Many people are aware of the inefficiencies that can be endemic in US governmental websites and online systems. In America, it can sometimes be a joke how slow and cumbersome things like the US Postal Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles can be.
However, waiting in line to get your mail or your driver’s license are minor inconsistencies in comparison with the inefficiencies of more important government services. These include immigration systems, in particular the USCIS website.
The USCIS Website and Its Extensive Bugs and Issues
One of the biggest website inefficiencies we’ve seen recently is the series of the issues related to the USCIS website’s My Case Status tool. This lets you check the status of pending immigration applications or statuses by entering one’s case receipt number.
We tried doing this recently. When we started the process, we got a system telling us that the particular case was still pending and in process. Not a huge problem so far. However, as we continued the issues began in droves.
We saw that our listed case was taking longer than it should. We went to submit a case inquiry and determined it was literally impossible to do so because there were coding errors. You heard that right: it is impossible to submit case inquiries due to the coding issues. You can take a look at these attached screenshots to give you a better idea as to some of the issues we found regarding these.
We went through the steps of submitting a Case Inquiry at https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do and submitting the case information at “Cases outside normal processing time.”
When the submission is completed, the following message is displayed: “The Inquiry cannot be submitted because of the invalid receipt # and Form Subtype.”
Since the exact same receipt number worked just fine under the My Case Status tool, what changed? The Form Subtype dropdown is empty as well. The entire process went nearly exactly like this.
The Website Issues are Harming Immigration Cases
These website issues and inefficiencies have affected hard-working US immigrants. One of these is Natalia Golenkova, a Google-Certified Digital Account Manager with two Masters Degrees working to attain citizenship here.
Natalia sought asylum from Russia four years ago after the Russian government began pursuing her for political speech issues while she was still living in Russia. Her case has been pending for years, and at this point she is beginning to wonder if there isn’t an attempt to prevent her from attaining citizenship for particular reasons. She has talented children as well who will benefit greatly from citizenship, and they are also being held in limbo. The USCIS website issues are taking a problem and compounding it many times over because of all its bugs and coding issues.
This website needs to be addressed immediately. Hard-working people are being hurt by its issues and inefficiencies, and they can easily be fixed by people if they’d just take the time to do so. Until this is completed, we’ll only continue to see more future immigrants like Golenkova be stalled and have their ongoing immigration battles compounded and made even more challenging, for no reason at all.