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Overcoming N400 Delays Through Legal Action Against USCIS

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Late this summer, our office was contacted by an Egyptian green card holder named Mohamed. The man had filed an N-400 naturalization application in January 2013. Shortly after he filed, an immigration officer scheduled him for a fingerprint appointment. From that time until January 2014, the man heard nothing about his naturalization process.

Mohamed had filed his case with the help of a Tennessee immigration law firm, and they had filed everything properly. Despite this, it took over a year for the USCIS office to schedule Mohamed for his naturalization exam and citizenship application interview. Mohamed and his attorney arrived on the scheduled date, but the USCIS officer canceled the interview at the last minute.

So what causes processing delays? How to get your N-400 approved?

Filing a suit in the federal district court is what you need.

A Successful Lawsuit Against USCIS for N-400 Delay

Mohamed's case languished throughout 2014. Mohamed and his attorney made many efforts to get his case moving, including calling the USCIS 1-800 number, making numerous InfoPass appointments, and sending letters from his immigration attorney. None of these efforts met with success.

Mohamed spoke with a friend of his in the late summer of 2014. Our office had helped this friend in a similar situation years ago, and the friend recommended us to Mohamed. Mohamed drove to St. Louis to meet with us, and we agreed to file a suit against USCIS on his behalf.

We filed a civil action against the Director of USCIS, the District Director, the Field Office Director, and Attorney General Eric Holder. We served copies of the lawsuit upon the parties and the local U.S. attorney. The case quickly began moving.

Here’s how the whole process of filing a suit went:

  • Mohamed was contacted by local FBI agents.
  • He met with them to discuss his immigration background.
  • We then quickly learned that a naturalization interview had been scheduled.
  • Last week, attorney Jim Hacking of our office and Mohamed appeared at the local office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • The interview took less than 20 minutes, and Mohamed passed his naturalization examination with flying colors.

Today, we received word that Mohamed's N-400 had finally been approved. This was just a little over two months since the lawsuit was filed.

His oath ceremony should take place in the next several weeks. Our client is ecstatic.

Wrap Up

Experienced an unreasonable delay of N-400?

We tell people all of the time that making calls to USCIS, writing letters, and contacting members of Congress do not really get these cases moving. In our experience, the only thing that works is filing suit in federal court. The lawsuit is no guarantee that the case will be approved, but it does force them and the federal judge to deal with the cases that USCIS has allowed to languish.

If you have been waiting for your citizenship or other immigration cases to be approved, you should give us a call at (314) 328-7495 to see if we can help.




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