Update on Immigration Delays: It Takes Twice as Long to Get a Visa Compared to Four Years Ago

In recent years, many immigrants have been forced to endure frustrating delays in the processing of their application. California’s immigration court backlog is the largest in the country, and the federal government shutdown has only added to the chaos and dysfunction. The delays in our system are not limited to immigration courts. Recently, new data was released confirming that delays in the processing of visa applications are growing.

According to reporting from Quartz India, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) took nearly twice as long to process visa applications in 2018 as it did to do the same work in 2014. As a representative for American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) told reporters, there are now “crisis-level delays” under the watch of the Trump Administration. The average case processing time now exceeds nine months. That is an enormous amount of time to wait, during which individuals and families may be stuck without an income.

How to Challenge an Immigration Delay: Understanding a Writ of Mandamus

There are few things more frustrating than waiting for an update on your immigration application without getting any response. Unfortunately, that is the reality that many immigrants have been stuck dealing with. The good news is that there are some steps that you can take that could expedite your application. Most notably, applicants may be able to file a writ of mandamus lawsuit.

A writ of mandamus is a lawsuit that is designed to hold a government agency accountable. Under U.S. law, immigration agencies cannot simply leave an application ‘pending’ indefinitely. They have an obligation to make a decision — one way or another. Through a writ of mandamus, an applicant will explicitly remind the agency of this legal duty. If you have been waiting an unreasonable period of time to get a response from USCIS, it may be time to consider a writ of mandamus to force a decision.

To be clear, filing a writ of mandamus does not mean that your application will be successful. That will depend entirely on your specific circumstances and what you have already submitted. Still, a writ of mandamus is a highly effective legal tool in compelling the appropriate federal agency to actually take a look at your file, review your case, and make a decision. If your visa application has been delayed, it may be the best way to expedite your immigration case.  

Contact Our Los Angeles Immigration Law Attorney Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our legal team helps immigrants fight back against unjust and unreasonable delays in immigration processing. If you or your loved one is looking for a way to expedite your immigration case, please do not hesitate to contact us at (213) 262-2000 to learn more about what we can do for you. From our law office in Los Angeles, we represent clients through Southern California, including in Orange County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and San Bernardino County.