Lawsuit by Murthy Results in Green Card Approval After Significant Delay

The Murthy Law Firm is happy to report our recent success in obtaining the green card for a client by suing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in federal court. We filed this writ of mandamus lawsuit regarding our client’s pending application to register for permanent residence or adjust status to lawful permanent resident (form I-485), based on an approved immigrant petition in the employment-based, fourth preference (EB4) category for certain religious workers.

Background of Case

Our client had been sponsored by a religious entity for a non-minister position. After the petition was approved, the Murthy Law Firm represented the foreign national in filing his I-485 application. As the priority date remained current, we expected the USCIS to adjudicate the application within a reasonable time frame. However, as the months passed with the USCIS taking no action, the Murthy Law Firm began to follow up aggressively on the pending I-485 application.  We even involved our client’s congressional representative, asking the congressman’s office to contact the USCIS on behalf of our client. Despite these efforts, the USCIS refused to take any action on the case.

To make matters worse, the EB4 category for non-minister religious workers was scheduled to expire on December 3, 2021. Unlike most immigrant visa categories, the EB4 program for non-minister religious workers includes a “sunset date,” meaning that it must be renewed periodically by Congress. Failing Congressional renewal of the program prior to its expiration date, no green cards can be issued via that category until and unless the program is reauthorized by Congress. With this deadline in mind, we recommended to our client that he pursue a writ of mandamus lawsuit against the USCIS.

Writs of Mandamus for Long Delayed Cases

A writ of mandamus is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of situations to resolve delays caused by government entities, such as the USCIS. Here, we filed the mandamus lawsuit with the appropriate U.S. District Court, demanding that the court mandate that the USCIS issue a decision on the case and arguing that the delay was unreasonable.

The fact that our client’s I-485 had been pending for a significant amount of time was cause enough to justify suing the federal government over this long-pending case. However, given that there was no guarantee Congress would extend the program, our client’s situation was all-the-more urgent. We therefore demanded that the USCIS adjudicate the I-485 prior to the December 3, 2021, deadline, as we had no guarantee the program would be extended.

Lawsuit Pushes USCIS to Swiftly Adjudicate Case

After filing the lawsuit, the USCIS seemed eager to negotiate a settlement rather than defend its lack of action on the case before a federal judge. Under normal circumstances, even when the government appears interested in settling the case, it can still take several months or even longer to reach an agreement. Here, however, we made it clear to the USCIS that we needed this to all be resolved before the looming December 3rd deadline. The USCIS agreed, and ultimately approved our client’s I-485 application before the deadline.


We at the Murthy Law Firm are thrilled that our client is finally able to call the United States his permanent home. Congress ended up extending the EB4 program for non-minister religious workers on December 2, 2021. However, there was no way to know ahead of time that the program would be extended. Further, regardless of the fate of the program, our client had waited long enough to achieve his American dream.

The Murthy Law Firm never reveals details of any case handled by our firm, nor the identity of any client without first obtaining express consent. We appreciate the generosity of our client in allowing us to use this case as an example to our readers. Please note that all cases are different. Even with cases that appear to be similar, past success does not guarantee a favorable future result.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.