How I took control of my immigration process!
Posted by: Bhumika Shah | Date: October 15, 2018
The truth – immigration processes can be overwhelming and intimidating. The process is made even more frustrating if you can’t get answers to your questions.
That’s exactly what I went through at my previous job– no updates on my case, no answers to questions on the forms I had to fill out, or the documents that were required. I was anxious and thoughts like – “what if my application does not reach USCIS within the limited five- day lottery window?” started haunting me. I decided to take control because there certainly must be a better way to do this and I’m sure there’d be many applicants, just like me, who are going through this process. Similarly, neither would my attorney appreciate his inbox being flooded with tons of emails. Here’s how I took control of my immigration process:
- Just ask: Yes, it’s that simple. I raised this concern and emailed my HR as well as my immigration attorney. The law firm immediately sent me a link to the INSZoom Foreign National Portal (FNP). A portal that was customized for me. I was assigned tasks by my attorney like– the questionnaires that I had to complete, the documents that I had to upload, the forms that were required to be reviewed and so on. The best part – I was accountable for all these tasks as they came with a due date. I knew exactly what was required from me, my deadlines to complete these tasks and how far are we in the application process. This was great!
I was in my HR’s office to inform about this change and guess what I learned – the law firm also granted access of the Human Resources Portal (HRP) to my organization’s HR. Just like the FNP, this portal gave HR the ability to access my profile, view documents that were required from the organization end, check on my case status, view and print documents and run reports. This was a great streamlined process for all the three –the HR, law firm and me. We all were on the same page.
- Communicate: Recently, there have been many changes and restrictions on immigration policies. We no longer have the luxury to depend on guesswork. While filling up forms for the application, I came across questions that were confusing, had multiple answers, but which one was the right one? I quickly sent an email to the paralegal working on my case through the FNP and, voilà, I had answers to all my questions. The portals streamlined collaboration and communication between all the three stakeholders. I would no longer wait two weeks for an email response or an update on my case, because the way I was accountable to get all the details in on time, so were the paralegals accountable to answer my questions. Every question through the portal would give them a notification – just a quick reminder that they must respond to me!
- Take control: My application got picked in the lottery. To me this was a big deal because I had never won a lottery or a lucky draw before. Few months into the celebration, my application was hit by the dreaded RFE (Request for Evidence)! But, surprisingly, I was not nervous or anxious at all. The way my initial visa application was handled– I took control of the process, I was vocal about my worries, I was accountable, stakeholders were proactive, and all of us were brought on the same page with an immigration software – INSZoom, which made things transparent, open, clear and immediate for me.
This is how I stepped up and took control, and now it’s your turn! Taking control of my immigration process gave me a sense of empowerment. As Foreign Nationals, we have to think about – obtaining visas, passports, taxes, OPT dates, work permits and a host of other things. This is stressful and overwhelming. This small window into my immigration case might seem small but it went a long way in reducing stress for me. And, guess what, today I work for the same immigration software – INSZoom.
If you have foreign nationals frequently asking you questions like- “What’s happening with my case?” “What documents are needed?” “What’s the deadline of submitting my documents?” or if you have your team of paralegals spending most of their time responding to emails, then it’s time to get on board with INSZoom Stakeholder Portals. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-244-0600 X 1. You can even request a free demo.