Individuals petitioning for their married relatives abroad might notice that derivative children who qualify to immigrate have suddenly disappeared from the list of traveling applicants on the CEAC system. We are experiencing this troubling snafu just recently when children who were under 21 were not listed on the system even though the petitioner had already paid their visa fees. After some futile attempts through asknvc, we were finally able to get in touch with somebody over the phone (after a couple of hours) who advised that the children were removed because their cases were being considered under the CSPA-something which made no sense because the children in question were minors and not even close to “aging out” where the Child Status Protection Act would have to come into play. After more hours on the phone, we were finally able to speak to a supervisor, who confirmed that there was a computer glitch that resulted in the children being removed. This is just another illustration of how things that can potentially go wrong even when things are done right from an applicant’s side. In this case, had NVC’s own error not been brought to its attention, the children’s ability to immigrate would have been jeopardized. And to make matters worse, these are not the only types of issues that applicants may experience while processing their cases through the electronic CEAC system. In some cases, NVC may incorrectly determine that a petitioner does not meet the financial guidelines under the Affidavit of Support; in others, NVC has been known to halt processing when documents are allegedly not dark enough or not scanned the right way. After the documents are rescanned to conform to the specifications, it might take NVC another sixty days before confirmation is given that the deficiency has now been cured-even though, many times, there was never a deficiency in the first place.
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to avoid these types of problems. Glitches and errors made by government personnel are beyond an applicant’s control. However, the assistance of an attorney can help mitigate these problems when they do arise and save you not only countless frustrating hours on the phone but spare you from the mental aggravation of having to identify and fix agency errors. In this climate especially, when family immigration is being targeted for extinction, petitioners may want to strongly consider recruiting the help of an attorney.