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chanduv23 06-12-2009 07:54 AM

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

pappu 06-12-2009 11:11 AM

Thank you Chanduv23 for taking a lead with other volunteers for this action item.

santb1975 06-12-2009 12:01 PM

Thanks for the Initiative Chandu
The success of this campaign depends on how many stories we get. We need solid examples to be able to discuss this with USCIS

mpadapa 06-13-2009 02:03 PM

This is an important action item, we need affected members to participate. Some of the issues addressed by this effort is very important for those invoking (current or future) AC-21. Based on recent assertion from Charles Oppenheim (from DOS), we know both EB2 I/C and EB3 would likely be having a long wait before one gets his/her GC approved. Due to long wait times, it is more likely that majority of folks would be forced willingly/unwillingly to invoke AC21. It is very important that we address this issue at its infancy.

If you know if any friends who has been through this ordeal due to USCIS service errors, do request them to participate in this activity.

santb1975 06-13-2009 04:26 PM

We need to move quick on this Action Item
We need participation on this action item. We really need people who are effected to come forward to be able to build a strong case and present it to USCIS

pappu 06-13-2009 06:36 PM


snathan 06-13-2009 06:40 PM

Guys...please come forward
Guys....this is very important. Please come forward and help us.

asdfgh 06-13-2009 11:47 PM

Looks like not many takers...
So now you need help from the lowly "Non-Donors"... but you will update only Donors on latest happenings...good luck getting support...some may say Ironic...:)

poorslumdog 06-14-2009 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by fresheb2 (Post 349083)
Was there any voting/vetting done - how did IV decided this as action item? (or did Chandu decided this?)

I can't imagine USCIS service error rate beyond 1% - for any gov agency there will always be some service errors.

  • In what capacity IV is going to help specific cases? All MTR, appeals has to be handled through lawyer - is IV planning to hire lawyers for these cases.
  • is it worth IVs limited resources and time?
  • How much percent of IVs members are affected by this?
  • How does this action item serve IVs purpose? As I mentioned above there will always be some errors (and looking at response so far, I don't see any pattern at all).

There is one common cause on horizon and IV is not doing anything about it - just waiting out (if you don't know, I am talking about Visa Recapture)

So how its all matter to you. You have brain as little as lalu. You never move your butt to do anything useful for the community and when some one does something useful, you will ask all kind of crap. Have a life you loser.

poorslumdog 06-14-2009 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by asdfgh (Post 348898)
So now you need help from the lowly "Non-Donors"... but you will update only Donors on latest happenings...good luck getting support...some may say Ironic...:) what. Dont deviate and start fight here. If you have any valid points add it here. Otherwise just move on. There is no free lunch. Yes, I am not donating...but I am not whinning like you.

GCard_Dream 06-14-2009 03:01 PM

My understanding is that it is routine for USCIS to not port the earlier PD in the 2nd I-140 cases filed in behalf of the beneficiary of multiple I-140s. If this is something IV intends to bring up to USCIS's attention then I'll be glad to share my story here. I didn't see this issue mentioned in the opening post.

We all know the importance of older PDs and if it doesn't get ported over to the new I-140, you have wasted all those years of wait due to a minor mistake by USCIS which is not only unfair but extremely frustrating and painful. It is just like putting you in the back of the line again after you have been to the front of the line.

axp817 06-14-2009 08:59 PM

I can't believe people are bashing Chanduv23 and IV, for trying to HELP them.

But then again, it only reinforces the saying, "A fool's refuge is in ignorance, where he can seek bliss"

That being said, I have personally benefitted from Immigration Voice's assistance, for those who doubt whether this will go anywhere.

pappu 06-15-2009 10:19 AM

Thread has been continued here.

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