Does USCIS have a deadline to decide my green card case after interview? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States. I’ve our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, DC. If you have been watching our videos for a while, you probably know that if you have your naturalization interview and 120 days go by, that that’s a hard and fast deadline for USCIS. And if they don’t decide by the 120th day, you can walk into the federal court and ask a federal judge to either order USCIS to decide your case or to naturalize you themselves.
And some people want to know, are there similar rules when it comes to a green card case or an I-751 or an H-1B? And there isn’t really a hard deadline in those scenarios. So USCIS can actually take as long as they want to decide your green card case after your interview. There is no hard and fast deadline. Now, there is a general deadline. Any agency that has a matter before at any federal agency is bound by the Administrative Procedures Act. And the Administrative Procedures Act, the APA, says that any government agency that has a matter before it must decide it in a reasonable amount of time. So then the question becomes what is a reasonable amount of time? Are 10 days reasonable? Are six months reasonable? Are two years reasonable?
And I’ve been thinking about delays in the green card contexts, especially in those cases related to marriage. And I think that USCIS if they don’t like the marriage, they want to sit on that case for as long as they can because they’re thinking to themselves, I’m not sure about this marriage. It seems pretty shaky. I don’t know if I want to approve this case. Let’s let time work its magic and see if this couple stands the test of time. If they stay together. In other words, if they drag out the case and don’t decide it quickly, then they are hoping that the marriage falls apart and the I-130 gets withdrawn. That the immigrant and the US citizens start to fight and the marriage falls apart.
And I know it’s hard to believe that there might be government officials rooting against you and rooting against your marriage and hoping that your marriage falls apart, but I have no other conclusion to reach other than when they drag out these marriage cases for months and months or years and years, there’s got to be at least a part of it that they’re at least okay with it. They’re at least okay with threatening a marriage so that they don’t give an immigration benefit to one poor soul.
So the longer or the shorter it is, there’s not a firm deadline once you’ve had your interview in the green card context for them to decide it. I think six months is a good, reasonable net standard. If you’ve had your interview and six months have gone by, I think then you probably want to start thinking about suing them. We’ve had great success suing them on green card delays. And of course, you know my mantra, nothing else works. Letters, ombudsmen, senators, none of those things work. The only thing that works is suing them.
So if you’re wondering why it’s taking so long for your green card case to be approved, you might want to give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us, email@example.com. You can find us on our YouTube channel and subscribe so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. And then of course we have our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. We’d love to have you join us there. And then every Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon Central Time usually, you’ll find me live in our Facebook group, answering as many immigration law related questions as possible. I hope this helps. Have a great day.