As a parcel of immigrants, one of the things the children and I have to do is notify USCIS of any change of address. They need to track our whereabouts. Mr Pict also has to notify them of a change of address because he is our sponsor. They need to know where to find him should any of we immigrants turn out to be reprobates. Therefore, one of the first things I had to do upon moving house was to notify USCIS, via their website, of our address changes. One per person. Tedious but necessary. With print outs as evidence.
Here’s the thing though: the last time we notified USCIS of a change of address, they entirely ignored it, despite apparently and allegedly updating their records, and sent our documentation to the old address anyway – which was, at that point, an unoccupied, flood-damaged apartment. That total cock-up was then compounded by the fact that the Postal Service who should have been redirecting all of our mail from that address to our actual address failed to forward the documentation pertaining to our oldest son. He, therefore, ended up with no Social Security Number and – when it happened again – no Green Card. We have now been legal permanent residents in America for eleven months and yet still my oldest son has not received his Green Card. This was seriously frustrating but it became downright infuriating when USCIS, having admitted fault, then made us pay to have his Green Card reissued and required that our son attend a biometrics appointment. Ridiculous. And that was five months ago and STILL we have not received his Green Card. The Green Card we have now paid for twice.
You will, therefore, understand my cynicism and degree of anxiety surrounding the likelihood of the Green Card making it to us given that we have changed address and have set up mail redirection again. There is only so much incompetence one can dismiss as a small glitch or a temporary blip. When it happens over and over, it does smack of incompetence. I would, of course, be delighted if my cynicism this time was proved to be without foundation. I will no doubt perform an epically embarrassing happy dance should the missing Green Card make it to us without further ado, drama, stressful hassle or – gulp – expense. If, for once, all the bureaucracy that seems intent on thwarting our son’s possession of a Green Card actually synthesises into something that functions adequately enough to deliver that document then I will hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong to be so sceptical.