Applying to become a U.S. citizen can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but due to the significant backlog of applications that U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) deals with each year, this process can take a long time. However, if months have gone by since you last received any update as to the status of your application, you may need to take it upon yourself to get the process moving again and ensure you receive a final verdict.

If you believe you have experienced an unreasonable delay for citizenship in San Diego, there are a few different ways you could go about speeding the process up, many of which do not require litigation. Still, an immigration delay attorney could serve as a crucial ally in the event that you have to seek court intervention to reach the end of this process.

Procedural Methods for Addressing Unreasonable Citizenship Delays

Aside from the sheer number of applications that USCIS receives on a yearly basis, there are many procedural bottlenecks that can severely slow down how quickly an application for citizenship is processed. Applications are commonly sidetracked for a background investigation, delayed due to missing information, or simply misplaced somewhere inside the USCIS system.

In many circumstances, fixing delays that stem from these kinds of issues is a relatively straightforward process that does not necessitate going to court or involving a federal judge. With help from an immigration attorney, an individual applicant may be able report their delay, and have the problem addressed in a timely manner through established administrative processes.

Filing Suit over a Naturalization Delay

Some citizenship delays stem from much deeper problems that require more significant and time-consuming action. If working through administrative channels does not resolve an unreasonable delay for citizenship in San Diego, an applicant may be able to file suit for a “writ of mandamus.” This is essentially a court order that compels the agency or agencies responsible for a citizenship delay to render a final decision within a set period of time.

Alternatively, if a person seeking naturalized citizenship has completed the interview process and has waited at least 120 days without any update on their application, federal law allows them to seek naturalization directly from a court. The court that oversees this kind of case can either agree to approve the delayed application and immediately make the applicant a naturalized citizen, remand the application back to USCIS with an order for a quick resolution, or—in rare cases—reject it outright.

Talk with a San Diego Attorney About Unreasonable Citizenship Delays

It is important to note that any method for compelling a final decision on a citizenship application does not help or hurt someone’s prospects of having their application accepted. Therefore, if you are facing an unreasonable delay for citizenship in San Diego, you should take action that could save you a lot of trouble and stress. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to learn more about your options for fighting these delays.