Major Settlements Related to Long Pending Naturalization Applications

Recently, two class action cases involving lengthy delays in naturalization applications have been settled.  Under naturalization regulations, the USCIS is required to adjudicate naturalization applications within 120 days of the naturalization interview.  A class action lawsuit, Roshandel, et al. v. Chertoff, et al., challenged the USCISís routine failure to comply with this mandated timeframe on behalf of hundreds of lawful permanent residents in Western Washington.  In its settlement, the USCIS agreed to complete the naturalization process for hundreds of individuals in time for them to register to vote in the November general election.

In a separate class action in Pennsylvania, the USCIS reached a settlement which provides for the expedited processing of long pending naturalization and adjustment of status (green card) applications for individuals at risk of losing supplemental security insurance (SSI) benefits.  Under the settlement, class members may request expedited processing for pending naturalization or adjustment of status applications if six months have elapsed since the filing of the application.  The USCIS will also attempt to identify individuals whose SSI benefits have been or will be terminated and have pending applications.

These are positive developments for all naturalization applicants who have been waiting endlessly for the USCIS to issue a decision.  Although these settlements are not binding on other jurisdictions, they may be signs of what may result in other cases filed around the country.
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