Immigration Lawyers Dealing With Bureaucratic Nonsense

Want to know what it’s really like practicing immigration law? An unbelievable amount of time is spent responding to or dealing with the consequences of administrative mess-ups. Lost applications, misplaced checks, bizarre requests for evidence, and more — all handled by remote offices with tangled intake processes (see chart at left).

I had a situation where USCIS insisted it hadn’t received the required checks from my client to accompany a visa petition, even after we sent it photocopies of the checks. We went back and forth, back and forth, until the clients finally cancelled the checks and submitted new ones — at which point USCIS magically found the old checks, attempted to cash them (no go, because of the cancellation), and then charged my clients for the bounced-check fee. Aargh.

These issues don’t get as much air time as they should — partly because there is no one to complain to (just try getting media attention on injustices to immigrants) and perhaps partly because lawyers don’t want to piss off the very agency they have to work with day after day.

So it’s refreshing to see attorney Greg Siskind blogging about dumb moves by USCIS. Here’s his first, called “Dumb RFE of the Day: USCIS Demands Proof a Physician Needs a College Degree.” Read it and realize that part of hiring an immigration lawyer means you can pass at least a portion of the frustration and ulcers on to them!