How Do You Determine Whether an Immigration Delay is Unreasonable?

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The first question in determining whether a mandamus/APA lawsuit is a viable solution to address an immigration application delay is whether the delay is “unreasonable.” But there is no exact formula to determine this. The closest thing we have are the principles enumerated in a  court decision entitled Telecommunications Research & Action Center v. FCC, 750 F.2d 70, 80 (D.C. Cir. 1984). These widely adopted principles have come to be known as the TRAC Factors. To determine if your immigration delay is unreasonable, the first step is to evaluate it against these points:

(1) the time agencies take to make decisions must be governed by a “rule of reason”;

(2) where Congress has provided a timetable or other indication of the speed with which it expects the agency to proceed in the enabling statute, that statutory scheme may supply content for this rule of reason;

(3) delays that might be reasonable in the sphere of economic regulation are less tolerable when human health and welfare are at stake;

(4) the court should consider the effect of expediting delayed action on agency activities of a higher or competing priority;

(5) the court should also take into account the nature and extent of the interests prejudiced by delay; and

(6) the court need not find any impropriety lurking behind agency lassitude in order to hold that agency action is unreasonably delayed.