My name check Experience

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Name: 
Rahul Kumar
Country: 
United States

I contacted the USCIS regularly from Jan ‘ 04 (I applied in Aug) and was told my security check is pending. I contacted the FBI directly who told me that they received no request for a name check from the FBI. I did this on 2 separate occasions. I had no idea if my name check was submitted or not.

I contacted the USCIS regularly from Jan ‘ 04 (I applied in Aug) and was told my security check is pending. I contacted the FBI directly who told me that they received no request for a name check from the FBI. I did this on 2 separate occasions. I had no idea if my name check was submitted or not.

By March I was fed up and I contacted my Congressman who initiated a request on my behalf to the VSC Congressional Office. Initially they told all my security checks were completed. However it was not so. The name check’s status was visible in a separate screen and not the main screen from where most people usually look to see. Aha! I found that out also. Also, the agent at the VSC showed me a copy of my file which had “Indices-Popular” as the result for my name check. I later understood this meant it was not completed and that my name had too many matches.

After 2 months I was able to independently confirm that the FBI received my name check request in Oct 03. In the meanwhile I convinced my Congressman’s office to contact the FBI liaison and that person too confirmed this. I asked the Congressman if he could send an expedite request (this was in May ‘ 04) as the name check was pending from 7 months already . The liaison told him that the department was overburdened and was not accepting expedite requests. The basis for my request was congressional testimony of Agent Hardy/Garrity that 98% of name checks are completed in 120 days at the most!

I called the FBI’s office (Agent Hardy’s office) and spoke to the secretary Ms. Gertie Goldsmith. She was just able to tell me that my name check was pending and faxed responses are taking well over a month to be responded to and that its common to see people wait over 1 year. I was not willing to take this for an answer.

I started searching the newsgroups, both Deja, and forums like this for answers. I searched and searched. I found out one phone number of an analyst – Diane Berger. I called her a few times (tried 10-15 times before I could speak to her). She was very vague too and asked me to contact USCIS to send an expedite request. No answer on why it was delayed or what i could do about it.

I also got hold of a voice mail where one could inquire their name check status. They were supposed to respond within 48 hrs. Never did. I called this hotline EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Many times the hotline would not accept messages and I would call the main office and complain. They would take it down and then – do nothing.

I was so desperate I started making statistical predictions as to when this analysts would pick up their phones. A few times when I called I would get a buzy message indicating she was on the phone. I knew that if I called immediately after she hung up, I could speak to her!! Most of the time the phone would just ring and ring and ring!

In the meanwhile I filed a FOIPA request (Freedom of Information and Privacy Act) with the FBI. This tells you if the FBI has any records on you or not. Not all the information they have on you will be made available as they are exempt from this law. I got a response in 10 days saying that they had no record on me and the result was a “No-Records”. This FOIPA is also handled by David Hardy’s department and this proved to me that they both go off the same records and my delay is purely administrative and provided me with ammo to fight my case.

Anyway, my Congressman finally wrote to the FBI Congressional office headed by Asst Director Eleni Kalisch who forwarded my plea to Asst Director William Hooton. I had written a personal letter to my Congressman begging him for support with my case as I had such valid reasons and everything to lose. I also cited reasons and facts (mostly from congressional testimony).

I later wrote personally to both these above mentioned Asst Directors by certified mail and made my strongest plea for help. 12 days after I wrote this I got word my name check was completed. Now who’s letter made the biggest difference (mine or my Congressman’s) ? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. As far as I can see I owe my Congressman who is one of the few politicians I have the greatest respect for.

It took about 277 days for my name check to get completed. I faced great hardship mainly as I wanted to get married to my fiancé in India and this was causing delays . I was not willing to take no for an answer and I knew I deserved an speedy name check – I had never been in any kind of trouble with the law.

I have to thank people in this forum as most of my knowledge is from here. Thank You all. Wish you the best of luck with your name checks and Citizenships.

Citizenship and Naturalization: