FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRANT VISA AND FIANCÉ(E) VISA CATEGORIES
You are not alone and we are here to help. The solution we offer is a writ of mandamus, a lawsuit with the goal of compelling the government to do what it already has a duty to do. We are here to help.
One solution we recommend - for those who have not had their interview, or who have had their interview but are stuck in "Administrative Processing" or the "Refused" screen that means administrative processing- is a writ of mandamus, a lawsuit with the goal of compelling the government to do what it already has a duty to do. After filing a writ of mandamus, a federal court can order the State Department to adjudicate a visa application. A writ of mandamus does not guarantee the adjudication of a visa.
Do you have experience with mandamus lawsuits for Iranian nationals?
Yes. During the Trump administration, Rafael Urena and Curtis Morrison filed many multiparticipant mandamus lawsuits on behalf of Iranian American families and couples over the withholding of travel ban waivers: Darchini v. Pompeo, Najafi v. Pompeo, Poozesh v. Pompeo, Kayvan v. Pompeo, Zafarmand v Pompeo, and Malek v. Pompeo.
Since the Biden administration rescinded PP 9645, unreasonable delays for Iranian families remain and so we now file solo mandamus lawsuits for individual Iranian families.
Will petitioning for a writ of mandamus jeopardize our visa application?
This is a common misconception. In our view, when a case is in litigation it is the one time we can know for sure the State Department will act in good faith and fairly adjudicate an application, because its own Department of Justice attorney will be advising them to do so. Further, the court, us as Plaintiff attorneys, and possibly, the media, will be watching as well. In the extremely unlikely event the State Department denies a visa as a result of litigation, that conduct would be what is called "bad faith" and is unlawful. Under a case called Bivens, as victims of this bad faith, you could be entitled to money damages. Further, the government could not raise the "consular nonreviewability" defense because bad faith is an exception to that principle. Simply, it would be a scandal for the State Department to retaliate against visa applicant litigants, and thus is extremely unlikely to happen. See: VIDEO.
Are mandamus lawsuit participants required to go to court?
No. We, as your attorneys, will attend court on your behalf. However, if you would like to come, you are more than welcome to do so. In fact, it is helpful for judges to see plaintiffs in the courtroom.
If we participate in a mandamus action, can you guarantee the outcome?
No. Attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of judicial proceedings. We can tell you what has happened in similar litigation in the past. In Mosleh v Pompeo, the first mandamus that Rafael and Curtis filed, we represented 7 Yemeni families who all received waivers of the travel ban within 45 days of the day we filed the case, and visas were issued to all within 65 days.
For the many cases we've filed since then, the results have not been that fast for all the participants, but we remain confident that participating in a mandamus action is still your best chance at getting the State Department to adjudicate a visa application.
What kind of evidence do you collect from participant families?
(1) Any correspondence between the U.S. embassy, and you, a previous attorney, or a congressional representative. (Ideally sent as pdfs, but it’s ok to forward to us as well).
(2) Any consular interview notices, or notice of refusals, including 221(g) and 212(f) refusals.
(3) Any letters from doctors explaining medical or psychological conditions.
(4) Any other hardship documents you believe would be helpful. We do not need travel receipts – rather when we take your declaration, just remember to state the amount you’ve spent, if any, since the date of the visa beneficiary’s interview (if applicable).
(5) If you have screenshots from Skype/Facetime or other video chat apps between the petitioner (and or family) and beneficiary (and/or family), please send us the best one or two images only. Note: we do not want pictures of you physically together in the same location as we argue how family separation is unbearable.
Will the lawsuit filings be public?
Litigation entails the public disclosure of private facts. However, we only upload court filings to our website for our multi-participant litigation. For solo mandamus lawsuits, we do not make the filings public, and as immigration actions, they cannot be downloaded by the general public on the internet. However, if someone really wants to see your lawsuit’s filings, they can visit the courthouse where the filings were made and access them there.
If you have extremely compelling reasons why your private facts should not be public, we can ask the court to allow you to proceed with a pseudonym. This entails more work, so we charge an extra $1,000 for this motion. See: VIDEO.