Q. I have an application for a Spousal Petition (I-130) submitted to the National Visa Center. I have not heard from the NVC and I am unable to reach anyone at the US Immigration Services to find out about the status of my US Visa Application. What do I do?
A. Reaching US Immigration for answers about your US Visa or Immigration case has always been a problem. You are dealing with a huge bureaucracy that is always changing in terms of departments, sub-departments, phone numbers, emails and websites. Navigating through the maze of the immigration system is a challenging and frustrating experience, even for us lawyers!
For Canadian citizens, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created an inquiry mailbox for customers in Canada. Currently Canadians can’t access the National Customer Service Center through the 1-800 number to ask about general immigration questions. Canadians may now inquire about general immigration information by emailing their inquires at [email protected] They can also access the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
The problem here is that these lines of inquiry yield only general information. Case-specific information is very hard to come by. For our clients, where necessary, we utilize information channels developed over many years of practicing US immigration law. In some cases, we request what is called a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that now comes in CD ROM format. FOIA requests are submitted in order to find about the inside-information about an applicant or their file. However, such requests can take a few months to get results.
I have always said that a large component of an immigration or visa application is dealing with the post-submission processing. Once the application is submitted to the various immigration departments, it is essential to keep track of them in the bureaucratic maze. Not always easy.
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