How will the coronavirus impact people who have cases and visa applications that are delayed at U.S. consulates abroad? If you’ve been waiting in administrative processing to get a visa, or you have a friend or a loved one who’s in that position, you may be wondering how the coronavirus could impact these cases. And that’s what I want to explore today.
I’m Josh Goldstein, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, and I help people and families across the country and around the world get their visas out of administrative processing. I help people who are stuck, who are frustrated, and I do it by suing consulates. I file writ of mandamus lawsuits against consulates around the world to help people just like you.
The coronavirus is on everyone’s mind. I get a lot of questions about it. What’s going to happen with our consulates, with our administrative processing? Obviously, nobody knows what will happen with the coronavirus or what its impact will be. But here are a few thoughts on this.
First of all, everybody should stay safe. Do what you can to stay safe. The experts are telling us to practice social distancing and that’s what I’m doing. You can see that I’m working from home right now. If you hear any chatter in the background, that’s my adorable children upstairs. They’re screaming, yelling, and my wife is trying to keep track of them. And I’m doing the same.
But I’m working from home, and I have all my office supplies here. My team is also working from home, and we’re not going to get stopped by the coronavirus. We’re going to be smart. Of course we can still handle all of our immigration cases remotely through communication tools and virtual networking.
The waiting game mentality
The second thing I want to say is that there is a mentality among people who are in administrative processing where a lot of people want to try to wait it out. I talk to people who are frustrated, and who are tired of waiting for administrative processing.
But when I talk to them about the mandamus lawsuit, they say, “Well, Josh, you know, I’m just going to give it 30 days.” “I’m just going to give it 2 weeks.” “I’m just going to give it 60 days.” “I’m just going to wait another month, another 2 months.” “I’m going to wait till the end of the summer.” “I’m going to wait till 2021.”
They come up with all these reasons for why they should continue to wait. I had someone today who said, “I need to wait 180 days from the day to my interview.” And I said, “Where did you come up with that idea?” He said, “I read it in one of the Facebook groups that you can’t file a mandamus until 180 days after your interview.” Well, that’s just not the case. But nevertheless, he wasn’t ready to take action.
Why you should reconsider your view on waiting
If you are thinking about continuing to wait instead of filing a mandamus lawsuit, I ask you to reconsider that because the future is unknowable. Additional waiting means that you’re going to be stuck in administrative processing even longer, and that’s not always a good thing. After all, we don’t know what the future holds.
How waiting can work against you
I have quite a few clients from Iraq. The consulate in Baghdad closed. They moved all the cases from one consulate to another. And you can file all the mandamus lawsuits you want. But if the consulate has to move all the files from one consulate to another, that’s just going to add more delay.
And so, I think that trying to wait out administrative processing may not be a good thing. Instead I ask you to reconsider mandamus as an option. It’s very, very effective.
If you have questions about administrative processing, visa delays, 221(g) or anything else related to mandamus lawsuits, please get in touch with me. Leave your comments below, message me, get in touch with me. I’m here to help you.