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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against USCIS for Extreme Processing Delays of I-601A Waivers

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | Mar 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Another day, another lawsuit filed against USCIS.

A group of immigrants in Seattle have filed a federal class action lawsuit against USCIS for the multi-year backlog of their immigration cases. The lawsuit hopes to hold the Biden Administration accountable for the extreme delay in processing I-601A waivers, which has prevented the plaintiffs from becoming lawful permanent residents.

What's an I-601A Waiver?

The I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver allows qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents the ability to request a waiver of a 3 or 10 year unlawful presence bars for unlawful presence.

While processing times were previously under five months, the current waiting time for such an application at the USCIS Potomac Service Center is listed as 39.5 months.

While they wait, plaintiffs cannot work lawfully and have no protection against being removed from the United States. The American Immigration Council, who was one of the groups to sue, describes in the Complaint (the lawsuit's filing document) the harm to family unity—a professed priority of USCIS and its Director Ur M. Jaddou—”such as a U.S. citizen spouse with serious health issues who must continue with his physically demanding employment because his wife has no work authorization and is dependent on his wife to help him with life activities such as dressing and bathing.”

Can I Still be Added to the Lawsuit?

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have filed for class certification. If granted that would mean that, if the lawsuit is successful, anyone who has filed (or will file) this type of waiver application and whose application has been pending for at least twelve months would benefit. For more information about who is included in the lawsuit, you can contact Brianna Dimas at the American Immigration Council at [email protected]

If you have questions about applying for a USCIS petition, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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