Friday, August 14, 2015


Some frustration with USCIS: I've been faithfully tracking my FOIA request's progress up the queue. On August 11, we hit a snag. Here's the timeline:

7/20/15: 1346 of 1645
7/22/15: 1344 of 1669
7/24/15: 1266 of 1678
7/29/15: 1050 of 1764
7/31/15: 858 of 1665
8/3/15: 625 of 1547
8/6/15: 615 of 1620
8/7/15: 575 of 1641
8/9/15: 139 of 273
8/11/15: 154 of 264
8/14/15: 169 of 417

As you see, beginning August 11, I started moving down the queue instead of up the queue. I'm so close to the end, too, which makes this infinitely frustrating. The feeling is similar to what happens when you're watching a progress bar on your computer: the bar zips from 0% to 99% completion in the blink of an eye... then it hovers forever at 99%, for no good reason at all, as you stare impotently and will the progress bar to reach 100%. Progress bars are not to be trusted, and neither, apparently, is USCIS.

To add insult to injury: I sent an email to USCIS to ask why this retrograde motion might be happening, and for the first time ever, I got an automated reply. Up to now, when I've emailed the gargantuan bureaucracy, a human being has responded (surprisingly quickly) to my queries. No longer. And the timing is suspicious, especially for a paranoid person like me: I had suspected that something weird was going to happen as I got closer to the top of the list, and boom—sure enough, Murphy's Law has kicked in, and the humans have all disappeared, replaced by machines. Annoying, and not unexpected.

My application was put on what USCIS calls "Track One," which supposedly takes 41 business days. In theory, then, I could hover at this same spot in the queue until later September or early October. Here's hoping that doesn't happen: I can't tell you how fervently I want that F-4 visa. It's so close I can taste it.


1 comment:

John (I'm not a robot) said...

Since I can't say anything positive, I won't say anything at all. Other than I understand your frustration. Good luck!