If you are waiting for a citizenship interview or have already completed all parts of the naturalization process and are waiting for an answer, the delay can be frustrating and unnerving. While delays are becoming more common due to backlogs in the system, sometimes unreasonable delays are the result of other causes that can be addressed.
It can be helpful to talk to a Wheaton unreasonable delay for citizenship lawyer to learn more about your options for action. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer gives you an ally and advocate throughout the process and can help you find the answers you need.
Judicial vs. Administrative Relief
Many citizenship applicants in Wheaton have heard that they can sue the federal government if their application is delayed for too long. While there are effective options available in the courts, it is necessary to approach delay through administrative channels first before proceeding to court.
If a citizenship delay lawyer in Wheaton could help resolve the problem through the administrative agency handling the case, the results may take effect much sooner and costs involved could be lower. Moreover, if judicial action becomes necessary, the court will want to see that an applicant has taken steps to resolve the issue without court intervention.
Causes of Unreasonable Delays in Citizenship Cases
Some delays in the processing of citizenship cases affect virtually all applicants, while others are unique to one particular situation. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now expected to scrutinize applications more closely, and this increases processing time.
Some delays are the result of missing or suspicious information. An application may be set aside for further investigation and can be misplaced. USCIS might earmark the file to send a request for information and that request might not reach the applicant. In many cases, one agency forwards information to another for a security check, and that can result in significant delays. A Wheaton citizenship delay attorney could investigate to determine the cause of a delay and seek to negotiate a resolution.
Taking the Case to Court
If administrative remedies and other actions fail to resolve the delay, a citizenship delay lawyer in Wheaton may advise filing a lawsuit. If a citizenship applicant has already been through the interview process and has not received an answer on the application after 120 days, the applicant may file a claim in federal court under 8 U.S.C. §1447(b). If the delay is encountered earlier in the naturalization process, the applicant may seek a writ of mandamus from the court.
A writ of mandamus is an order telling an agency that they must fulfill their duties and get moving on the case they are supposed to be processing. An action under Section 1447(b) works in much the same way. When an applicant files a lawsuit in a citizenship delay case, they are not asking the court to decide the case but only to order the agency to stop stalling and finish processing the application.
Consult a Wheaton Unreasonable Delay for Citizenship Attorney
Often, when USCIS or another agency receives a summons requiring them to respond to a complaint in court, that prompts the agency to look into a delayed case. That action alone may be enough to start moving the case toward resolution.
If you have been waiting too long for action on your naturalization application, a knowledgeable Wheaton unreasonable delay for citizenship lawyer could research the cause of the delay and work to resolve the problem through all available channels. For a confidential consultation to learn more about how an attorney could assist you, call today.