Obtaining your Legal Permanent Resident status takes time and effort. When you and your family or employer have completed the process only to experience an unwarranted delay, a seasoned legal professional may be able to help with moving the process along.

You deserve to have a timely decision in your case. When you pay a USCIS filing fee to the government, you have a right of due process in the government’s handling of that application. Contact our firm today if you are experiencing an unreasonable delay for green cards in Boston. A diligent attorney could work to compel the USCIS to take action on your application.

Is the Delay Longer Than Normal?

LPR applications contain extensive information that USCIS and other agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), must verify. This process is highly time-consuming.

USCIS has an online page that provides information about wait times for applications. If you have been waiting longer than the agency’s estimated wait time, it is worth questioning why.

An immigration attorney in Boston could contact the office or Service Center handling the application and inquire about the unreasonable green card delay. The paperwork might have been misfiled or misplaced, and an inquiry could get the process back on track. Sometimes, an investigation reveals a problem with an application, such as missing information, that an attorney could help correct.

Unreasonable Delays After an Interview

Green card applicants often wait two years or more before the USCIS calls them in for an interview. The interview can be challenging and stressful as the interviewer will try to verify everything in an application.

At the interview’s conclusion, the USCIS officer might tell you that you are approved. In that case, you could expect to have your Green Card within four to six weeks, sometimes faster. If the officer disapproves of your application after the first interview, the USCIS might schedule a second interview, request more information, or even issue a “Notice of Intent to Deny.” In either case, you should receive notice of these actions within a few weeks of the first interview.

If you are approved and do not receive your Green Card within a few weeks of the interview, a Boston immigration attorney could call the office to ask about the unreasonable delay. In many cases, the call will spur the office to send the documents out. If you have completed your interview and still need to know your status after a few weeks, a follow-up from an attorney could prove extremely beneficial.

Litigation Could Spur USCIS to Act

When you have waited an unreasonably long time for USCIS to approve a status adjustment application, schedule an interview, or communicate the officer’s decision after the interview, you could take the agency to court. Federal law offers a procedure called a Writ of Mandamus, which a Boston attorney could use to force the USCIS to process an unreasonably delayed green card application.

The Writ of Mandamus is a request to a federal judge asking the judge to require a federal agency to act. The USCIS has 60 days to respond to the complaint for the writ and provide legitimate reasons why it has not acted.

In many cases, the USCIS decides the issue quickly after receiving the request for a Writ of Mandamus. When someone sues USCIS, the USCIS is represented in court by lawyers from the U.S. Attorneys’ Office inside the Department of Justice. The sudden involvement of the U.S. Attorneys Office means that USCIS has to answer not only you, but also their own lawyers as well as the court. Rather than go to court to explain the delay, the agency may process the application, schedule the interview, or issue the Green Card.

“In a perfect world … and we don’t live in a perfect world … we would hope that the involvement of the very busy, very powerful U.S. Attorneys Office helps to motivate USCIS and their attorneys to taking prompt action on cases.” Jamie Gorton, Managing Attorney

Discuss Unreasonable Delays for Green Cards in Boston With an Attorney

The immigration process is slow, and most applicants wait months or years for the USCIS to process their applications. However, sometimes an applicant might experience an excessive wait without an explanation.

When discussing these concerns with immigration attorneys, you should remember that not every attorney is allowed to appear (or enter cases) into the U.S. District Courts. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney if they are admitted to the District Court in your state, or what experience they have bringing these actions in the federal court.

If you or your family members have suffered an unreasonable delay for Green Cards in Boston, rely on a local immigration attorney. A legal professional could contact the USCIS to determine the reason for the delay. If courteous contact is ineffective, a lawyer could force the agency to act or explain its delay in court. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal options.