Mandamus lawsuits are the most effective tool to compel the Government to decide a delayed immigration petition. There really is no close second.
However, not everyone can afford to file a federal lawsuit. And sometimes, a mandamus lawsuit is not yet ready to be filed. If you are in either situation, here are some alternative steps to take. Even if these steps do not work, the fact that you took them can provide useful ammunition for an eventual mandamus lawsuit. Maintain documentation of any actions you’ve taken whenever possible:
1. Make an inquiry with your local Senator or Congressperson for help. Immigrants can request assistance from their U.S. Senator or Representative to inquire about the status of their case. Congressional offices have liaisons with federal agencies and can sometimes help expedite the resolution of delayed applications.
2) Omsbudsman Assistance: The USCIS Ombudsman is an independent office within the Department of Homeland Security that helps resolve issues with USCIS applications and services. Immigrants can request assistance from the Ombudsman by filing a case assistance request (Form DHS-7001) to address the delay in their immigration application.
3) E-Request: If your case is outside the normal processing time, you can submit an e-Request for help through the USCIS website. https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/displayONPTForm.do;jsessionid=28B63111D9405C6DAF582F390EFC4E6A?sroPageType=onpt&entryPoint=init
These options are not silver bullets, and none are as effective as a lawsuit, but they are great alternatives.