My mother and I applied for naturalization in 1983. Now, five years later, we have yet to receive any concrete response from the INS. What was supposed to a six-month process has turned out to be a five-year wait.
There is no legitimate explanation for this unreasonable delay. It cannot be attributed to our eligibility for U.S. citizenship nor can it be charged to the recent INS amnesty program. We are eligible for citizenship on two counts: as refugees from Vietnam and as spouses of American citizens; and our filing date (1983) precedes the passage of the amnesty program. Thus logically and legally, we should have secured our citizenship by this late date; or at the very least, received some concrete information.
We have done all the necessary steps to obtain information: We have filed three trace forms, sent numerous certified letters of inquiry, and refiled twice.
We do realize that the INS office is operating under extreme adverse conditions due to limited funding, manpower shortages, and inadequate resources. However, we do feel that a five-year delay--with no communication from the INS--is unreasonable.