Delays In Getting Your Green Card And What You Can Do About It

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In this interview, Yakov Spektor shares delays we are currently seeing in getting a green card, and what you can do about them.

Navigating the process of obtaining a green card is a significant undertaking, often filled with anticipation and hope. However, many applicants need help with unexpected delays, turning the process into a long-winded journey.


The Issue: Green Card Delays

Obtaining a green card—officially known as a Permanent Resident Card—is a significant milestone on the path to U.S. citizenship. Unfortunately, many applicants have been facing prolonged delays in processing their green cards. Let’s delve into the reasons behind these problems, as elucidated by experienced immigration attorney Yakov Spektor:

  • Policy Changes: The landscape of immigration policy is constantly evolving. Whether significant overhauls or minor amendments, policy changes can create delays as the authorities adjust their procedures.
  • Increased Scrutiny: Yakov points out increased scrutiny given to green card applications. This thoroughness, while essential for maintaining the integrity of the immigration process, contributes to longer processing times.
  • Application Backlogs: The sheer volume of green card applications received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can lead to backlogs, causing delays.
  • Administrative Errors: Occasionally, errors in the processing of applications can occur, leading to delays. These could be due to clerical errors or issues with the filing.
  • Effects of the Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the process. With many government offices closed or operating at reduced capacity, processing times have been affected.

These factors provide a comprehensive understanding of the hurdles in the green card processing journey. Having this knowledge helps applicants to navigate the process better and manage expectations.

It’s crucial to remember that while these delays can be frustrating, they are part of the current situation in the immigration landscape. Knowledge, patience, and seeking professional legal advice when necessary are key in these circumstances.


The Impact on Applicants

The complications arising from delays in green card processing can profoundly impact applicants’ lives. It’s crucial to understand these implications, particularly in what Yakov describes as a system in dire need of reform, struggling to process a high volume of cases.

For many, the green card represents a significant step towards establishing a life in the United States. It’s a gateway to employment opportunities and a key component in reuniting families. As such, any delay in its issuance can lead to considerable uncertainty and stress. Applicants may face challenges with job initiation, family plans may be put on hold, and the anxiety of waiting for an important decision can be emotionally draining.

Moreover, Yakov explains that these delays should now be considered part of the “new norm.” With the increased scrutiny of applications, changes in immigration policy, and other factors contributing to the delays, this extended processing time is likely to persist. Applicants need to acknowledge this reality and plan accordingly.

This perspective doesn’t diminish the frustrations or challenges faced by applicants but instead underscores the necessity of staying informed, patient, and proactive in seeking solutions. Recognizing that extended processing times may be part of the green card journey can help applicants manage their expectations and navigate this stage of their immigration process.


Legal Solutions

Despite the challenges arising from green card processing delays, it’s important to remember that legal solutions are available. Yakov Spektor, with his extensive experience in immigration law, provides insight into these avenues of redress:

  1. Filing a Complaint: One option is to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This can be done online and can help expedite the process.
  2. Congressional Oversight: Applicants can contact their local congressperson’s office for assistance. Many congressional offices have staff dedicated to liaising with USCIS on constituents’ behalf.
  3. Legal Action: In cases of excessive delays, Yakov discusses the option of suing the authorities for a decision, a process known as filing a ‘writ of mandamus.’ This legal action is a lawsuit that compels a government officer to perform a duty they owe to the applicant.

It’s important to note that taking legal action is a significant step and should only be considered when all other remedies have been exhausted. A lawsuit is a complicated process and should be handled carefully. Yakov suggests that such action should be considered in consultation with a qualified immigration attorney.


The Role of an Immigration Attorney

Navigating the complexities of immigration law, especially during green card processing delays, can significantly benefit from the expert guidance of an attorney. Attorneys can help evaluate your circumstances, identify potential reasons for the delay, and lay out the available legal routes to address the issue. This might involve filing a complaint with USCIS or, in more severe cases, considering a lawsuit to compel a decision, known as a ‘writ of mandamus.’

Yakov emphasizes the importance of seeking legal advice before opting for any action. A seasoned attorney can provide tailored advice, understand the risks and rewards of each available option, and guide you in choosing the most suitable course. In the intricate landscape of immigration, an attorney doesn’t only offer legal advice—they become advocates who safeguard your rights and amplify your chances of a favorable outcome. When facing green card delays, having an experienced lawyer by your side can effectively manage the situation and steer toward a successful resolution.


Dealing with Delays and Moving Forward

The experience of waiting for a green card can be stressful, especially amidst delays. However, understanding the reasons behind these delays, acknowledging their impact, and knowing the legal solutions can help applicants manage the process effectively.

While these delays may become the new norm, they don’t have to mean a standstill. Legal options exist, and the guidance of an attorney can be instrumental.

Should you need help with your green card process delays, consider seeking legal consultation. A knowledgeable attorney can help expedite the process and bring you closer to obtaining your green card.

Watch the full interview with Yakov Spektor on our YouTube channel for a comprehensive understanding of this issue and professional advice on managing these delays.

A Mandamus Petition is a request to the Court to force (mandate) USCIS to decide on your case. USCIS has to decide within a specific time – and if they do not, they are breaking the law.

Usually, when we point it out, things start moving pretty quickly. But, of course, it has to be done correctly. Every case differs from the next, and we need to know your current situation to ensure that Mandamus Petition will be the best way to proceed with your case. 

Call us at 646-859-0205 or send us a message us today. You’ll be glad you called. You’ll know what to do.