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  • aaronaisen

Two (Possibly Three) Steps to Take Before Filing a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus

Your application for citizenship or permanent residency is delayed. Your visa is caught up in administrative processing. You have spent a lot of time and money on your application and yet heard nothing. You have heard the courts can force the government to act and you want to sue.


This is not uncommon. However, there are certain things that you should do (or get a lawyer to do) before you consider suing to potentially save some time and money.


First, look at the processing time and determine if USCIS is outside the processing time or is really outside the processing time. For example, USCIS has 120 days after the examination to decide your citizenship application. Is it it Day 121 or is it day 200 or 250 (which is really only a few months later)? Mandamus petitioners are better suited for applications that are really outside the processing times. Plus, while the delays can be aggravating, Day 250 is going to make for a better and much more sympathetic lawsuit than Day 121.


Second, reach out to USCIS about your application. A mandamus petition is far more sympathetic if you can show that you have reached out a couple of times, and USCIS has either (1) not responded; or (2) has not provided a good explanation for the delay or just keeps providing excuses but takes no action. In short, make an effort to resolve it without litigation before litigating.


Third, (optional but can be useful) your attorney can even reach out to the local U.S. Attorney's Office to see if they can resolve it before litigating. Admittedly, this is easier to do in some places than others. Many mandamus petitions get resolved within the 60 days the Government has to respond anyway. So, if possible, reach out beforehand. You might be able to save some time and money.


Give me a call today for a consultation about whether a petitioner for a writ of mandamus is appropriate in your case.

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