What is a Writ of Mandamus?
A Writ of Mandamus, a Latin Phrase which means a “Petition for an Order”, is a legal action filed with a Court to obtain an order to compel an action. This is the type of petition that is often filed by immigration lawyers against federal government agencies to force them to process an application that has been pending for an unreasonable amount of time or to accept an application that had been improperly rejected.
Writs of Mandamus against Immigration Agencies – Department of Homeland Security & USCIS, Department of State & U.S. Consulates
There are different scenarios in which a Writ of Mandamus has been extremely effective when filed against a federal agency in connection with an immigration application, but there are a number of situations where it has been equally ineffective.
When USCIS has had an application pending without a decision for an extended period of time, generally a significantly longer period than other similar applications, then a Writ of Mandamus in a jurisdiction like the 1st Circuit, has been a generally successful procedure to obtain a decision.
While USCIS cannot be compelled to grant a petition, if the petition requires the exercise of their discretion, it can be compelled to issue a decision or make a determination on your case within a specified amount of time.
The Department of State and the U.S. Consulates generally cannot be compelled to act by a Federal Court under the doctrine of consular non-reviewability, so Writs of Mandamus have largely been ineffective against officials at U.S. Consulates.
A Writ of Mandamus may not allow the Court to order Immigration to approve your case, however, an order that a decision be issued may be just as important for you; particularly if you have been waiting for a long time and need to make important life decisions for you and your family. Also, since many immigration applications are based upon a foundation of prior applications (for example, a residency petition is the basis for a citizenship petition, which then is the basis for future family petitions), having a timely determination of an initial petition is important to achieve your overall immigration goals.
Talk to our Writ of Mandamus Lawyers to See if you Would Benefit form Filing One
If you are considering filing a Writ of Mandamus for your immigration case contact FitzGerald Law Company today by calling (617)303-2600 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional immigration attorneys. We have experience in handling writ of mandamus cases before the federal court and we are dedicated to finding an effective resolution for our clients. We serve Boston, East Boston, Malden, Everett, Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Newton, Waltham, Framingham, Lowell, Lawrence and all of the surrounding communities in Massachusetts.