Occasionally, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in making a decision regarding the status of an application or green card. In these cases a ‘writ of mandamus’ can be filed to force a decision on your case. The Mandamus Act says that a writ of Mandamus.
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty. The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.
It is important to remember that the writ does compel the government to take action, but the court cannot compel the agency to exercise its discretion in a particular manner, nor can it grant the relief the plaintiff is seeking from the agency.
A writ of mandamus is a viable fall-back option but you do not want to file a writ if you have any reason to think that USCIS might deny your application.
Any mandamus plaintiff must establish that:
1. He or she has a clear right to the relief requested;
2. The defendant has a clear duty to perform the act in question; and
3. No other adequate remedy is available.
Writs of mandamus are issued when a decision on an application has taken longer than expected. Most delays on applications come from the various background checks that the USCIS requires from each immigrant. These FBI “name checks” or “security checks” can cause an application to become stagnant in the system for years.
Once a person is stuck in this FBI name check delay, a Writ of Mandamus may be the quickest solution for USCIS to take action on long-delayed applications for immigration benefits.