For various reasons, USCIS may take an unreasonable amount of time to adjudicate an application. For example, in processing green card and citizenship applications, USCIS performs background security checks on all applicants, including an FBI name check, FBI fingerprint check, and Interagency Border Inspection Services (IBIS) check. The FBI name check, in particular, often results in lengthy delays in adjudication for many green card and citizenship applications. Individuals who feel prejudiced by the delay may file a mandamus action in federal court to compel the government to render a decision on their pending application.
In February 2008, USCIS issued an internal memo requiring the approval of green card applications that have been pending for more than 180 days if the only obstacle to approval is the FBI name check. The USCIS memo does not apply to citizenship applications.
If you feel your application has been pending for an unreasonable period of time, contact the Law Office of Jacob L. Ratzan, P.A. for a consultation on whether filing a Mandamus case is an appropriate course of action.