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  • aaronaisen

Yes, You Can Sue USCIS and Still Have Your Application for Citizenship/a Green Card Granted!!!

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Your application for citizenship or permanent residency is stalled before USCIS. It is the classic David v. Goliath. You vs. the United States Government. That can seem intimidating on the best of days.


You want USCIS to adjudicate your application, but how do you force the agency to do that? An attorney tells you that you can sue the agency. But in your mind, that seems crazy. Will USCIS retaliate against you and deny your application?


The short answer is no. The government has an obligation to adjudicate your application in a reasonable amount of time (and in some cases, a statutorily mandated amount of time). Many delays are due to the large number of applications. In those cases, the application is simply stuck. Therefore, a petition for a writ of mandamus simply acts as a tap on the shoulder to the government that the application is there and it needs to be adjudicated. In fact, sometimes the delay can be resolved without litigation by negotiating with the local U.S. Attorney's Office.


In short, the government has a job to do. You have a right to expect the government to do that job. If they don't, there is nothing wrong with reminding them to do it. And yes, people file petitions for writs of mandamus against USCIS all the time and those applications are still granted. Yes, it can be scary to sue the government, but with a good lawyer to guide you through the process, it is possible to do it successfully.

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