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GOV/MIL How to complain about problems with staff at a US Consulate?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    How to complain about problems with staff at a US Consulate?

    My sister-in-law recently married an American she's been communicating with for over five years. She's been going through the process to get her spouse visa ever since. We've hired an immigration lawyer to help (he was great when he helped Kalika with her immigration). However, the consulate has been giving my sister-in-law a really hard time. They've called her twice for interviews, made several requests for additional documentation, and have now twice lost important pieces of her visa application. In each case, they reject her visa application and she is forced to resubmit some piece of documentation or paperwork. In the most recent instance, they have lost her medical report. Every time she has to submit something she has to travel to one of the 12 cities where a consulate or document office is located. So far she's had to spend several hundred dollars just for travel expenses.

    We're all heartily sick of having to shell out extra money and waste time re-doing tasks we've already done, so I'm looking for avenues by which I can complain about the incompetence and willful obstinance of the consulate staff.
    E Deploribus Unum

    Oderint dum metuant

    Every day is a JDAM day

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Does she not make copies of everything she submits? If you have a lawyer, what does the lawyer say? I would leave it up to the lawyer. Maybe you do not know all of the facts.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashyzipp View Post
    Does she not make copies of everything she submits? If you have a lawyer, what does the lawyer say? I would leave it up to the lawyer. Maybe you do not know all of the facts.
    I'm the one managing the entire process, since I've been through it before. The docs that have "gone missing" so far are sealed, one-of-a-kind documents that she isn't permitted to open.
    E Deploribus Unum

    Oderint dum metuant

    Every day is a JDAM day

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Maybe try contacting your congress critter?

    Mine won't do s--- about anything, but maybe yours is more responsive?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mountain View Post
    I'm the one managing the entire process, since I've been through it before. The docs that have "gone missing" so far are sealed, one-of-a-kind documents that she isn't permitted to open.
    Why do I think there may be a "market" for this type of paperwork.....hmmmm
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar


    “During the course of your life you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up!”

    - President Donald J. Trump

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    Why do I think there may be a "market" for this type of paperwork.....hmmmm
    Interesting thought. Especially since they keep getting lost.
    Recently a friend told me I am delusional, I almost fell off my Unicorn!

  7. #7
    Even Art Bell who was a very public person had this issue and that was at least 10 years ago, he finally had to request a meeting with his congress critter and brought all the documentation, all of the incidents of "lost" paperwork, all the money spent etc.

    With pressure from his congressperson and I think the embarrassment to Immigration when Art finally told his listeners what was going on (several million of them) his wife got her paperwork.

    They were legally married, Art was a Window and it was her first marriage, and they had (or were about to have) an American citizen child.

    I could tell you a lot of horror stories from Irish and Brits who married Americans that I know, most of them along similar lines.

    In most of these cases, if the spouse is from the First World (Europe especially) the family decides to stay over here because the American spouse just gets disgusted with the whole thing or the Irisn/UK/European (in one case Canadian) spouse just won't tolerate it anymore.

    Or as my friend from Canada finally broke and said in a very angry tone to one really horrible American immigration officer,

    "You people are acting like I WANT to live in your country, I have a perfectly good County of my own Canada, I am applying for a visa because I believe that wives should live with their husbands and my husband is an American."

    As so often happens, by the time they admitted they had no legal grounds to NOT grant her a spousal VISA she was so disgusted (as was her husband) with the whole mess (including the ever-popular "we lost your paperwork again") that they moved to Canada.

    They eventually moved to the UK where she had "right of return" via a parent and this was before the UK got nearly as messed up as the US when it comes to spouses (now if you don't earn about 40,000 dollars a year, you can't bring in a legal spouse but that wasn't the case at the time).

    Good luck with this, because I'm pretty sure your brother-in-law doesn't want to settle in India.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Fly her to Mexico and she can just walk across the border.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Fly her to Mexico and she can just walk across the border.
    Sadly this is another reason why LEGALLY married people who can LEGALLY bring a spouse to get so frustrated and disgusted with the whole mess (and the endless rounds of "lost" paperwork are pretty standard) and simply decide to live outside the US if their spouse lives in a decent place.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Fly her to Mexico and she can just walk across the border.
    Just think of all the "bennies" she will get!

