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Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is a life-changing experience, and it is more than understandable to be anxious about how long U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking to process your petition. Unfortunately, lengthy wait times should be expected with this and all other proceedings involving USCIS in light of the volume of applications the agency receives yearly, and especially after additional delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with this in mind, there comes a time when a processing delay goes on long enough to become indefensible as opposed to just aggravating. If you believe you have been subject to an unreasonable delay for citizenship in St. Louis, you should reach out to a citizenship attorney about your options for resolving it.

When Is a Delay Unreasonable?

It is important for people pursuing U.S. citizenship to understand that USCIS processing delays of several months are far from uncommon for this type of petition. In fact, according to the USCIS Case Processing Tool, individuals who submit a Form N-400 to the St. Louis Field Office should expect to wait anywhere from 9.5 to 17 months after USCIS receives their application before they finish processing it and pass along additional instructions.

If a naturalization applicant does not hear anything from USCIS within the expected processing period, they can submit an online service request indicating that their application is outside normal processing time. If this does not resolve an unreasonable delay, the person applying for citizenship should contact an immigration attorney in St. Louis and start exploring other procedural and legal options.

How an Attorney Could Resolve an Unreasonable Citizenship Delay

Various issues within or outside of USCIS can lead to a citizenship application being delayed for an unreasonable length of time. From problems during the background check to paperwork being misplaced. In some situations, inquiring with USCIS about a delayed application with support from legal counsel can be enough to an application moving through the process.

However, if an administrative approach does not fix the delay, or if an applicant who has completed their interview has not received a final verdict on their petition after 120 days, it may be time to file suit against the agency responsible for the delay. This generally means seeking a writ of mandamus, which is a court order compelling an entity within the federal government to complete their assigned duties within a reasonable amount of time.

Importantly, filing suit over an unreasonable citizenship delay in St. Louis does not guarantee a positive response from USCIS, just that the petitioner will receive one. A member of our team could discuss this and other potential remedies in further detail during an initial consultation.

A St. Louis Attorney Could Help Address an Unreasonable Delay for Citizenship

No one wants to wait a moment longer than they must to find out whether USCIS has approved their petition to become a citizen. Unfortunately, thanks to various procedural and practical roadblocks during USCIS processing, some applicants end up waiting for a response far longer than any person should be expected to.

In this situation, assistance from a seasoned legal professional can be crucial to getting your application moving again. Call Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today to learn how you could deal with an unreasonable delay for citizenship in St. Louis.

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