Submitting your application to become a U.S. citizen after years of living in the country as a Legal Permanent Resident may have been one of the most exciting moments of your life. However, if you have been waiting for months or years for a response to your petition, that initial excitement has likely turned into frustration.
It is all too common for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to run into problems while processing citizenship applications, leading to lengthy delays that can leave applicants desperate for answers. If you are dealing with an unreasonable delay for citizenship in Marietta, a dedicated citizenship attorney could work with you to identify the issue and take appropriate action to resolve it.
Unfortunately, individuals who apply to become naturalized citizens of the United States usually have to wait a long time to get a final response from USCIS, even under the best of circumstances. According to the USCIS “Case Processing Times” site, the Field Office in Atlanta, Georgia—which would handle most applications filed by Marietta residents—can take anywhere from 13.5 to 25.5 months on average to process an N-400 Application for Naturalization.
However, if someone at USCIS misplaces some paperwork, if there is an issue with a background check performed by some other agency, or there is simply a backlog of citizenship applications to work through, the waiting period for a hopeful applicant may drag out for multiple years. Under these circumstances, a delay for citizenship in Marietta may be extreme enough to be considered “unreasonable,” and it may be time to take legal action with help from an immigration attorney.
In most circumstances, there are a few options for resolving an immigration delay that are worth trying before proceeding to litigation. Contacting USCIS or the Atlanta Field Office directly, contacting the FBI to determine whether an issue with a background check is the cause for the delay, and contacting federal officials or members of Congress for help can sometimes get an application moving without having to involve a federal court.
If those options have been exhausted with no change in application status, an immigration lawyer could help file a petition for a writ of mandamus. This is essentially a federal court order demanding that USCIS fulfill their application-processing duties in a timely fashion. Alternatively, applicants who have already completed their citizenship interview may file suit under 8 U.S. Code § 1447(b) if they do not receive a final decision on their application within 120 days of that interview. Qualified legal counsel in Marietta could help determine whether a delay for citizenship is “unreasonable” enough to warrant legal action.
It is an unfortunate fact that naturalization applicants have to wait a long time to get a response to their petition for U.S. citizenship, due to delays in USCIS processing of these applications. Despite this, there is a point where delays become unreasonable, and if you have been waiting years to receive a verdict from USCIS, your case may have reached that point.
Assistance from a knowledgeable legal professional can be key to resolving an unreasonable delay for citizenship in Marietta. Schedule your consultation by calling today.