US Citizenship Test

The path to US citizenship through naturalization can be daunting, especially when faced with delays in receiving a decision post-interview. Under specific US immigration laws, applicants have recourse if their naturalization application has been pending for more than four months without a decision from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here, we explain what to do if your case is unreasonably delayed.

USCIS Decision Timeline After Citizenship Interview

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 336, USCIS must decide on naturalization applications within 120 days (4 months) from the date of the naturalization examination. This timeframe is critical for applicants awaiting a decision on their US citizenship.

Legal Rights Under INA Section 336

Section 336 of the INA empowers applicants in two significant ways:

  1. If your application is denied, you can request a hearing before an immigration officer.
  2. If USCIS has not decided within 120 days of your examination, you can approach the US district court.

Taking Legal Action After 120-Day Waiting Period

If over 120 days have passed since your naturalization exam and you haven’t received a decision from USCIS, you can legally:

  • Request a hearing before a federal judge to decide on your application or
  • Petition a federal judge to mandate USCIS to decide on your application immediately.

Impact of Seeking Judicial Intervention

Requesting judicial intervention in your case will not affect the final decision. However, it compels USCIS to take action on your application. In many instances, the mere prospect of a lawsuit can expedite the processing of your case.

Do You Need Legal Representation?

While you can independently communicate with USCIS to advance your case, a formal legal approach, such as a lawsuit, often carries more weight. The potential of legal action can prompt USCIS to prioritize your case. Pursuing a lawsuit might be necessary if a direct request does not yield results.

Understanding your legal rights and options is crucial for applicants facing prolonged delays in their naturalization process. Taking informed action can significantly influence the progression and outcome of your US citizenship application.

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