California Writ of Mandamus Lawyer

A man holding up his visa and shaking hands with a lawyer who is holding up an American flag.When awaiting a decision from the U.S. Justice Department or USCIS regarding your visa application, even small delays can significantly impact your plans. For example, you may have a limited time frame to attend a program or fulfill job requirements contingent on a Green Card approval or H1-B.

Extended delays can derail your plans entirely, invalidating the reasons why you applied for a visa in the first place. At the very least, putting your plans on hold for weeks or even months can be frustrating while awaiting a final decision.

One extremely effective way to prompt a response and hasten your timeline for a decision is to file for a writ of mandamus.

This legal action is similar to a lawsuit and compels the government agency to act promptly. If successful, immigration officials are required by law to either come to a final decision on your case or provide updates on what is needed to proceed.

Succeeding on a writ of mandamus action does not guarantee approval for your pending application. Still, it provides closure and information regarding the reasons for the denial.

Before considering filing your writ, it can be beneficial to contact a writ of mandamus attorney familiar with U.S. Immigration procedures.

Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can provide comprehensive guidance on your case, including quickening your process timeline using tools like a writ of mandamus. Learn more about your legal options and how to maximize your chances of timely approval when you Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule a no-obligation case review.

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers today

What Types of Cases Can a California Writ of Mandamus Attorney Help With?

Suppose you are awaiting any final decision from the U.S. Justice Department or USCIS for an application or petition you have submitted and for which you have satisfied all submission requirements. In that case, a writ of mandamus can help you receive a final decision faster.

However, it is important to note that a writ of mandamus cannot quicken the pace of any pending legal proceedings involving the prosecution of criminal activity, including when you are requesting a withholding or stay of removal.

Quickening the Timeline for Green Card and Naturalization Cases

People seeking entry into the U.S. or converting their status to permanent residents or citizens are the most likely candidates for filing a writ of mandamus. In particular, Green Card applications (Form I-485) can sometimes take years after final submission to receive any response, even after what felt like a successful interview.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of timely processing of these applications within the statutory language. Sometimes the only way to receive a timely decision — or at least an update on where the application is along the process — is to file a mandamus action.

For individuals seeking to naturalize, the process has a built-in timeline of 120 days for a response to be issued after form N-400 has been submitted. If USCIS delays an application beyond this point, the petitioner has a right to compel the agency to act per its own rules.

A writ of mandamus can also be used to quicken the timeline for a final decision on visa applications.

Crucial to File for a Writ of Mandamus When the Time Is Right

At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our writ of mandamus lawyers have filed hundreds of thousands of such actions to get any response from the USCIS and Justice Dept. These organizations are notorious for delays, sometimes leaving individuals waiting years with their immigration status in limbo while they await a response.

We recommend taking action when there are no issues or other sufficient reasons for a delay. However, if issues are causing a delay, such as an inquiry related to potential criminal activities or fraud, we advise taking certain measures before filing your writ. These measures may include:

  • Checking the status of your application
  • Making sure all files are up-to-date
  • Clarifying any information that may be causing concern in the department in question
  • Ensuring that you are filing for the most-appropriate visa or residency/naturalization program given your situation and goals

We will perform a full review before filing a writ of mandamus to ensure that the above items are resolved. Otherwise, in cases where the writ of mandamus succeeds, the resulting decision may be a hasty “no” from USCIS.

Because of these concerns, your writ of mandamus attorney will look fully into your case and help you understand all options available before filing a petition seeking timely adjudication.

What Does a Writ of Mandamus Do?

A writ of mandamus is a tool created in large part by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The act states that all individuals receiving services from the government have reason to expect that the body will render their service along a reasonable and appropriate timeline. When there is no cause for a delay, the writ can compel the agency to make a final decision — often within the next 20 – 60 days.

By filing a writ of mandamus, you are submitting a complaint to a court with the authority to compel the agency to act within a “reasonable” timeframe. While the exact length that is “reasonable” is not defined, it does force the agency to either explain its reasons for the delay or to expedite its decision without further delay.

Note that the agency compelled to act is not obligated to return a decision in the petitioner’s favor. They simply have to state “yes,” “no,” or “we need more time/information to complete our processes for these specific reasons.”

Because of the risk of an unfavorable decision, our California writ of mandamus lawyers first review all pending cases to see if there are any specific reasons your case might be denied. At the same time, we will help you consider all options, including filing a writ of mandamus or a 1447 (b) request for judicial relief of individuals with a pending naturalization petition.

What Relief Am I Entitled to Under a Writ of Mandamus?

The U.S. Justice Department states that a writ of mandamus is “an extraordinary remedy, which should only be used in exceptional circumstances of peculiar emergency or public importance.” It also clarifies that mandamus is only appropriate when no other relief method is available.

In cases where a writ of mandamus would be considered legally appropriate (at the sole discretion of the courts), the relief available is a court order sent to the department, agency, or service provider in question. Common targets of these actions include the USCIS, the DHS, and the U.S. Justice Dept.

The court handling the writ cannot compel the targeted agency to perform any action other than to continue their processes according to their guidelines and procedures. As such, it is possible that even after a writ is issued, the agency named in the writ will say, “We’re doing the best we can.”

However, in our experience, having a writ issued can “tie the agency’s hands” to forego any other delays and come to a decision in a much shorter timeframe. Further, it can force the agency to come out and state their reasons for the delay, which can help resolve any issues — or, bare minimum, suggest that the applicant might wish to seek another legal avenue for achieving their intended goals.

How Long After a Writ of Mandamus Succeeds Can I Expect a Response?

Time frames vary, but USCIS and most other agencies typically respond with an approval, denial, or request for more information within the next 20 – 30 days. You can expect a final response to take 60 days at the high end. Any longer, the agency may be seen as violating the orders issued by the writ.

Let Our California Writ of Mandamus Attorneys Help You Speed Up Your Timeline

Waiting forever on approval can cause measurable harm to individuals, so they have been provided with legal remedies like a writ of mandamus. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law recognizes that while agencies like USCIS face a tremendous backlog, they remain obligated to provide services on time unless there are valid reasons for delays.

A writ of mandamus is often the perfect action to get your application or petition moving along again. In others, we can help hasten timelines through other actions — potentially including a request for relief under 1447 (b), which allows a court to decide regarding naturalization approval rather than the USCIS.

Speak to our immigration attorneys to learn more about your options and the factors that can make or break an application’s success. Our experienced lawyers are ready to help you live out your dreams by giving you all the tools we have that have helped hundreds of thousands of dreamers as you succeed in the past.

Schedule your no-obligation case review today when you Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online .