Week 2: Family-Based Visas = Bureaucratic Nightmare

Good morning on this very windy and dark morning in England! This is the second instalment of my 2015 blog where I discuss something that’s on my mind about US immigration law.

When clients come to me asking for advice regarding family-based visas the rules are very straight forward but the bureaucracy is a mine field. It is one of the areas where you would think it could be easy – a British person is married to a US citizen what should be so difficult? As long as you can prove its a real relationship and the visa applicant is not going to be dependent on US funds when he or she gets there they should get a visa.

A lot of the work we have to do with family-based immigration is done before my clients walk through the door. We must keep up  with the processing of petitions taking place over 4000 miles away in the US or I have to know whether my client is eligible for us to start the case here in the UK and side-step the long processing times in the US. In the last year, this is what I’ve tried to do in order to avoid the US Citizenship & Immigration Services Service Center (USCIS) and the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC at the moment is so back logged, I’ve heard from some of my colleagues who were able to take a recent tour that it is unfortunately over burdened with increasing numbers of spouse petitions and, for all intents and purposes, it is a gigantic bottle neck resulting in the separation of US Citizens and Permanent Residents from their family members outside the US for months and possibly years. This confirmed my thoughts as my own clients have been receiving inconsistent treatment and their cases have been a nightmare as the NVC’s promises to review a case and issue an appointment notice when they say they will have been broken again and again. This creates a very stressful situation for many families across the globe.

It can be frustrating when you start a case with a client and the processing slows down after years of consistent processing times. So, while we can help with the rules my job is to make sure the process is as smooth as possible or, at least I can inform you as to what is happening and try to mitigate any delays as much as possible.

Now the sun is up (somewhere behind the clouds) and I’ve got to get to work. Have a good week.

Please note that this blog is not legal advice and if you wish to book a consultation to receive advice relating to your specific situation please contact the Law Office of Janice Flynn at +44 (0)20 7092 6830 to book a consultation.