While you cannot reasonably expect immediate results after applying for legal permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States, you should be able to get a verdict on your application without waiting for months with no information about your case. If U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking far too long to get back to you about your Green Card application, you may need to take action to compel a final answer.

While filing a lawsuit is not always required to address an unreasonable delay for Green Cards/LPR status in San Diego, it is one of a few options that may be available to you. An immigration delay attorney could go over your unique circumstances and help you determine what course of action would serve your best interests.

What Could Cause a Green Card Application Delay in San Diego?

Unfortunately, USCIS receives hundreds of thousands of applications each year, so processing delays of anywhere from months to years are not uncommon, especially since applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Even if a Green Card applicant is already a resident of the United States, they should expect to wait a while before their application is processed due to the backlog of petitions filed before theirs.

Additionally, certain components of Green Card application processing are much more prone to delays than others, most notably background and security checks undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If either of these agencies ends up causing an unreasonable delay for an LPR application, a San Diego attorney may be able to help an impacted applicant move the process along.

Finally, it is unfortunately possible for applications to get lost somewhere during processing, often due to bureaucratic mistakes or simple human error. Applications are generally easier to track down once they are assigned a case number within the USCIS system, but if an application ends up lost on someone’s desk or deep in an overworked filing system, it may be much harder to determine the cause for a particular delay.

Options for Streamlining the LPR Application Process

In many cases, getting a definitive verdict on a severely delayed Green Card application is as simple as contacting USCIS and asking for a follow-up on an application’s status. Sometimes, USCIS is just waiting on a particular procedure to be completed or needs a bit more information from the applicant, and once the issue is remedied, processing will conclude quickly thereafter.

However, if a Green Card application in San Diego has been delayed unreasonably for a significant time, it may be necessary to file a type of lawsuit known as a “writ of mandamus” against USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security, and potentially individual local offices responsible for the delay. Legal counsel could go into further detail about how this kind of litigation works and when it might be appropriate.

Talk to a San Diego Attorney About Unreasonable Green Card/LPR Status Delays

To some extent, you should anticipate waiting a while before finding out whether USCIS has accepted your application for legal permanent resident status. However, if this waiting period turns into several months without any progress or updates on your case, it may be time to seek answers from USCIS or to consider taking legal action.

Whatever is necessary to address an unreasonable delay for Green Cards/LPR status in San Diego, an immigration lawyer could help you facilitate. Call today to discuss your circumstances and find out more about how legal counsel could assist you.