Unfortunately, it can be a common scenario for applicants to experience unreasonable delays in the adjudication of their immigration applications. Many people who have properly filed their applications and supporting documents experience horrendous delays at USCIS, with very little information from USCIS about the status of their applications, with many under “administrative review.” This results in families being separated, applicants unable to work, and most importantly, the stress of an unresolved immigration case. Applicants in these situations are often unable to continue living productive lives because their immigration benefits are still on hold or “pending.” In some cases, USCIS will simply allow an application to remain pending indefinitely.
There is a remedy for those who find themselves in this frustrating situation. A “mandamus” action may be filed in court to compel USCIS, or any administrative agency, to act where there has been an unreasonable delay that causes harm to the applicant. What a mandamus lawsuit can do is force an administrative agency to take action. What it cannot do is order the administrative agency to rule in any particular way on your specific application.
This lawsuit must be filed in U.S. District Court. If successful, a federal judge will order USCIS to issue a decision on your case.
Filing a mandamus action is serious. Often, just the filing of this action in U.S. District Court results in USCIS issuing a decision to avoid further litigation.
If you have experienced an unreasonable delay and believe you have a right to the immigration relief you requested, and have exhausted other administrative remedies to compel a decision, please contact us. We can help you find resolution, so that you may continue on with your life and not have to face another day of unnecessary delay.