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Writ of Mandamus Lawyer – Immigration Lawyer Suing USCIS

Forcing USCIS to take Action on your Case

Does your case qualify for Writ of Mandamus?

Typically, clients come to us after they have been waiting a long time for a decision on their case, and after they have made numerous inquiries with USCIS (or the Consulates/Embassies) themselves as well as through their attorneys. The response that they receive is almost always a generic response stating that their case is currently “pending” or is under the “average processing time.” Many of our clients have even gone to their congressman’s office to help them inquire; however, this often results in the same response, although they provide it in a letter form. Thereafter, either through their own incomplete research, or through a consultation with an inexperienced attorney, these clients mistakenly believe that their case does not qualify for a writ of mandamus lawsuit because it is under the average processing time- THIS IS NOT TRUE! Over the last decade, in numerous cases where the application or petition has not been pending for over the so-called “average processing time” published by USCIS, we have been successful in forcing USCIS and DOS to take action. Read below for an explanation as to why this “average processing time” is not the decisive factor.

What if my case is under the “average processing time?”

Recently, USCIS has increased the “average processing time” they report online to try to avoid inquiries and lawsuits from less informed clients and their lawyers. However, the Courts do not only look at the “average processing time” reported by USCIS, among other factors, they look at the following: 1) Has Congress provided a timetable for the agency (180 days in immigration benefit cases under 8 U.S.C. § 1571); 2) is the health or welfare of the applicant/petitioner at stake; 3) does the agency have a higher or competing priority; and 4) is the applicant/petitioner prejudiced in any way (do they miss out in an opportunity such as a priority date that is current or being with their family member). Telecommunications Research & Action Center v. FCC, 750 F.2d 70 (D.C. Cir. 1984). Usually, these factors work in our clients’ favor, even when their cases are within this unreasonable “average processing times” reported by the agency. Utilizing our knowledge of what the courts consider, we strengthen our clients’ complaints with allegations that highlight the unique circumstances our clients are in because of the USCIS delay.

What can filing a Mandamus Complaint do for your case? How long does it take?

A Writ of Mandamus action is a lawsuit filed in federal court asking the court to issue an order compelling the government to act, or refrain from acting, as required by law. In the immigration context, a Mandamus action against USCIS (or the Department of State) is a civil suit in federal court asking the court to compel the immigration agency to render a decision on the plaintiff’s petition or application. In addition to filing suit against USCIS, other agencies may be included as named defendants such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI) U.S. Consulates and Embassies, and other branches of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In the majority of our mandamus cases, we are able to get USCIS/DOS to take action on the immigration case within 60 to 180 days of filing the lawsuit. We are able to force USCIS/DOS into a settlement due to our reputation for litigating cases all the way to trial (when needed), as well as our ability to make strong legal arguments along with allegations to show that our clients’ cases merit the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus by the court.

Can the government retaliate against you for filing the lawsuit?

Often, clients come to us with a strong hesitation due to the fact that they are, in essence, suing the government. They feel that if they file an action against a government entity, the entity will retaliate by surely denying their petition or application. However, this is the exact opposite of what happens. In fact, the reason USCIS/DOS unreasonably delay cases without any real answers as to the reasons is due to the fact that no court or other authority with power is overseeing their actions as to the client’s case. By filing a lawsuit, a court with authority and jurisdiction over the agency is now overseeing the agency’s actions (or lack of actions) on the case. Whether the agency likes it or not, they will have to do their job, and do it correctly now. Suing the government entity brings their excessive delay out in the open and subject to greater scrutiny. If anything, this type of action would likely help ensure that any decision USCIS makes is in accordance with the law. As such, it is a misguided assumption that USCIS may retaliate if a Writ of Mandamus is filed against them.

If you have any questions specific to your case, or need more information, call our office to schedule a phone consultation with a Senior Attorney at Jeelani Law Firm.

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Client Reviews — Mandamus Cases

  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Alhasan A.
  • “Jeelani Law Firm is the best when it comes to immigration matters and suing the Government. I had a complicated case that was stuck for almost 2 years. I tried all means to resolve my case with USCIS but I was unsuccessful. When Jeelani Law Firm first stepped in, they studied the case and estimated a 2 month period to resolve the matter and they were accurate. Jeelani Law Firm has the best law team and I strongly recommend them for anyone. Unlike others, they listen carefully and work towards your best interest. Attorney Hashim is well aware of immigration laws and a good negotiator. I will take this opportunity to thank the team one by one. Thank you Hila for being so patient with me. It takes a village to calm me down and absorb my frustration. Thank you Attorney Hashim for your confidence and professionalism. Immigration law is definitely your arena. You are the best and i will be recommending you to friends and family. Thanks you for delivering and thank you for keeping me optimistic. Thank you Delia for communicating my needs and requests to Hila and Attorney Hashim.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Q C.
  • “Our children’s immigrant visa case has been held up at a German consulate for a long time in administration processing and Mr Jeelani was able to to get the case approved and the visas issued. If your case has been held up longer than 60 days I advise you to contact Mr Jeelani. He specializes in complex cases and is able to file a Mandamus complaint and force the state department/USCIS to issue your immigrant visas. Mr Jeelani is a genius in his field of immigration law and you will not find a better attorney than him period. He and his staff are very responsive, professional, and competent. Hila Wise is an awesome paralegal and very helpful. Don’t waist your time call the Jeelani Lawfirm.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Heidi A.
  • “We had a immigration case that was delayed and Mr Jeelani was able to resolve it and get it approved by filing a mandamus complaint. In addition to handling routine immigration cases this attorney also specializes in complex cases such as mandamus complaints. Mr Jeelani is the best immigration attorney I have seen period. Hila the paralegal is very helpful. All in all the A team of immigration attorneys. Don’t waist your time with other attorneys. Hire these guys and they will get the job done STAT.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Azadeh
  • “One of the best immigration lawyers… I am lucky and grateful I found Mr. Hashim Jeelani to help me through every step of the complicated and long immigration process. Mr. Jeelani helped me with travel ban (PP 9645) waiver and my EB2-NIW visa granted after filing writ of mandamus lawsuit. Mr. Jeelani, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me navigate through my case.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Kishore D.
  • “Worked with the Firm on a Writ of Mandamus due to USCIS slow processing time. Extremely Efficient and Professional. Got a decision in 50 days. They know their stuff and i highly recommend their firm for Mandamus cases. Thank you Jeelani Law Firm.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Rajeev K.
  • “Mr Jeelani did an excellent job in filing Writ of Mandamus and get the approval from USCIS. I am extremely happy and well satisfied for the work he did. He is very responsive. His knowledge in the Immigration law is commendable. Mr Jeelani is definitely worth considering for any Immigration law needs.”
  • 5.0 stars
    Posted by Wenjie G.
  • “The USCIS delay my case for a long time due to pandemic. I turned to Jeelani Law firm for help and file wirt of mandamus , the case is resolved on 2.5 months and case was approved. Both Hashim Jeelani and Hila Wise are very nice, professional ,experienced and productive guys. A big thanks to them and their efforts. I really appreciate it ! ! ! ! !”