Under federal law, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is required to complete tasks and make final decisions on applications within a “reasonable time.” If months have passed since you filed your immigration application or completed your interview and you have not heard anything about your application status, filing suit against USCIS for their delay may be an option worth considering.
The San Diego immigration delay litigation process can be effective in compelling a definitive response from USCIS, but it is not easy to successfully pursue this kind of lawsuit alone. A knowledgeable immigration delay attorney could help you understand how this process works, what you need to do to pursue it, and what results you may be able to expect upon its conclusion.
Steps to Filing Suit over an Immigration Delay in San Diego
If several months have passed since an individual filed their immigration application, the Administrative Procedures Act gives that individual the right to file what is known as a “writ of mandamus,”. This type of lawsuit seeks a court order that compels a final decision on an immigration petition. Alternatively, if more than 120 days have passed since an immigration interview and naturalization test with no response from USCIS, the petitioning individual can seek naturalization through a court.
The first step to pursuing a writ of mandamus is to gather various pieces of documentation detailing the steps that the plaintiff has already taken in the immigration application process—for example, a N-400 receipt, a completed visa application form, and/or biometric test results. Next, the plaintiff and their attorney must file this documentation along with their lawsuit, in which USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security, and any local branches of either agency are named as defendants.
Once a federal court receives a writ of mandamus case, they notify the defendants and give them 60 days to respond. The Assistant U.S. Attorney responsible for defending the agencies in question also reach out to those agencies and explore why there has been such a lengthy delay in case processing.
What Possible Outcomes Could Result from the Litigation Delay Process?
In the best-case scenario, the act of filing a writ of mandamus alone is enough to spur action on a delayed immigration case. In other situations, one or two steps in the application process may simply need to be repeated, or the applicant may just need to provide a bit more information so their application can be fully processed. It is generally rare for a writ of mandamus case to be rejected outright, although it is a possibility that an immigration attorney could discuss in greater detail.
Regardless of how the San Diego immigration delay litigation process goes, it is important to understand that compelling a decision on an immigration application does not guarantee that the application will be accepted, just that a final verdict will be made. That being said, getting closure on a case one way or the other could at least allow an applicant to be proactive about their future immigration prospects instead of continuing to wait in limbo for months on end.
A San Diego Attorney Could Help with Litigation over Immigration Delays
If you have been waiting for a response to your immigration or naturalization application and you are considering taking legal action, you should make sure you understand what you are getting into first. A writ of mandamus case can involve a lot of paperwork and a lot of different federal agencies and judicial authorities, and you may have a hard time managing yours without professional guidance.
An experienced immigration attorney could guide you through every step of the San Diego immigration delay litigation process, working tirelessly to pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.