Establishing yourself as a United States Legal Permanent Resident can be a life-changing achievement, opening up new employment opportunities and allowing you to live closer to U.S.-based family and friends. However, as anyone who has ever applied for a Green Card knows all too well, the gap between submitting your application and actually receiving a verdict can last a long time due to processing delays within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If you have experienced an unreasonable delay in your application for a Green Card in Marietta, you may want to discuss what to do about it with a knowledgeable green card attorney. With guidance from legal counsel, you could understand your options much better, and potentially take more effective action to move your application along and get a clear answer from USCIS regarding your immigration status.
To a certain extent, applicants for Legal Permanent Resident status in the United States should expect to wait a while before they receive an acceptance or rejection notice from USCIS. According to the USCIS online tool for tracking average case processing times, a person who applies for a green card in Marietta and has their application processed at the Atlanta Field Office can expect wait between 16 and 37 months for their case to conclude completely.
Green card applicants still have a right to receive a response on their application within a “reasonable” period of time. This might be difficult due to the existing case backlog and the possibility of procedural hang-ups within USCIS. If someone in Marietta has been waiting more than two years for their green card application to be processed, or if 120 days have passed since their visa interview without a verdict from USCIS, they may have grounds to take legal action over the unreasonable delay.
As much as possible, it can be helpful to figure out what the reason is for a delay in green card application processing before taking action to fix it. For example, applications occasionally end up stuck on someone’s desk at USCIS or in limbo at the FBI until the completion of a background check. In those situations, directly contacting the agency that has the application may be enough to get a delayed application back on track.
In more extreme situations, it may be necessary to file a petition with a federal court seeking a writ of mandamus or to file suit under 8 U.S. Code § 1447(b), a section of federal law which requires federal agencies to perform their duties at a reasonable pace. It also allows courts to compel the performance of those duties if unreasonable delays occur. Neither of these options guarantees a positive outcome from an unreasonably delayed green card application in Marietta—it only ensures that the applicant will receive a final decision more quickly.
While no one enjoys waiting to hear back from USCIS about their application for Legal Permanent Resident status, long wait times are an unavoidable part of this process. If you have been waiting years for a response, it may be time to consider taking more proactive action that might involve a federal court.
An immigration lawyer could explain your options and help you resolve whatever issue is calling an unreasonable delay for your green card in Marietta. Schedule a consultation by calling today.