Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has family overseas? Do you want to get green cards for your family so they can join you in the United States? The United States immigration system is notoriously slow and complex. If your family members are immediate family, they may get approved quickly. However, if they are non-immediate, known as "preferred relatives," the process could take months or even years. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to accelerate the process. Below are three strategies to consider. They're not guaranteed to work but may help speed the process. A family immigration attorney can help you determine the right strategy for your situation.
Request expedited processing. You can request expedited processing from the immigration department. There is usually a hefty fee for expedited processing. The fee may cost thousands of dollars, especially if you need multiple green cards. You'll also need to provide a reason for the accelerated review. The reason needs to be significant. For example, your family's safety may be at risk, or their human rights could be violated in their current country. Maybe you need them in the United States for financial reasons. Clearly state your need for a fast review and how a delay could threaten you and your family.
Seek political help. Members of Congress often help their constituents with green cards and other immigration issues. You could appeal to your Congressperson's office for assistance. Every member of Congress differs in how they approach requests and how much assistance they will offer. You should have a compelling reason for needing assistance, like personal safety or humanitarian concerns. It's wise to work with a family immigration lawyer as you seek Congressional assistance. They can help you craft a compelling letter and possibly use their resources to gain a meeting with your Congressperson.
Get a court order. In an instance of extreme delay, you can appeal to a court for a writ of mandamus. This is a court order for the immigration department to review and decide on your application. Keep in mind this should only be used as a last resort. You must show an extreme and urgent need for a green card decision to obtain a court order. You should also show that you have exhausted all other options, like appealing to Congress and applying for an expedited process. If you apply for a court order without attempting other options or waiting a reasonable amount of time, your application will likely be rejected.
A family immigration attorney can help you determine the best strategy for expediting your family's application. For more information, contact a family immigration lawyer near you.