Jul 8, 2020 1:30 PM ET


Ongoing issues with the USCIS website have led many people to wonder what the true intent of the United State is, when it comes to its immigrants. Though it has been up for debate for several years, it seems to be illuminating more and more what the US’ actual end goals are.

There are few better cases to illuminate this issue than that of Natalia Golenkova. An information technology specialist who has had a pending immigration case for nearly 4 years, she is one of the most prominent examples of this particular policy in action.

Golenkova has two children that have come in tow with her, after being forced to flee Russia because of their oppressive governmental situation. She gave a number of interviews in international media sources that prompted the Russian government to go after her in a number of ways.

During these ensuing four years, Golenkova has been incredibly successful and productive. Her children each have their own unique passions, with her son excelling in Gymnastics and her daughter being an incredible fine artist.

We see in Golenkova someone who absolutely embodies the American Dream, and is working hard to make her greatest dreams come true each day. With her affidavit and political asylum case filed in late 2016, she waited early 3 years for her interview (typically the wait is only 3 months). She should have gotten her decision 2 weeks after the interview. Instead, she is still awaiting her decision, 8 months after the USCIS interviewed her over the course of 6 long hours.

The Broader Issues with the USCIS Website

To gain a deeper understanding of issues, we need to examine the USCIS website. Its  My Case Status tool is one of its most widely used features, allowing people to check on the status of their pending applications and petitions by way of giving the case’s receipt number. Everything will work fine with your receipt when you utilize this form.

When you enter your receipt number, the USCIS online system sends you a message telling you your case status and timeline.

For those who have an ongoing case and issue like Golenkova’s case, users can submit a case inquiry. Unfortunately, when you try to do that you immediately get errors due to coding mistakes. It doesn’t allow you to submit for an inquiry with many cases (including political asylum ones) since the code is written in this manner. Look at the screenshots here for more examples of this complete lack of professionalism regarding the USCIS website and the immigration case system.

1.Case Inquiry submittal at


2.Select the proper case type under the “Cases outside normal processing time” menus.


3.Enter in the correct information.


4.  When a user submits their info, they get the following message: “The Inquiry cannot be submitted because of the invalid receipt # and Form Subtype.”

There is no reason this should happen. The exact same Receipt Number worked fine in the My Case Status when checking the application status, so what’s the issue now? And the Form Subtype won’t even let you pick an option because its dropdown is completely empty.



5. Those with coding and Google Developer Tool knowledge can see the Receipt Number validation does not include ZNK prefix, and the Form Sub Type list does not have subtypes for any of the other forms. This includes Form #I589. Both fields are required to submit, however, but these errors make it impossible for submission completion.

These issues highlight a greater concern regarding the USCIS site: perhaps the United States simply has no concern for its immigrants at all, with this manifesting itself in the form of issues like this. This is an unacceptable issue that must be addressed for this country to retain its character and care for hard-working immigrants like Natalia Golenkova and many more.

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