Established in 1980, with Over 30 Years of PROVEN Success in All Phases of U.S. Immigration law.

Long Delays and Unhelpful Immigration and Consular Officials Are a Common and Unfortunate Part of the US Immigration System. However There Are Times When You Can Compel the Government To Take Action.

If your case is being ignored or taking far longer than the Normal Processing Times, we can use the federal court system to compel a decision in your case. This action, called a writ of mandamus will NOT cause the government to deny a valid case and can usually get results within a few months.

Not all delays can be resolved through a Writ of Mandamus. This process is reserved for extreme examples of government inaction. And while these actions will not result in the approval of a case that is without merit, neither will it result in a denial out of revenge.

Most government delays are built into the system. For example, an individual must ordinarily be sponsored by a close family member or an employer in order to be eligible for a green card. Most of these sponsorships are grouped into categories or "priorities" depending on the nature of the family relationship and the skills of the employee. The law sets a limit or cap on the number of green cards that can be issued in each of these priorities and when the number of applications exceeds the available visas, we say the preference is "oversubscribed." Some of these preferences are oversubscribed for more than 10 years. There is nothing that can be done to improve your position on the waiting list other than to determine if you also qualify for a shorter waiting list.

Apart from theses delays are the delays that are attributed to "processing times." This is the time it takes USCIS to make a decision on your case after the application is received or "feed in." Long processing times are a factor of the number of applications received and the number of USCIS personnel assigned to review the applications. Certain types of application, involving employer sponsorship, can be decided within 15 calendar days by the payment of an expedite fee to USCIS. You can view USCIS processing times by going to the "Help Desk" feature on our home page. The list or applications that can be expedited is available at http://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service.

Finally, delays may be the result of factors in individual cases, including security concerns, document insufficiencies, poorly prepared applications and issues concerning the individual applicant including arrests, immigration violations and allegations of fraud or abuse.

In all of the above situations there is little or nothing that can be done if DHS or the US consulate are processing the case within the normal processing times appropriate to your case. If it is taking six months, for example to schedule a naturalization interview in your local district office, than there is little that can be done if your case is pending 5 months.

However, sometimes applications do languish beyond the normal processing times, occasionally for a year or more beyond what you should reasonably expect. In such cases, we may be able to help. We suggest you follow these steps BEFORE contacting our office:

  1. Determine the appropriate processing times for your type of application.
  2. If your application is more than 90 days beyond the normal processing times, you should contact the customer service number to follow up on an application submitted by mail to USCIS or schedule an Infopass at the local office where your interview was conducted. If the case has been forwarded to a US consulate abroad, you should contact the consulate by email. (see our Help Desk on the home page) Be sure to document the communication with the date and time of the conversation and the name of the officer you spoke with. Keep all written communications.
  3. Wait another 60 days and try the process again, carefully documenting the communication.
  4. Wait another 60 days. If the issue is still unresolved, you should contact your local Congressional representative. Do not expect too much. Even the most well intentioned representative is routinely ignore by USCIS and the consulate, but you can sometimes get help and it will serve to further document your efforts.
  5. Wait another 60 days. You are now 9 months past the normal processing times and you need to contact us and consider a mandamus action.

When you call us, remember to have all of your documentation in order, from the date of the original submission to the last Congressional communication. If we believe that the case is ready for federal action, we will work with you to draft a complaint to the federal court. In some instances, just the threat of federal action is enough to motivate USCIS to take action on your case. Often, we have an established channel of communication with the local US Attorney and he or she can be helpful to motivate USCIS or the US consulate without actually filing the complaint.

Although filing a mandamus action with the federal court will NOT result in DHS, CIS or the US consulate taking revenge against you and denying the case, a mandamus action, at best, will result in a decision, and not necessarily an approval. The point here is that a mandamus action will require the federal government to decide your case. If your case is not approvable, they will not approve it! If you have lied on your application, submitted false documents, have an undisclosed USCIS file or arrest, or are requesting a benefit that the law does not entitle you, then filing a mandamus action will only result in a prompt denial.