How to (and How Not to) Seek to Speed Up Adjudication of Your Hardship Waiver Application

When you’re seeking to engage with the immigration process, one thing you likely desire is to obtain a resolution as quickly as possible. Part of doing that means utilizing processes that can deliver results and avoiding traveling avenues that are inherently dead-ends. An experienced Maryland hardship waiver lawyer can help you not only to navigate the process but to do so as expeditiously and efficiently as possible.

The story of H.L. is an example of “what not to do.” The woman filed Form I-601A (Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver) in December 2020 and, as of May 2022, still had not received an adjudication from the Department of Homeland Security.

Based on those facts, the woman, who proceeded without a lawyer, filed a federal lawsuit here in Maryland in which she asked the judge to order the government to “adjudicate her… application in a timely manner.” The case was essentially doomed from the start.

For one thing, the woman’s complaint did not satisfy the jurisdiction requirement. Federal courts are what the law calls “court of limited jurisdiction,” meaning that only a limited array of cases are eligible to come before a federal judge and you, as the plaintiff, have to identify exactly what the basis is that gives the court subject-matter jurisdiction. H.L. didn’t do that.

Even if she had, the immigrant had another problem. The federal rules allow for the dismissal of a lawsuit if the plaintiff’s complaint fails to “state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” This means identifying a violation and requesting some form of legally permissible relief.

H.L. identified no statutory requirement or regulatory rule demanding that USCIS process I-601A applications in less than 17 months (or any specific timeframe at all.) USCIS doesn’t guarantee that all such I-601A applications will be completed in that length of time (or any specific length of time,) expressly noting that roughly 20% of applications will take more than 2 1/2 years.

What a Successful Request for ‘Expedited’ Adjudication Needs

This applicant went about the process the wrong way. There are, however, things you can do to try to speed up the process. The most important one is to file a request to “expedite” your application. To get the government to grant your request for expedited processing, you’ll need to establish that “extraordinary circumstances” exist in your situation that necessitate expedited results. This can include proof of a humanitarian emergency like a medical problem that cannot be properly treated in the applicant’s home country or a financial one like an extreme loss to a business. In this process, you need hard evidence of urgent, critical personal harm or an extreme financial setback.

When you need action from the immigration authorities, the right legal team can be invaluable in saving you crucial time (and money,) helping you take the right steps and avoid wasting energy on the wrong ones. The experienced Maryland hardship waiver attorneys at Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC are here to help. The process can be complex, so it pays to have a legal advocate who’s extensively familiar with the system and knows how to get results. Contact us today at 301-519-2801 or via our online form to set up your consultation so that we can get started on your behalf.

Contact Information