The National Visa Center (NVC) is now accepting immigrant visa documentation by e-mail through an electronic processing system. The problem is that it is unable to retrieve documents that are submitted via links from document sharing sites. NVC requires that documents be submitted as scanned PDF attachments and has not indicated how it will work with encrypted documents requiring a password.
This is especially problematic in Massachusetts, which has a data privacy law preventing businesses from submitting documents with a combination of certain personal and financial information (e.g. person’s name and his Social Security Number) by e-mail unless it is encrypted. Document sharing sites that offer encrypted transfers are especially valuable and my office uses them for sending large quantities of documents to clients. Unless the NVC starts accepting documents from such document sharing sites, and until it clarifies its policy on accessing encrypted PDFs, attorneys and individuals should NOT sign up with the NVC’s electronic processing system, to avoid security problems with documents containing important financial and personal information.