Acquiring a green card that grants you status as lawful permanent resident can be a life-changing experience, especially if it allows you to live much closer to family members and/or pursue new job opportunities. However, as anyone who has ever dealt with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) knows all too well, the process of applying for and receiving your green card can take a frustrating amount of time even under the most optimal circumstances.

Under less optimal circumstances, delays in green card application processing may stretch out for so long that applicants may need to take action themselves to spur USCIS or an associated federal agency into action. If you are currently dealing with an unreasonable delay for a green card in Washington DC, an experienced immigration attorney could provide the help you might need to resolve this problem quickly and get the clear answers you deserve.

Determining the Cause of an Unreasonable Processing Delay

The ideal course of action for resolving an unreasonable green card delay in Washington DC may vary depending on the situation. In the best-case scenario, a lengthy delay stems simply from someone within USCIS or a related agency misplacing an important piece of paperwork or letting a particular application slip out of mind. Contacting the USCIS directly through their Contact Center can sometimes be enough to clear up an issue like this and get the process moving at a normal pace.

It is also worth noting that USCIS prioritizes certain green card applications over others. For example, the agency often processes family-based immigration petitions filed by U.S. citizens on behalf of their spouses much faster than petitions filed on behalf of siblings, and so on. While this prioritization has no bearing on the ultimate outcome of a petition, it can lead to irritating delays that may last for months or years.

In other cases, delays may stem from problems at the National Visa Center, issues with the background check, an abnormal increase in the number of applications submitted during a particular period, and a host of other causes. Guidance from seasoned legal counsel can be crucial to identifying what is behind an unreasonable delay for a green card application, and subsequently to remedying that delay in a timely fashion.

How a “Writ of Mandamus” Could Help

If direct inquiries with USCIS, in-person appointments, and other measures fail to overcome an unreasonable delay for a Washington DC green card application, it may be appropriate to take formal legal action as a last resort. Specifically, a qualified lawyer could help an applicant file a “writ of mandamus” lawsuit.

This is essentially a request for a federal court to compel an agent of the federal government to perform their assigned duties in a reasonable amount of time, in accordance with the requirement outlined in 28 U.S.C. §1361. It is important to remember that a successful “writ of mandamus” does not guarantee a favorable resolution to a green card application, only a reasonably prompt one.

Talk to a Washington, DC Attorney About Addressing an Unreasonable Green Card Delay

It can be difficult to decide what response to a lengthy USCIS processing delay is best for your particular situation. You may have other professional and personal obligations to focus on, and going back and forth with officials may seem like an understandably exhausting endeavor.

Fortunately, help is available at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC. Our team could work tirelessly and tenaciously to help you. Call today to discuss options for solving unreasonable delays for green cards in Washington DC.