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Update Regarding New PIMS System

PIMS (Petition Information Management Service) is a new system through which Consular posts are able to access the details of approved nonimmigrant visa petitions (e.g. Hs, Ls, Os, Ps, Qs). After approval, I-129 petitions requesting consular notification are sent to the KCC (Kentucky Consular Center), where they enter and scan key data and documents, such as the I-129 form, the letter of support from the employer, and identification documents into PIMS. Some database checks are also performed by the KCC in order to find instances where there may be fraud, violations, etc. These findings are then recorded in PIMS. When a post is ready to grant a visa based on a petition, it must confirm the petition in PIMS before doing so. If, for any reason, a petition is not sent to the KCC, it will not show up in PIMS. If this was to happen and a post is unable to find a petition in PIMS, the post must email the KCC. The KCC has direct access to the USCIS’s CLAIM3 system where the USCIS records petition approvals. The posts do not have access to this system. Until the petition is in PIMS, the post cannot grant the visa. Although the Department of State claims that KCC responds to posts within 48 hours and usually within hours, there are a few reports of longer waits for PIMS confirmation, which should be taken into account when applying for a visa.

A beneficial outcome of PIMS is that the post should not require an original approval notice if it is not available because it can and must be confirmed in PIMS anyway. There are instances where the posts use scheduling contractors who have been instructed to ask for an approved petition before setting up an interview, but this problem will soon be addressed. The PIMS system is funded with the proceeds of the H and L fraud fee.

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