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Long Pending Case with USCIS. What Should I Do?

By April 26, 2021Immigration
confused woman

If your case has been pending with USCIS for several months, you may be getting frustrated and want to know the status of your application. If your case is outside the normal processing time, you may either file an e-request or call USCIS.

Where can I find the current processing time for USCIS petitions?

It takes USCIS different time to process different types of visa petitions. For example, it takes much shorter to process a work authorization petition than an Adjustment of Status  petition.

Additionally, the processing time is different for different USCIS offices/service centers. For example, the standard processing time for Adjustment of Status petition in NYC is between 13-35 months while the standard processing time for Las Vegas is 12.5 months.

You can see what the current processing time is for your petition when you click here. Please note that the processing times change frequently depending on what caseload USCIS currently has.

What should I do if my case is outside the normal processing time?

You could submit what is called an “e-request”. You can file the e-request on USCIS website and you should include information such as your receipt number, type of form, your name, date of birth, or your A-number. Please note that you can only file the e-request once your case is outside the processing time (in the examples above, it would be once your case has been pending for more than 35 months in NYC and for more than 12.5 months in Las Vegas).

Please note that sometimes, USCIS may get back to you and indicate that they need more time to process your case and may not give you an immediate approval/answer why your case has been pending for a long time.

That’s why sometimes calling USCIS over the phone may be more helpful. Additionally, if your case has been outside the processing time for several weeks/months, it may be worth asking to speak with a Tier 2 officer as well to get some more information on your case.

If the e-request/calling USCIS does not work, you can file a request with USCIS ombudsman.

If the request with USCIS ombudsman is not successful and if the government has unreasonably delayed a decision on your immigration petition, you may also consider filing a mandamus petition.  A mandamus action asks a court to order the government to do a specific thing that it is obligated to do by law.

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