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Recommendations to Improve the Petitioner Information Management Service (PIMS)

Impact on the Public

Read the full Recommendation (PDF, 10 pages - 276 KB)

The Department of State developed the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) to provide a method for consular officers to rapidly confirm that individuals requesting an H, L, O, P, Q, or R nonimmigrant visa were, in fact, the beneficiary of a corresponding petition approved by USCIS.  PIMS allows consular officers to access and confirm USCIS petition approval data and supporting documents online; thereby speeding up the issuance of nonimmigrant visas while reducing costs and heightening security. However, stakeholders report serious concern where USCIS sometimes fails to transmit information to DOS which causes delays in the issuance of nonimmigrant visas often resulting in personal and financial impacts upon visa applicants, as well as economic and operational impacts on U.S. employers.   USCIS should evaluate and implement the proposed recommendations to help ensure the timely processing of all nonimmigrant visa applications.

Recommendations

On May 16, 2012, The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman’s Office) makes the following three recommendations to USCIS:

  1. 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,
  2. 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,
  3. Scan all approved petition packages at a USCIS facility, so electronic copies can be forwarded to the KCC for uploading into PIMS.
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