Mandamus Lawsuit For Immigration Delays

Mandamus Lawsuit For Immigration Delays

What Is a Writ of Mandamus?

What is a Writ of Mandamus? When a person files an application for a green card or another immigration benefit in the United States and it seems to be moving along smoothly but then unexplainably hits a wall of delays, this can be very frustrating. Even more frustrating is when these mysterious delays drag on for months, and then years, and no amount of emails, going to InfoPass appointments, or discussing the case with people through the appropriate administrative channels seems to move the case forward. This situation can happen with applications for naturalization or immigrant visa petitions for relatives living abroad. When faced with such a delay, it may be time to consider filing a mandamus lawsuit.

Filing a mandamus action creates a lawsuit against an officer or employee of the United States government with the purpose of compelling that person to take action in an administrative matter that is not arbitrary and in which they have a legal duty to act. In immigration law, a mandamus lawsuit is used to hold the government accountable. The various arms of U.S. immigration are required by their own statutes and regulations to make a decision on an application – they have to either grant the application or deny it. The government cannot simply leave the applicant in limbo indefinitely.

By filing a mandamus lawsuit, either U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. State Department is reminded of their responsibility and is required to make a decision. Filing this type of lawsuit does not guarantee that the stuck application will be granted, but it does bring an end to the period of waiting and uncertainty. It allows individuals to move forward with their lives, knowing that a decision was made in their immigration case.

Goldstein Immigration Lawyers is a trusted immigration law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Boston. Our experienced mandamus lawyers, including our Los Angeles mandamus lawyers and Boston mandamus lawyers, provide aggressive and professional legal representation to safeguard your interests. To determine if you qualify for a free case evaluation, Tell us about your case.


A writ of mandamus can help resolve unreasonable delays in the immigration process that have caused individuals to put their lives on hold. When submitting an immigration application, individuals have the right to a decision on that case. The government has a legal obligation, under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), to make a final decision on every immigration application in a timely and reasonable manner. If a case has been delayed without good cause, filing a writ of mandamus lawsuit in federal court can force the government to fulfill this mandatory legal duty. This is true even during uncertain times, such as dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

A writ of mandamus lawsuit does not guarantee approval of the application, but it does ensure that the case will no longer remain in indefinite limbo. The government will be compelled to review the file, evaluate the evidence presented, and take action on the application. When other efforts to obtain information on the status of a pending application have failed, a mandamus lawsuit can often provide the necessary answers to resolve the case and move forward.


On average, a writ of mandamus can yield results within 30 to 60 days, with a maximum processing time of 90 days. During this time, the U.S. embassy or USCIS is required to submit their response to the mandamus order in court.

Writ of mandamus cases have a high success rate, with 99% of cases being processed and submitted faster without contestation in court. However, the success of the petition itself depends on the specific factors of the case. A writ of mandamus forces USCIS to make a decision but does not guarantee approval. It is crucial to work with an experienced mandamus lawyer who specializes in these types of cases to maximize the chances of success.


There are various reasons why the U.S. government might delay an immigration application. Some common situations include:

  1. Stalled Background Checks: Delays may occur due to FBI background checks.
  2. Unexplained Delays: Applications for naturalization or green cards may experience long delays without any decision.
  3. Administrative Delays: Cases may be pending for months or years due to administrative issues.

If any of these situations resonate with your experience, consider seeking a free case evaluation to determine if a mandamus lawsuit is a viable solution to address these persistent delays. Our team of experienced immigration attorneys can assist you in putting an end to the uncertainty and resolving your immigration case.


If you have been facing delays with your immigration application, it is important to know that you are not alone. Federal immigration court backlogs are currently at a record high.

In addition to the high volume of cases, several common factors can contribute to delays in the green card processing time:

  • Administrative Processing Delays: Applications, such as the I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status) and N-400 (Application for Naturalization), go through multiple channels, which can slow down administrative processing. Applications may get stuck at various stages before a decision is reached. Immigration agencies often provide generic responses such as "pending," "under review," or "under investigation" when questioned about these delays.
  • Background Checks and Security Clearances: USCIS conducts background checks and security clearances on all applicants. These checks involve multiple federal agencies and can result in lengthy delays, even for applicants with clean backgrounds and no criminal records. Post-9/11 security policies have increased the scrutiny of these checks, potentially leading to delays based on profiling of applicants' names and countries of origin.


Issues related to citizenship, green cards, or other immigration benefits have a significant impact on your present circumstances and future success. It is important to understand your rights in obtaining a timely decision on your application, as these rights are protected by U.S. laws. At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our experienced mandamus lawyers provide aggressive and professional legal representation to safeguard your interests.

Filing a mandamus lawsuit can be complex and confusing. However, if your case has been stagnant for an extended period, it may be the solution you need. Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer near you is the best course of action in such situations. Our team of skilled immigration attorneys has in-depth knowledge of mandamus lawsuits and can offer expert counsel at a fair cost. If you wish to learn more about the process of filing a mandamus lawsuit, answer a few questions by clicking the button below, and schedule a time with our team.