PUT THE SERVICE BACK IN TSC & THE TSC BACK IN SERVICE
No Bill online for the next few days. He’s on a roadtrip. Currently hauling ass in his pickup over to Dallas, ready for Friday’s protest outside the Texas Service Centre.
We joined a Yahoo! discussion group for people filing I129F visas for their fiance(e)s to enter the States and have been tracking the Texas Service Centre’s progress towards approving these petitions.
The results of our efforts show that TSC is apparently doing absolutely nothing to make headway with the backlog of fiance(e) petitions it gained since abruptly stopping all processing of I129Fs for several weeks back in October. At that time it was adjudicating petitions on average within 30 days, now according to them, the estimated timeframe is 150-180 days, but according to our research this estimate falls way short, perhaps by as much as 6 months. As of 15/05 they claim to be processing petitions with a receipt date of 05/12. Yet we have gathered undisputed evidence that can prove that there are many hundreds of petitions still outstanding from at least October and November.
Thanks to a script written by a member, every day the group is able to run a check to determine exactly how many petitions have been looked at during the past 24 hours. On average TSC receive at least 40 I129F applications per working day, yet they are currently only adjudicating approximately 20. Most days are fairly inactive with only a mere handful being adjudicated. The backlog is steadily growing and our waiting times apart escalating.
Our own petition has a receipt date of 28th February, at this rate it seems we’d be lucky for TSC to get around to looking at our file within the next six months. When we first filed our receipt stated that processing should take 60-90 days, since then the online status has been amended to 150-180 days. Even the last time scale, which is a scarily long time to be living in limbo without one’s partner, is surely grossly underestimated.
Bill and I are currently on day 83 and counting. Damn are we counting! every single blasted hour.
Compare this to the processing times at Vermont, a centre which actually receives significantly more petitions than Texas, but is currently processing within 30 days. In fact, there have been reportings of timescales as short as 9 days coming from Vermont.
US citizens have no choice of which centre to file with, it is determined by the petioner’s State of residency. This is geographically unjust.
Hence the protest.
Tomorrow Bill is joining many other petitioners to picket the TSC in an attempt to highlight our situation and encourage the Centre to process these Visa applications in a more timely fashion. Actually, it’s possibly worth pointing out that at this stage of the process it’s not even the Visa application as such that is being held up. That step is completed by the US Embassies in the beneficiaries home country. Here, we are simply waiting for the TSC to confirm that both parties are willing and free to marry, and that the initial paperwork is in order before being shipped out to the consulates to decide whether or not to issue the requested Visa following a medical and interview. Apparently it’s only a matter of 15 minutes work per file for the TSC, assuming that the applicant has filled in and provided everything correctly..
Bill has also prepared a detailed report to be handed out to the press at a press conference due to be held tomorrow morning if the TSC don’t step in with some answers and action beforehand.
It’s been really frustrating being stuck in England while all this has been going on. I hope this works out, the thought of even another month stuck in limbo with no guaranteed date of reprieve makes me want to cry. My career and finances are also going down the pan while we wait this out, not to mention our relationship (not that I’m really going to let that happen, it’s just exceedingly hard at the moment).
Anyhow, even if this effort fails, my sincere thanks go out to Bill for taking his hard earned holiday, driving for 11+ hours, standing outside the TSC waving placards for the day and, although he hasn’t mentioned it, missing Bubbapalooza, just for the slightest possibility to be with me sooner than the TSC seem determined to insist upon if this action wasn’t taken.
I love you babe, you’re the best. Wish I could be with you now.