Immigration Delay Litigation

The lawyers at Sarraf Gentile LLP use their litigation skills and experience working with government lawyers to represent individuals with immigration applications that have been delayed in lawsuits against the government.

We believe in our skills and our clients’ cases.  All initial consultations are free and we charge flat fees.

The Problem:  Waiting Years for an Immigration Application Decision

The application process for many types of immigration benefits can be lengthy.

During the best of times, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) can take months to adjudicate an application for citizenship or a visa.  In recent years, however, USCIS can take a few years to issue a decision. Such delays have real life consequences: children aging out of benefits; new employees unable to start jobs; marriages being prevented; trips abroad put off indefinitely; uncertainty about where to plant roots; etc.

While your immigration lawyer might correctly say that the application should have been decided by now, the immigration benefit you’re seeking remains out of reach and the path forward is not clear. Filing a new application (which costs more money, wastes the effort already spent on the initial application and restarts the clock) usually won’t speed up an unreasonably delayed decision. You could also request reconsideration or file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office, but that process can take a year and typically just confirms the decision being appealed.

Unlike many other areas of administrative law, an exhaustion of remedies is not necessarily required here. You can file your case directly in federal court without appealing and ask a Judge to compel a decision.

The Solution: Asking the Court to Compel an Immigration Application Decision

After waiting years for a decision on an immigration application, suing the government — to make them do what they’re supposed to do — may be the best path forward.  And while this may sound daunting, it’s a straightforward and low risk process.

Done properly, there are benefits to suing the government to compel an immigration decision.  Filing a new case that seeks immediate action on a pending application brings you an impartial judge and a fresh set of eyes for the government since these suits are handled by Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers. Also, these federal lawsuits can be brought quickly and relatively inexpensively. That is because there is no discovery, no document production, no witnesses, no expensive expert testimony. Everything is decided on the material submitted as part of the application, what is referred to as the “administrative record.”

This litigation option uses the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and a Writ of Mandamus to apply to a wide variety immigration applications that often go undecided for years. These include:

  • Permanent residence applications (so-called “green card status”)
  • N-400 naturalization petitions (for U.S. citizenship)
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Numerous different types of both permanent and temporary visas such as F-1, J-1, H-1B, EB-1, EB-2, EB-5, O

Some people are afraid of potential retaliation by USCIS or the Government for challenging them, but we are not aware of an instance where this has occurred. In fact, some attorneys have reported the opposite: better treatment for clients after they show a willingness to fight.

Simply getting a decision after years in limbo can be life changing. Even if the decision is a denial, the uncertainty is lifted and you can go on making life plans.

We Can Help: Hire Sarraf Gentile LLP to Represent You

Free Initial Consultations: All initial consultations are free. Period.

Flat Fees: You will know what we charge upfront and what the case will cost to litigate. No surprise bills, no guessing.  That phone call to answer a question is not billed by the minute.

The Right Experience: The attorneys at Sarraf Gentile LLP are accomplished litigators. We have decades of complex litigation experience in federal courts nationwide.  Because we frequently represent clients who assist and collaborate with government agencies and programs in fraud cases, we have a history of working closely and productively with the Department of Justice in prosecuting such misconduct. This is the same agency that will likely defend USCIS in your case. We know the terrain.

We’re Fearless:  We’re used to litigating high stakes, bet-the-company issues. We’ve represented many people in difficult situations, especially when their livelihoods are on the line, against adversaries with nearly unlimited resources. We don’t get intimated. This is not our first rodeo.

We Listen: Many of our clients have become lifelong friends. Over time, our clients have taught us many valuable lessons. We know how important regular communication and updates are to helping us better represent clients and manage their stress levels. We have also learned that empathy isn’t just about being nice. Developing the ability to holistically see a client’s world through their eyes helps us develop better strategies to accomplish what’s best for them. Nothing matters more to us than being able to help those that trust us when they need us.

We Work Hard & Well With Others: Like most litigators, we’re good at fighting and don’t shy away from it. Less common, we value collaboration. For a variety of reasons, many of the cases we’ve handled over the years have been co-counseled with other law firms. We pride ourselves on our ability to work well as part of a larger team. We don’t let ego get in the way of providing the best possible service to our clients. This means that we will happily work with our client’s existing immigration counsel — both before & after filing a lawsuit — to ensure that we get the best result.