On May 16, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman released Recommendations to Improve USCIS' Role in the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS). In her opening message, Acting Ombudsman Debra Rogers notes the importance of interagency coordination to good government:
The recommendations in this report focus on USCIS' responsibility to provide DOS with information used in reviewing and adjudicating employment-based nonimmigrant visa requests... Individuals and employers view USCIS and DOS functions as one uninterrupted process. This link requires careful coordination between agencies in order to provide the public with quality service.
The Ombudsman recommends that USCIS either:
- Instruct USCIS service centers to make a copy of the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, submission (petition package) regardless of whether a duplicate petition package has been submitted with the filing, and send it to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) for uploading into PIMS; or,
- Send the original petition package to the KCC, for scanning of documents, data entry , and – upon completion – forward the original petition package to the USCIS National Records Center for storage; or,
- Scan all approved petition packages at a USCIS facility, so electronic copies can be forwarded to the KCC for uploading into PIMS.
Reasons for the recommendations
- Stakeholders have reported that DOS has refused visas, or delayed the issuance of visas, to some nonimmigrant beneficiaries because required petition information was not found in PIMS.
- USCIS does not forward a petition package to the KCC when the petitioner fails to submit a copy with the original submission. Frequently, this causes a delay in the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to eligible applicants.
- Many individuals and employers experience business hardships and financial losses due to an employee’s inability to begin employment in the United States.