What is a Writ of Mandamus?
When a person files an application for a green card or other immigration benefit and it seems to be moving along smoothly but then unexplainably hits a wall of delays, this can be very frustrating. Even more frustrating is when these mysterious delays begin to drag on for months, and then years, and no amount of emailing, going to InfoPass appointments, or discussing the case with people through the appropriate administrative channels seems to move the case forward. My team has seen this happen most frequently with applications for naturalization or immigrant visa petitions for relatives living abroad. When this type of delay happens, it may be time to think about filing a mandamus lawsuit.
The purpose of this type of a mandamus lawsuit is to hold the government accountable. The various arms of U.S. immigration are required by their own statutes and regulations to make a decision on an application – they have to either grant the application or deny it. The government cannot simply leave the applicant in limbo forever. So by filing a mandamus lawsuit, either U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. State Department is being reminded of this responsibility and required to make this decision. Filing this type of lawsuit doesn’t mean that the stuck application will definitely be granted, but it does mean that the horrible period of waiting and uncertainty will finally come to an end and you will be able to move forward with your life knowing that a decision was made in your case.
Client Success Story: Mandamus Lawsuit Win!
What Does a Writ of Mandamus Do?
A writ of mandamus can help you resolve unreasonable delays in the immigration process that have caused you to put your whole life on hold. When you submit an immigration application, you have a right to a decision in that case. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the government has a legal obligation to make a final decision on every immigration application in a timely and reasonable manner. If your case has been delayed without good cause, our experience Los Angeles immigration attorneys can help you file a writ of mandamus lawsuit in federal court that will force the government to comply with this mandatory legal duty.
What a Writ of Mandamus Does NOT Do
A write of mandamus is an extremely effective legal tool used to compel various federal agencies to make a decision in your immigration case. Filing this type of lawsuit doesn’t guarantee that the government will approve your application, but it does guarantee that your case will no longer languish in an indefinite limbo state. The government will be forced to look at your file, evaluate the evidence you have presented, and take action on your application. When nothing else seems to work and your efforts and requests for information on the status of your pending application fail to get a response, a mandamus lawsuit is often the best way to get the answers you need to resolve your case and move on with your life.
Why is My Green Card Taking So Long?
There are many reasons why the U.S. government might delay your immigration application. Do any of the following situations sound familiar?
- Your case has been stalled due to FBI background checks;
- You applied for naturalization or for a green card and have experienced long delays without any decision; or
- Your case has been pending due to “administrative delays” for many months or even years.
If this sounds like what’s been happening to you, contact Los Angeles immigration attorney Joshua Goldstein today at (213) 262-2000. Find out if a mandamus lawsuit might be the solution to these never-ending delays! Our experienced Southern California immigration attorneys can help you put an end to this uncertainty and help you resolve your immigration case.
Green Card Processing Time
If you have been experiencing delays related to your immigration application, you should know that you’re not alone. According to the LA Times, federal immigration court backlogs are at an all-time high, and the sheer number of cases awaiting a decision in California are among the highest in the nation.
In addition to the high volume of cases currently being handled, there are several common reasons why your immigration application may be delayed:
- Administrative Delays in Processing: Green card applications (I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status), citizenship applications (N-400, Application for Naturalization), and other immigration applications pass through numerous channels on their way to being approved. It’s possible for your application to get stuck at many different points in the bureaucratic process before a decision is made. When immigration agencies are questioned regarding these delays, the response is likely to be that your application is “pending”, “under review”, or “under investigation.”
- Delays In Background Checks and Security Clearances: USCIS conducts background checks and security clearances on all applicants for immigration services. These checks involve reviews by multiple federal agencies and lengthy delays are possible even if you have a clean background and no criminal record. Anecdotal evidence suggests post-9/11 security policies have increased the scrutiny of these checks, increasing the likelihood of delays based on profiling of applicants’ names and countries of origin, in particular, those coming from Morocco, Algeria, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and the Middle East.
Contact Our Los Angeles Mandamus Lawyer Today
Issues regarding applications for citizenship, green cards, or other immigration-related benefits have a significant impact on your present circumstances as well as your future success. It is important to know that you do have certain rights when it comes to getting a timely decision on your application and that these rights are protected by U.S. laws. At the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., our Los Angeles immigration attorneys provide the aggressive and professional legal representation you need to defend your interests. Call us today at 213-262-2000 or contact our office online to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a Los Angeles immigration lawyer.