It’s very difficult to wait years to get an immigration decision.
It’s even harder when the decision is a denial.
Worse still… the denial is wrong!
Challenging & Correcting Immigration Denials
A denial can be scary and heartbreaking. But it does NOT have to be the end of the story. With the right counsel, you can fight and WIN.
Just because the government denies an immigration petition does not mean it was the right decision. In some cases, the denial was improper. But rather than start over with another application, applicants have the right to sue the government and challenge the denial.
The lawyers at Sarraf Gentile LLP have decades of federal courtroom experience and have worked closely with government lawyers. These skills are rare among immigration lawyers, the vast majority of which focus on filing applications. We are different. We focus on litigation. Only.
We believe in our skills and our clients’ cases. Free initial consultations. Flexible payment options.
The Problem: A Denied Immigration Petition
Applying for immigration benefits can be a complex process. This is often made worse by delays and waiting years for a decision. When a decision is finally made, it is not always favorable. In fact, immigration applications are sometimes denied. But not all denials are proper.
Like any government agency, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is run by people. The Consulates and Embassies that the U.S. government operates worldwide are also staffed by people. And people can make mistakes. But these mistakes have real-life consequences: being unable to work; being banned from entering or staying in the U.S.; trips abroad put off indefinitely; marriages postponed; families separated; uncertainty about where to plant roots; etc.
Broadly speaking, most denials and how best to deal with them, fall into one of three categories:
1. USCIS Denials — These are denials made by USCIS involving a very wide range of immigration benefits. These can include petitions for alien relatives, to adjust status or get a green card, obtain work authorization (i.e., EAD) or the ability to travel abroad, remove conditions on a green card, etc.
2. Consulate Denials — These are denials made by a U.S. Consulate or Embassy for a visa, often to allow a foreign national authorization to enter the U.S. These types of denials are particularly challenging given that they are done abroad, often without explanation and given great deference (i.e., they are generally immune or protected from any challenge). The doctrine of “consular nonreviewability” generally shields consular denials from court challenges. However, this shield is not absolute and, in certain cases, consulate denials can be challenged.
3. Naturalization Denials — These are refusals to grant an individual U.S. citizenship. Naturalization denials are unique and governed by a specific statute (8 U.S.C. § 1447) that allows the denied applicant the right to go to federal court and challenge the denial.
While new immigration applications can sometimes be filed — which can take years and frequently result in another denial — there is another option: suing the government to challenge and hopefully reverse the denial.
The Solution: Asking the Court to Correct a Denied Immigration Application
After waiting years for a decision on an immigration application only to be denied, suing the government and challenging the denial may be the best path forward. And while this may sound daunting, it’s possible with the right counsel.
Done properly, there are benefits to suing the government to reverse an immigration decision. Filing a new case brings an impartial judge to review what occurred. It also brings a fresh set of eyes for the government agency that denied the application because these suits are defended by Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers who review and often inquire about why the application was denied.
While most litigation is unpredictable, time-consuming and costly, lawsuits that challenge a denial can be brought quickly and relatively inexpensively. They are also fairly predictable. That is because there is usually no discovery, no document production, no witnesses, no expensive expert testimony in these lawsuits. Everything is decided on the material submitted as part of the application — what is referred to as the “administrative record.”
Having to wait years to get a decision is difficult enough and made worse when the decision is an incorrect denial. Fortunately, the law allows applicants to challenge these denials and Sarraf Gentile LLP can help.
We Can Help: Hire Sarraf Gentile LLP to Represent You
Free Initial Consultations: All initial consultations are free. Period.
Flexible Fees: You will know what we charge upfront and what the case will cost to litigate. No surprise bills. No guessing. We offer hourly rates, staged fees or flat fixed charges.
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, we have a history of working closely and productively with the Department of Justice. This is the same agency that will likely defend USCIS in your case.
We’re Fearless: We’re used to litigating high stakes, bet-the-farm 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.