+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

Why is my I-485 pending for over 3 years after the interview?

My I-485 interview was conducted on October 6, 2015. Everything went well as the junior officer congratulated us after going through a list of questions. However, our application has been pending ever since. After my last InfoPass in December 2018, I was told they are doing an FBI background check. Is this normal? How should I proceed?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may want to consider congressional help at your jurisdiction or a Mandamus action in federal court.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your priority date or final action date shows a visa is available, you should be approvable. Delays are becoming more common. No, it is not normal and you may need to consider a Mandamus action.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    FBI background check is a bit of a black pit. Once the case is delayed due to security clearance reasons, there is nothing you can do but wait. You can continue to periodically do an InfoPass inquiry, but that would be the extent of any action that can be taken.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An FBI background check is actually an investigation. It is not unusual and it can take a long time. There is nothing an applicant can do about the length of time. You just have to wait. Finally, until the USCIS sends you a notice to deny or even a denial, considered your application as still pending.

  • Avatar

    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    There is clearly something wrong. I-485 approval should not be taking over three years. You definitely need professional help. If you don't already have an attorney representing you, hire one right away. He or she will decide the best route for you. It is very likely that they will advise you to file a petition for a writ of Mandamus in federal court.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Continue to follow up with USCIS and/or get a U.S. senator or congressional person involved.

  • Avatar

    Matthew T Galati

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should probably speak with an attorney about Mandamus.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It would be very helpful to show it to a lawyer. There could be something very wrong with the application that is causing this delay. Otherwise, if there is no basis for the delay, then it would be necessary to file a petition for writ of Mandamus with the federal court to get a decision.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should consult with an attorney and explore filing a Mandamus petition. Three years is too long.

  • Avatar

    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Don't you have a lawyer to help you with this? Sometimes the background checks take a long time, but three years is unreasonable. Your lawyer should contact immigration. He could file a mandamus action in federal court and they will do it quickly after that.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since President Trump mandated personal interviews for every employment-based adjustment cases, the wait time for approval has been noted as soon as five months to as long as 60 months, depending on the case loads of the field office conducting the interview. The problem has been that USCIS at every service center and field office are dragging out their decisions, and no amount of inquiries, even from a congressional office, seem to move them. It's as if they were all given marching orders from Trump's aide, Stephen Miller, to delay cases as long as possible unless they can find some minute reason to deny. I would pressure the USCIS office to make a decision by keep putting inquiries after inquiries. Ask for help from your congressman or congresswoman.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    AOS processes are taking an average of two years now, but three years seems excessive. They will often claim they are doing more background checks. You can submit inquiries via the USCIS website (which is what they prefer now over calling the national customer service center), but only every 30 or 60 days (depending on the timelines they give you).

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, a three-year delay after the interview is anything but normal! The fact that you were told that the FBI is doing a background check shows that there may have been a so-called "hit" when they ran your name, date, place of birth and your fingerprints through the FBI database. If you have a name similar to someone of interest, it often takes a long time to verify that you're not the subject of some piece of adverse information. All you can do is continue to follow up. You can contact your local congressman or congresswoman to see if he or she will make a congressional inquiry, and finally, when you really get frustrated, you can retain appropriate legal counsel to file in U.S. District Court a Mandamus legal action.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.