Filing of Writ of Mandamus in United States Federal District Court Leads to Approval of Naturalization Application
Our client had gained his United States Permanent Resident Status following a grant of asylum. The basis of his asylum claim was that he had participated in a non-violent military overthrow of an existing government in his home country but following the change of government the new government that he had helped bring into power changed its policies and he feared persecution by the new government if he were forced to return to his home country. After the requisite time period passed following receipt of his green card our client applied for U.S. Citizenship. The N-400 Application for Naturalization asks whether the applicant has ever advocated the overthrow of a government by force and our client truthfully answered this question yes as that had been the basis of his asylum claim. The Code of Federal Regulations specifically states that the mere involvement in the overthrow of a government is not in and of itself a basis for denial of a Naturalization Application and that an individual could not establish good moral character only if that individual believed in the overthrow of all governments. Following his Naturalization Interview at the USCIS Philadelphia District Office, our client’s Naturalization Application remained unadjudicated by USCIS for over 1 year. When USCIS did not timely decide his Naturalization Application he sought the assistance of an attorney with expertise in filing a Writ of Mandamus to compel USCIS to decide his Application. Our client contacted us through our “contact us” form on our website and we timely responded to his inquiry indicating that we could be of assistance. Our client met with several attorneys and chose our firm to file a Writ of Mandamus Action on his behalf in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in an effort to obtain an order from a Federal Judge compelling USCIS to decide his Naturalization Application. Upon filing of our Complaint for Writ of Mandamus, we were contacted by the U.S. attorney handling the matter on behalf of USCIS. The U.S. attorney indicated to us that based upon our Complaint USCIS had agreed to decide our client’s Naturalization Application and we agreed that we would not oppose a Motion by the U.S. attorney to Remand the case to USCIS for a final determination of the Naturalization Application within 14 days of the Court Order. The Federal Judge entered an Order granting the Motion. The next day our law firm received a call from an Immigration Officer at USCIS indicating that our client needed to take new fingerprints and a notice was sent to us for our client to be promptly fingerprinted. The day after the fingerprints were taken our client received a notice for an oath ceremony within the 14 day time period mandated by the Court Order and he was sworn in as a United States Citizen at the oath ceremony. Our client was overjoyed that we had helped him become a U.S. Citizen so quickly after filing the Writ of Mandamus when USCIS had delayed his Application for so long. This was a true success story!!!