    As a citizen she will be dog-shirt. As a Green Card holder she will go to the front of the line for healthcare and employment. As an Illegal she will get the full Monty.

    Dobbin
    I hinnire propter hoc ecce ego

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbin View Post
    Just think of all the "bennies" she will get!

    As a citizen she will be dog-shirt. As a Green Card holder she will go to the front of the line for healthcare and employment. As an Illegal she will get the full Monty.

    Dobbin
    Dobbin, I know you are joking but a Green Card holder is someone who has a legal permit to live, reside and work in the United States.

    Some illegal immigrants eventually get Green Cards, but a Green Card is exactly what Mountain's Brother-in-law is trying to get his wife (it goes with the spousal VISA).

    Green cards in and of themselves simply provide most of the rights of a citizen except the person is NOT a citizen yet (they can apply in five years) and they can not legally vote (and if they do legally they should be deported but we know that doesn't always happen).

    Again, I get the joke but I used to work doing security clearances and while a lot of my information is so out of date it is useless on this topic I'm keeping up to a degree, if for no other reason than friends keep managing to marry each other and some of those marriages involve one US Citizen and a partner who is from this side of the water.

    Oh and a Green Card holder CAN NOT work in certain Federal Agencies though I think that Agency heads may sometimes be able to make exceptions - at Justice when I was there (1989-90) only full citizens could apply, Green Card Holders could not.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    940
    Going the Rep route might do more harm than good. However, if you do make sure you also contact the ones that are on the various oversight committees for the agency along with the budgetary committee. If this is route you go, document everything and create a report to give to them.

    Sometimes the agency head or undersecretaries will send a What the Hell letter to the embassy or consulate in question when told their agency will receive a cut to the budget.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Actually, they send the letter to the State Dept, who sends one to the embassy in question.

  14. #14
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    This is at REASONABLE decent timing, about a 3 year process. I watched it with a Lodge brother who married a Welsh gal. 3 years and they actually did EVERYTHING right....
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

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    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    You would think that this is the one thing that the State Dept. could do well, but you would be wrong. My Mother went through the process shortly after WWII, and she and my Father were still spitting nails about it into the 60's. In Vietnam, I had a friend who was going through the same tortuous process with a Vietnamese wife. I think the State Dept. and VA trade administrators!
    My Mate Winston

  16. #16
    I think the problem with the consulate and why you aren't mentioning nationality - are one and the same ....
    Illini Warrior

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
    I think the problem with the consulate and why you aren't mentioning nationality - are one and the same ....
    Except I have seen over and over again US citizens who marry highly educated, English speaking Europeans who have exactly the same experience.

    Spending thousands of dollars because their paperwork is repeatedly "lost," hostile interviews that wear people down to nibs, endless waits, and long-distant travel to re-do the same paperwork and the same interviews; and people eventually just given up especially if (as is usually the case) they have no criminal records of any sort, etc.

    The flip side is, Europe (and these Islands) get a lot of talented and highly educated Americans who just decide it isn't worth it and/or their spouse no longer has any wish to live in a country that would treat them that way.

    You meet a lot of these people in Ireland, England and Germany especially.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Melodi View Post
    Except I have seen over and over again US citizens who marry highly educated, English speaking Europeans who have exactly the same experience.

    Spending thousands of dollars because their paperwork is repeatedly "lost," hostile interviews that wear people down to nibs, endless waits, and long-distant travel to re-do the same paperwork and the same interviews; and people eventually just given up especially if (as is usually the case) they have no criminal records of any sort, etc.

    The flip side is, Europe (and these Islands) get a lot of talented and highly educated Americans who just decide it isn't worth it and/or their spouse no longer has any wish to live in a country that would treat them that way.

    You meet a lot of these people in Ireland, England and Germany especially.

    and I think there's more than one responders that are being naive about what the total story really is ....
    Illini Warrior

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
    and I think there's more than one responders that are being naive about what the total story really is ....
    And what, exactly, do you think the story "really is"?
    E Deploribus Unum

    Oderint dum metuant

    Every day is a JDAM day

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