Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Linda Lee
If you have filed an immigration application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and experienced significant delays in the processing of your case, you might be feeling frustrated and uncertain about your status. In such situations, you may consider seeking relief through a legal remedy known as Writ of Mandamus.
What is a Writ of Mandamus in Immigration Law?
Mandamus is a Latin term that translates to “we command.” A Writ of Mandamus is a lawsuit that is brought in federal court to compel an employee, officer or agency of the United States, in this case USCIS, to act. It serves as a way for applicants to assert their rights and force USCIS to make a decision on their case.
Writ of Mandamus Requirements
(1) USCIS has a clear duty to perform in your case;
(2) That this duty is owed to you; and,
(3) That there are no other forms of relief available to you. ‘
We must also clearly demonstrate that USCIS’ delay to perform in your case is unreasonable.
Determining USCIS Delay is Unreasonable
The Administrative Procedures Act mandates that when an agency is given a task by Congress then it has a duty to complete the task within a reasonable time. There are several different factors that can be used to determine whether USCIS’ delay is unreasonable, but the easiest way is to check their website to determine what their standard processing time is. If your case falls within the standard processing time you need to give USCIS some more time to make a decision. If your case has fallen outside of the standard processing time, however, and you still haven’t received a decision, then hiring ILOLA to file a Writ of Mandamus may be your best option.
Note that when a Writ of Mandamus is filed, it just asks the judge to tell USCIS to make a decision and to do it quickly. In our experience, Writs of Mandamus rarely even go before a judge. Often, the filing of the lawsuit will prompt USCIS to render a decision on the case!
Potential Mandamus Outcomes
Once the court reviews your mandamus lawsuit, there are several potential outcomes:
Case Adjudication: In many instances, filing a mandamus lawsuit prompts USCIS to take action on your case and adjudicate it promptly. You may receive a decision on your application or petition, which could result in an approval or denial.
Case Transferred: In some cases, USCIS may transfer your case to another office, which could potentially speed up the processing.
Explanation for Delay: The court may order USCIS to provide a detailed explanation for the delay in processing your case.
Legal Fees: If the court rules in your favor, USCIS may be required to pay your attorney’s fees and costs associated with the mandamus lawsuit.
USCIS Mandamus Lawyer
While a USCIS mandamus can be an effective legal remedy for delayed immigration cases, it is essential to consult with our immigration attorneys to assess the merits of your case and ensure that it is appropriate for a mandamus action. Laws and procedures may vary, and legal representation will help navigate the complexities of the process and improve your chances of obtaining a resolution to your immigration application in a timely manner. Remember that the information provided here is not legal advice, and consulting with our immigration attorneys is crucial to understanding your specific situation and the best course of action to pursue.
If your case is taking too long, contact our office now at (866) 935-3257 to discuss whether a Writ of Mandamus may be appropriate in your situation.