How Long Does Administrative Processing Take?

Administrative processing or administrative clearance is a period of additional review and screening during which officials will make sure that a visa application meets all of the proper criteria. You likely want to know: How much longer is administrative processing going to take? The unsatisfying answer is “it depends”—in some cases it takes 30 or 60 days, while in other cases it can take far longer than that.

Administrative processing is often referred to as a ‘black hole’ for visa applicants of endless ‘background checks.’ The reason for this is that you rarely know why the delay is happening and the timeline for action is almost always unclear. As frustrating as it can be to deal with the delays, there is good news: You have an option to move your file out of administrative processing.

You Can File a Mandamus Action to Get a Decision

A writ of mandamus or mandamus lawsuit is a legal action designed to hold the government accountable. They have a responsibility to make a decision on your application. Indeed, federal law requires immigration agencies to make a decision on a visa application without a reasonable period of time. Despite the laws, overwhelmed immigration agencies frequently fall behind. Visa applications sometimes get stuck in the administrative processing void.

When you file a mandamus action, you are simply exercising your right to get a decision from the government. To be clear, filing a mandamus lawsuit makes you no more likely and no less likely to get a favorable outcome on your visa application. Instead, you will simply get a decision on your case. In other words, you will get out of the seemingly endless black hole of administrative processing.

Know Your Rights: A Mandamus Lawsuit Will Not Increase the Risk of Denial

Many people hesitate to take action to get their file out of administrative processing. Applicants express the same fear over and over again: If I file a mandamus lawsuit against the United States government, won’t they use that against me? Although this is a reasonable concern, the process does not work that way. No adverse action will be taken against you or your loved one.

Do not let your worries prevent you from taking action to get a decision on your visa application. There is no reason to be afraid: Once you file a lawsuit, you are far more likely to be treated better, not worse. Immigration officers will simply move your application to the front of the line and make a decision on your case―as they are required to under U.S. law. They cannot and will not retaliate against you.

Call Our Immigration Attorney for Immediate Help With Your Visa Delay

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we have extensive experience helping clients get out of administrative processing. If you are dealing with delays and you want action on your immigration application, our lawyers are here to offer guidance and support. To set up a completely confidential immigration consultation, please call us today. We represent clients in Los Angeles, Southern California, and beyond.