*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

When I File A Lawsuit To Get My Visa Out Of Administrative Processing, Who Am I Suing

 

When I File A Mandamus Lawsuit To Get My Visa Out Of Administrative Processing, Who Am I Suing?

Here is a question that I get all the time from people who are considering hiring me to help them fight an administrative processing delay. When they go to the consulate, and they’re told that their visa can’t be issued because of administrative processing, their key question is this:

“I know that you file a lawsuit to help get my administrative processing delay resolved and to get my visa issued, but who are we actually going to sue in such a case? Which agencies or people do we sue?”

In case you don’t know me, my name is Josh Goldstein. I’m an immigration lawyer, and I help people and families across the country and around the world get their visas out of administrative processing.

 

Who am I suing?

So you may be wondering who exactly do I sue in such a case? And the answer is simple: I sue everyone. I sue everyone and anyone, up and down the chain of command who has anything to do with your visa.

So, for example, I sue the state department. I sue USCIS. I sue the FBI. I sue the people at the consulate, the head of the consulate, and the head of the immigrant visa unit. I sue a whole range of people because you’re dealing with a bureaucracy and there are a lot of different people touching this. And you don’t want the agency to shirk responsibility by pointing to a different agency. Let me explain what I mean by that.

 

How to avoid getting the runaround

If you include only the state department, then the state department, instead of giving you a decision, could just send your visa back to USCIS. They could say, “Well, wait a minute. You know, you sued the wrong party. We don’t have anything to do with this. This visa was sent back to USCIS.” But if you add USCIS as a defendant in the lawsuit, then everybody’s on the hook.

It’s also important to add the FBI because sometimes, the consulate will say, “Wait a minute. It’s not our problem. There is a background check or a security check. We don’t even do those checks. That’s done by another agency. It’s done by the FBI.”

Well, guess what? We sue the FBI. We include them as a defendant. Does the FBI actually perform the security checks that are pertinent to administrative processing? I have no idea. I just throw them in there as a defendant. I’m suing everybody.

 

Why do I sue so many parties?

“Well, Josh. How come we’re going to include USCIS? They’ve already granted my I-130 and they’re not part of this.” I’m suing them anyway. I’m suing everybody. I sue everyone who has any connection to your case.

Usually, in our lawsuits, we have up to 10 or more defendants. All of these parties are going to be asked to answer for why your visa is delayed. They’re sitting on your visa. We don’t know exactly who’s sitting on your visa, and that’s why we’re including all the parties.

That’s how we get the best results. That’s how we get visas issued quickly after long administrative processing delays.

 

What you should do

And if you’re stuck in administrative processing, if your visa is on hold and you’re frustrated, I want you to reach out to me, ask your questions in the comments below, or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to answer your questions and help you out.