by Elizabeth R. Blandon

Hurry up and waiting should not be a requirement to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. As part of the naturalization process, the LPR has her fingerprints taken. Within the year after applying, the LPR is called to an interview where she passes an English writing and reading exam and a civics exam. In addition, the LPR must succeed at what is known as a security clearance. The exact requirements of the security clearance are vague but undoubtedly the LPR’s name and fingerprints are run through several federal databases.

Unfortunately, some LPR’s wait months – rather than the 120 days mandated by law – before they receive a letter telling them to appear at the Oath Ceremony. The delay is attributed to the mysterious “security clearance.” When those months of waiting turn into years, the LPR wonders what can be done to expedite the naturalization process. The information officers at the Naturalization Office and the National Customer Service 1-800 number will simply tell the LPR that she must wait until the “security clearance” is final. This request for patience however can continue for years. There is but one solution: sue the Unites States Government.

An immigration attorney licensed to practice in federal court can sue the Department of Homeland Security, the Naturalization Office, and any other agency responsible for the delay. This lawsuit neither requires the LPR to appear in court nor to appear for any depositions. In fact, the only additional burden on the LPR is the fee paid to the Court and the attorney for filing the lawsuit.