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  • aaronaisen

Getting Past the USCIS Mailbox with a Mandamus Petition

I hear the same story on too many occasions. Someone's immigration application has been pending for a considerable period of time. The applicant reaches out time after time to get some update on the application only to either (1) receive no response; or (2) receive some vague response that might as well be nothing. Sometimes the applicant and/or family will hire an attorney or ask the attorney who filed the application to reach out to USCIS. They may even ask a a member of Congress to intervene. In all too many cases, the response is the same - No Response or a Vague Response.

More often than not, this is not because USCIS has a vendetta against the applicant. It is usually because of the same reason the application is not decided. USCIS is overwhelmed. This is not to justify the lack of meaningful communication or USCIS's failure to to decide the application. Ultimately, the result is the same. The application is never decided and the applicant does not know why. This can be extremely frustrating. At some point, it is time to stop requesting an update and pursue a different route.

This is where a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus is very useful. As I explain to clients in this situation, I send a very different letter to USCIS. It is a cover letter that accompanies a lawsuit. The mandamus petition puts USCIS in a position where it has to respond and a vague response will not work. Sometimes, we can get USCIS to respond by simply telling the Department of Justice that we are prepared to file the lawsuit. But it still pushes the process forward.

If your application has been pending for a long time and are not getting any answers from USCIS, please give me a call today to see if a mandamus petition is appropriate in your case.

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