Have USCIS send all approved I-129 petitions to DOS Kentucky Consular Center for scanning and allow the KCC to forward these documents to the National Records Center for storage.
DOS developed its Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) to provide consular officers overseas electronic copies of documents; by eliminating the global shipping of hard copies of often voluminous files, PIMS spares the costs, time, and security concerns of moving documents vast distances.
Currently, USCIS procedure is to send a duplicate copy of approved I-129s to KCC, which results in several costly inefficiencies:
• I-129 packages (i.e., forms and their supporting documents) often exceed 100 pages and represent significant cost for customers to submit in duplicate
• After scanning, KCC shreds the I-129 packages and disposes of the waste
• When it receives no duplicate copy, USCIS sends nothing to KCC for scanning – it neither copies the I-129 package it receives nor asks customers to submit the required duplicate copy
• By failing to send the KCC a copy for scanning, USCIS prevents PIMS from working as designed and, thereby, delays visa issuance at consular posts abroad; these delays impose time costs on employers, prospective employees, and consular officials
By forwarding all approved I-129 packages to the KCC, USCIS will simultaneously be saving its customers copying costs, “saving trees” by reducing paper usage, sparing DOS the need to shred, and eliminating the number of packages that otherwise would not be scanned into PIMS for lack of a duplicate submission.
USCIS, DOS, and their customers all stand to gain by an initiative that has no real downside: where USCIS already entrusts original documents to DOS whenever it sends I-130 petitions overseas for family-based visa processing and where DOS is experienced at handling documents even more sensitive than the I-129 packages at issue in PIMS processing, no serious concerns about DOS handling can be raised.