You’ve done everything that you were supposed to do in order to adjust your status to that of permanent resident. You have an approved petition, whether family or employment based. You gave USCIS all the documents that they requested. However, it’s been more than a year and you have no response. You go to the local office and you are told that your case is in the FBI’s hands because they are doing a name check. You patiently wait a few more months, however, nothing. What do you do now?
Although USCIS indicates that the national average waiting time for the adjudication of an application to adjust status is four (4) months, the reality is that for some applicants, this process can take years causing great frustration and the feeling of living in legal limbo. In an attempt to force USCIS to make a decision, some applicants have filed suits in federal courts. The prevailing party depends on the court. For example, if you live in the Middle District of Florida area (Orlando), the court has told USCIS that they need to make a decision within a specified time. However, if you live in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), the court said that they could not tell USCIS to speed up the process and make a decision. These are just two (2) examples showing the different treatments given by the courts to this one issue. But the fact that at least some courts are doing something to resolve this problem gives hope and a possible course to the many applicants that are currently waiting for an answer.
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