Each year, residents of the United States losing hundreds of thousands of important official documents — from the "white cards" (issued to foreigners on entry to the United States) and passports with visas to green cards, U.S. passports and social security numbers (Social Security Number — SSN).
The recovery process documents without an experienced lawyer today can drag on for months, years or even decades. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, USCIS Immigration Service and the Department of Homeland Security (Department of Homeland Security — DHS) extremely suspicious of each applicant who has lost a document.
And if this man has in his biography of criminal or public records (eg in the U.S., nearly half of the population), he'll have to face enormous bureaucratic difficulties.
"We live in an era of scientific and technological progress, but still can not handle the restore of documents — says a resident of Los Angeles, Melvin D. — I'm three times in the past seven years, deprived of passports. The first time he was taken by robbers along with the property. The second time he got lost during a sea cruise. For the third time in my apartment fire occurred. In total I completed more than 200 different forms and applications, has spent nearly 400 hours on the phone … "
Such as Melvin in America — a huge amount. Document Recovery is usually accompanied by numerous checks that are explained excessive suspiciousness of officials whose activities are aimed at combating terrorism and preventing crimes involving identity theft.
For example, a resident of the State of Florida Mallory M. SSN spent on the restoration of more than three years. She had to prove that the document was stolen from him and open a bank account and the credits are not her doing.
"I was sent from one department to another, telephone operators were given false information, and envelopes with official correspondence permanently lost — says a woman. — It was a horrible experience. "
Mallory restore credit history have failed, as the workload of the credit bureaus sometimes punish innocent Americans whose data used fraudsters.
Prove innocence in this case — is very difficult. Imperfection of the recovery process documents is striking. Few people know that the most problematic paper is the so-called "white card", which is issued to foreigners entering the United States (with tourists, seasonal workers, etc.).
In fact, it is an ordinary piece of paper with a stamp and handwritten data. However, to obtain a residence permit without it (which is the original, not copies) — is impossible. White card is the only proof of legal entry into the United States, and even a passport with a visa is not able to replace it.
This flaw immigration authorities has led to tens of thousands of law-abiding foreigners can not get a residence permit. Some have lost their white card as a result of theft, while others are a victim advocate impostor, who escaped with the original documents, and still others were not even aware that the primitive white card may be of value.
Loss of green card can also turn into big problems. For example, an immigrant from Africa, Benjamin M. "stuck" in Thailand for four months instead of one week after the hotel had been stolen his bag, in which there were documents.
"At the time I was in a very depressed state of his life — he recalls. — No one wanted to help me. Thai police are not involved in such affairs, and U.S. embassies and consulates are inundated with cases. They work very slowly and cause residents to present the same documents several times. I had to spend almost $ 4000 on notaries, lawyers and interpreters. "
Curiously, the U.S. official services often unaware of innocent people who lost their documents in the fraud. And for that, unfortunately, there are reasons.
Hundreds of scams (most — the citizens of the United States) per year selling green cards, passports and Social Security cards. They get the cash, and then report the theft.
A resident of Idaho Angelica S. at restoring the birth certificate, passport, Social Security card and it took more than five years. The reason — the conviction in the biography. To investigate joined not only by immigration authorities, but FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation — FBI).
Problems have arisen because the Angelica could not really explain where are the documents. "They were lying in my closet for years, and now they are not there — she said. — I do not know at what point and under what circumstances, lost documents. "
Here lies one of the main problems in the process of restoring documents.
According to statistics, about 7% of the population did not use birth certificates, social security numbers and passports for more than ten years. These documents are not so popular in everyday life, such as a driver's license.
The passport is needed, mainly for travel, and the numbers on Social Security card owners will remember by heart.
"If all the people of the United States one day, checked their documents, then the next day, the country was a real panic, — the private detective Joe Claiborne. — Police stations, as well as municipal, state and federal agencies would get millions of reported missing. "
Many experts, it is worth noting agree that birth certificates, green cards, "white card", Social Security numbers and driver's license must be exclusively in electronic form. The identification of a person must be either a fingerprint or a scan of the cornea.
The procedure digitalization of documents — a question of time. But how many more years (decades) people of America have become the victims of a monstrous bureaucracy in the recovery of documents — one can not say.