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Errors on USCIS websites. An Oversight or “zero tolerance” policy to the immigrants?

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The topic of “zero tolerance to immigrants” has been widely debated in the last few years.

As an I.T. specialist and as a person whose political asylum case at USCIS has been in pending mode for almost four years I would like to share some evidence of the issues experienced while using the site, which can be attributed to two main reasons: lack of professionalism of I.T. people at USCIS or the application of the “zero tolerance” policy to immigrants, I leave it to your judgment.

My name is Natalia Golenkova, and I am an immigrant from Russia. I had to flee to the USA 4 years ago with my two kids after being prosecuted by the Russian Government for leading the opposition protests against the erection of the medieval tyrant Ivan the Terrible’s statue. If you read articles regarding this political matter in Guardian, Politico, The Times, Associated Press, or other media platforms, there is a big chance that I was the one who gave interviews and have been repeatedly attacked and assaulted on multiple occasions by the Russian Government for my political views.

I have two Master Degrees, and I currently work as a Google Certified Digital Account Manager. It is very difficult to build a career in IT that reflects my skills and abilities, since corporations refrain from hiring and invest in me as a team member in the long run, given my temporary legal status. My son, Daniil Kharlamov, is passionate about Gymnastics. He has been practicing  not less than 24 hours each week since he was 4 years old. In 2019 he won second place in the 2019 Men’s JO Nationals on Rings. However, given our temporary legal status, he is not fully eligible to compete on a National level in the USA.

I sought political asylum and started a new life from scratch here in the USA four years ago. I am truly grateful to the USA and its people who have provided a home far away from home for my family and me, and each day I try to pay back by working hard to make the American society a better place to live in by contributing to its growth. I filled my political asylum case and affidavit in November 2016 and then had to patiently wait in line for the interview for almost three years. Typically, political asylum seekers are invited for an interview within three months upon filling a political asylum case and should receive a decision within two weeks after the interview has been conducted. Surprisingly, I had to wait to be interviewed for more than three years, and to date, I am still waiting for the decision – over eight months have passed after being “interviewed” by the USCIS officer during long 6 hours.

But let’s return to the issue at hand concerning USCIS’s website. One of the most widely used features on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website is the My Case Status tool. This online tool allows you to check the status of a pending petition or application by providing the receipt number of the case. Everything works fine with my case receipt while using this form.

Upon filling in my receipt number, the system retrieves an encouraging message that my case is still pending four years down the line. 

When you try to find out why your case is stuck and submit a case inquiry, you’ll find out that it is impossible to submit an inquiry because of the bugs in the code. You cannot submit an inquiry with some cases, particularly political asylum cases,  mainly because the code has been written this way. Please follow my screenshots to find out more about the facts surrounding the total incompetence by the I.T. personnel or “zero tolerance” policy that has been applied to immigrant applications. 

1. Submitting a case Inquiry at

2. Choosing the right case type under “Cases outside normal processing time.”

3. Filling in the right info

4. Upon submission, a user will be greeted with the following message “The Inquiry cannot be submitted because of the invalid receipt # and Form Subtype.” 

There are two issues here. Firstly, the same Receipt # worked perfectly while using My Case Status tool to check application status, so what has changed now?, and secondly, it is impossible to choose Form Subtype given the fact that dropdown is empty.

5. If you have basic knowledge of coding and using Google Chrome Developer Tools, you can clearly see that the Receipt Number validation does not support ZNK prefix, and Form Sub Type list does not include any subtypes for other forms including form I589. Nonetheless, both fields are required in order to submit your inquiry.

My son, Daniil Kharlamov, 14 years old
My daughter, Valeriia Kharlamova, and her art works, 17 years old
Mt kids, Valeriia Kharlamova & Daniil Kharlamov

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