM
My I-140 was approved in Dec 2006 and still working with sponsoring company.

Now my attorney got withdrawal decision on my I-140.My company or my attorney never send withdrawal letter for my I-140. However, my company sent withdrawal letters for some 12 other cases.

Here are the exact words from letter:

In accordance with the authority contained in Titl18,Code of federal Regulations, Section 205.1(a)(3)(iii)(C),the approval of the petition is automatically revoked as of the date of approval because of your written request of revocation(termination) field on XX/XX/XXXX,in this employment-based preference petition.

Could you please suggest how to correct USCIS mistake? Do we have to file Motion to Re-Open on my I-140?

Appreciate your help.