Goldstein Immigration Lawyers
Today, I’m coming to you from my house. I’m working from home now. I’m on lockdown here in Los Angeles because of the coronavirus, COVID-19, and the first thing I want to say to you is that I hope you and your family are well and safe. This virus is something really, really serious, and I hope we all do our part to flatten the curve and practice good social distancing.
I’m getting a series of questions from people who are stuck in administrative processing, and they’re wondering how the coronavirus is going to impact their cases. You’ve been waiting in administrative processing for your visa. What’s going to happen? The consulates are closed; the airports are closed. Are you going to be able to get your visa? And I’m going to discuss that today.
My name is Josh Goldstein. I’m an immigration lawyer here in Los Angeles, and I take on cases across the country and around the world for people who have visas stuck in administrative processing.
How I get visas resolved
I get those visas resolved, and I do it by suing the consulate. I go to federal court. I sue the consulates, and after I sue the consulates, the visas are released. We challenge the delays with a mandamus lawsuit, but now the question is coming to people: What’s the point of filing a mandamus lawsuit, if the consulates are closed.
The first thing is that the consulates are not closed. My understanding is that because of the coronavirus, the consulates are no longer conducting visa interviews, immigrant or non-immigrant visa interviews.
The good news
But here’s the good news: if you’re in administrative processing, you’ve already had your interview! You’ve had your interview because that’s the definition of administrative processing. It’s a delay, a mysterious and unfair delay in my opinion, that occurs after the completion of your visa interview.
You go to your interview; you should be approved; you deserve to be approved, but you’re not approved. Instead, they give you the worksheet that says 221G and you’re put on hold.
Now, to resolve that delay, you don’t need another interview. Typically after we file a mandamus lawsuit, the visas are resolved, so the fact that the consulate’s not conducting interviews shouldn’t be an obstacle.
The courts are NOT closed
Here’s another thing that people say: You can’t file a mandamus lawsuit right now because the federal courts are closed. That is patently false. The federal courts are not closed. I have filed probably six mandamus lawsuits in the past week, and today is March 23rd 2020, so I’ve filed tons of mandamus lawsuits.
The cases are on record, and the courts are sending me the summonses which is the next step in completing the initiation of the lawsuit. So everything is working fine in federal court. That may change in the future, but right now those cases are going forward.
And the filing of a mandamus lawsuit is the beginning of the end of the delay that’s been torturing you, so it’s factually incorrect to say that the courts are closed. It’s not the case at all.
You’ll be the first in line
And when you have a federal mandamus lawsuit challenging the visa delay, you are going to be the first person that gets taken care of by the consulate.
So there are all these people waiting in a pile, and once you file that mandamus lawsuit, they are going to take action on your case. They’re going to pull your file, review it, make a decision and take care of you.
Now, because of the corona virus and COVID-19, the staffing and the processing of visas could be delayed, but somebody’s going to be the first in line. Somebody’s going to be the first one out of this, and if you have a mandamus lawsuit you’re going to get taken care of before everyone else who is stuck in administrative processing.
So those are some of my thoughts on how and why it makes sense, now more than ever, to proceed with a mandamus lawsuit, even when the consulates are not conducting interviews and when they’re being challenged by COVID-19.
If you have questions about it, leave them in the comments below, message me, and get in touch with me. If you need help, I’m here for you. I’m working from home. I’ll answer any questions that you have for free anytime you want. Just let me know what your questions are.