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My Form N-400 Application for Naturalization is Delayed: What Can I do?

close-up of n-400 form with 'Delayed" stamped over top

There are two types of delays for those who have filed Form N-400 to become naturalized citizens of the United States. Depending on the type, different actions can be taken. The first type of delay occurs before the required examination under §335 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "Act"). These types of delays are typically considered "processing" delays. That is, the naturalization officials have a backlog in processing. For this type of delay, there are a couple of options:

  • File a request for expediting
  • File a lawsuit in federal court under the Mandamus Act

The other type of delay occurs AFTER the naturalization interview/review. According to the Act, the Department of Homeland Security must decide on the naturalization application within 120 days (about four months) after the completion of the naturalization review. If there is a delay in making a decision, then you can file a lawsuit in federal court under §336 of the Act. If your Form N-400 is delayed, call us here at Yekrangi & Associates. We are immigration attorneys who can help. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation. We are located in Irvine, California. Here is a quick summary of what you can do if your application for naturalization is delayed.

Request for Expediting

As discussed more fully here, the USCIS, which processes Forms N-400, will expedite processing for several reasons. The most common reasons are these:

  • Severe financial loss to a person or business
  • Emergency circumstances
  • Humanitarian reasons

To be successful, the applicant must prepare a letter or self-prepared petition -- there is no official form -- requesting expediting. The letter or petition must identify the reason, state the particulars and provide full documentation. A job loss or loss of benefits are examples of what might be deemed a "severe financial loss."

Filing Under the Mandamus Act

Again, for Form N-400 applications that are delayed before the naturalization examination, another option is to file a federal lawsuit under the Mandamus Act. Yekrangi & Associates can draft the complaint and get it properly filed. Under the Mandamus Act, a federal judge can order the USCIS to begin processing your Form N-400. The lawsuit must be filed in the federal district court that covers the geographical area in which the USCIS processing center that is handling the particular Form N-400 is located.

Filing under Section 336 of the Naturalization Act

For those suffering delays after the naturalization examination, the legal option is to file a federal lawsuit under Section 336 of the Act. The federal court has two options: it can send the matter back to the USCIS and/or the Department of Homeland Security for resolution OR the court can make a decision on the Form N-400 application. This is within the discretion of the court.

Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today

For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.
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