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My I-485 Application is Delayed, What Can I Do?

immigration application with pen on top. delayed update

If your I-485 application is unreasonably delayed, call us here at Yekrangi & Associates. We have a couple of possible solutions to the unreasonable delay. We are immigration attorneys who can help. We are located in Irvine, California, and you can contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation. The possible solutions involve:

  • Filing a federal lawsuit against the immigration services under the Mandamus Act
  • Filing a request for expedited processing

Here is a brief explanation.

Filing a Mandamus Lawsuit for Delayed I-485 Application

A mandamus lawsuit is filed in the federal district court where your I-485 adjustment of status application is being processed. A mandamus lawsuit is filed under the provisions of the Mandamus Act (and also the Administrative Procedures Act). Essentially, the Mandamus Act gives a federal court the power to order a federal agency -- like the immigration services -- to take action when such action is required by law and action is being "unlawfully withheld" or "unreasonably delayed." So, it must be shown that the delay in processing your I-485 application is "unreasonable" or delayed "unlawfully."

Because processing of I-485 applications is mandatory under U.S. laws, the immigration services can be ordered by a federal judge to begin or finish the processing. Note, however, that the federal judge cannot order the I-485 application to be APPROVED. Rather, the court can only order immigration services to process the application. Whether a delay is "unreasonable" is up to the federal judge to decide and the immigration services can offer reasons for the delay. However, as a matter of practice, filing a federal mandamus lawsuit will spur immigration services to speed up the processing. Certainly, the immigration services will become keenly aware of your I-485 application and an immigration official will be assigned to find out why there is a delay in processing.

The advantages of a federal mandamus lawsuit include speed and cost efficiency. A mandamus lawsuit can be filed very quickly and the filing fees are affordable. In addition, once a mandamus lawsuit is filed, your I-485 application is now the focus of a federal district court judge who "outranks" immigration officials and even immigration judges. Often, the very act of filing a mandamus lawsuit will speed up processing and, in some circumstances, a decision can be obtained from the judge very quickly.

Filing a Request for Expedited Processing

A second option is to file a letter with the processing office requesting expedited processing. This can be helpful and is often successful. Such a request can be prepared and sent quickly. The main disadvantage is that a response to the request for expedited processing may, itself, take significant time and the request and your I-485 application are still within the control of immigration officials. Further, there are eligibility requirements for a request for expedited processing. The most commonly used requirements are

  • There will be severe financial consequences to a person or business
  • Emergencies -- like health reasons
  • Humanitarian reasons

With a request for expedited processing, sufficient evidence must be shown that one of the conditions is met for granting the expedited processing.

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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