Applicants from Lombard seeking green cards or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status should expect some delays in the process, but when the delays become unreasonable, there may be cause for concern. Information may have been lost or misplaced, and delays can cause a host of problems.
There are steps that can be taken to address Lombard unreasonable delay for green card/legal permanent residence. An attorney with experience handling the immigration visa process could assist in determining which actions are appropriate for a particular situation.
LPR Applications Can Be Delayed for Numerous Reasons
To obtain status as an Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) and eligibility to work in the United States with a permanent resident identification card, also known as a green card, an applicant must first receive an immigration visa. These are granted in limited numbers each year, and some categories of visas are much more limited than others.
The first stage in the visa application process involves a petition filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While these petitions are usually processed in the order they are received, they may be delayed because employers pay an added fee to receive faster processing for employment-related petitions, which pushes others further back in the processing line.
Petitions may also be delayed at USCIS if the visa involved is lower in priority. For instance, a family preference visa where the petitioner is the sibling of a visa applicant is a low-priority situation and is not expected to become urgent for some time, so the USCIS may be slow to process the petition. Fortunately, this usually does not affect the final outcome, since the date of the application will hold the applicant’s place in line regardless of how long it takes to process the petition.
Delays also frequently occur in the State Department’s National Visa Center, where applications and documentation are processed, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where background checks are completed.
Delays are also caused by the waiting lists, which are longer for lower-priority visa categories and for applicants from countries with a large number of immigrant applications. If an applicant is sponsored by an LPR who later achieves citizenship status, though, it is important to notify the relevant agencies, because their application would then be eligible for higher preference.
How to Handle Delays for Green Cards
Delays due to waiting lists and backlogs are essentially unavoidable. However, if a delay occurs due to missing documentation, a lost file, or any other issue which can be corrected, it is important to take action. Although it is possible to file an action in court, this method should be taken only after an applicant has pursued all other available avenues.
First, applicants should make formal inquiries via email, traditional mail, or in person by making an appointment at the appropriate agency. If the delay is at USCIS, an appointment may be made at the closest field office to Lombard, which is located in Chicago. An experienced immigration attorney can help determine who to contact, how to make an inquiry, and how to document that inquiry in case court action becomes necessary.
When other avenues fail, an applicant may file a federal court action seeking a writ of mandamus. If granted, this type of writ requires the government to take action where there has been an unreasonable delay. However, while a writ of mandamus can encourage the government to make a decision, that does not necessarily mean the decision will be favorable.
Evaluating Options for Addressing Unreasonable Green Card Delays
It can be difficult to know when to seek help when there is a delay in your process of obtaining a green card. It can also be problematic to determine where and how to place an inquiry to achieve the best possible outcome. Experienced immigration lawyers routinely assist with cases involving Lombard unreasonable delay for green card/legal permanent residence. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney is a good place to start if you are facing delays yourself.