Immigration delays can cause numerous problems for applicants in Lombard. While some delays may be due to backlogs, other delays stem from problems that are easily solved.
When a delay becomes unreasonable or exceeds a statutory deadline, though, you may have grounds to retain an experienced immigration attorney and file an action in federal court to compel the government to take action or make a decision. The Lombard immigration delay litigation process involves several stages and will differ depending on the type of application involved and the stage in the process where the delay occurs.
Understanding Immigration Delays
The process of obtaining an immigrant visa to receive status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) involves many stages and different government agencies, as does the naturalization process to become a United States citizen. The potential for delays exists at any stage in these processes.
The immigrant visa process and the naturalization process both start with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS has field offices around the country. The USCIS office nearest to Lombard is located on Congress Parkway in Chicago.
When reviewing applications, USCIS sends information to various other agencies, including the State Department’s National Visa Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before an applicant attempts to litigate resolution of an immigration delay, it is wise to exhaust other possibilities of investigating the problems or encouraging action.
Applicants may make inquiries regarding their application’s status via email or traditional mail, or they may schedule an interview with the appropriate agency to discuss delays. Public servants, including those working in congressional offices, may also intervene on a constituent’s behalf. Only after other avenues have failed should an applicant begin the litigation process.
When an Action May Be Brought
Section 336(b) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act provides specific provisions for judicial intervention in certain circumstances. If an applicant seeking citizenship has already completed the interview or examination component of the process and has not received an answer within 120 days, this section grants the applicant the right to file for a hearing on the matter in federal district court.
The applicant can initiate the litigation process by filing a Petition for Hearing on Naturalization Application in the U.S. District Court closest to where he or she resides. As a practical matter, applicants are often advised to work with an experienced attorney when filing suit, as failure to follow the correct legal procedure can jeopardize a case.
Proper evidence must be presented, including Form N-652, Naturalization Interview Results. The court has the authority to either decide the case or send it to the agency with instructions for remediation.
Filing Actions in Court in Other Situations
While it is sometimes helpful to file court actions in other situations involving immigration delays in Lombard, the law is not as clear about when such actions may be filed. An applicant may seek a writ of mandamus in federal court to compel the government to make a decision without unreasonable delay. Determining when a delay is considered unreasonable, however, will depend on several different circumstances and is open to interpretation.
An experienced immigration attorney should understand the appropriate timeframe based on previous cases and could know the best arguments to use in seeking mandamus relief. In many situations, filing an action in a U.S. District Court can spur the agency involved to move the process along without a case needing to be litigated.
Learn More About the Immigration Delay Litigation Process
Procedures in each federal court are different, and the circumstances of a particular case will determine how the litigation process plays out. An immigration lawyer who has litigated immigration delays in local courts will be able to provide additional information about the Lombard immigration delay litigation process and how it is likely to work in a particular situation.