It could go on indefinitely. If your name is remotely similar to one on a terrorism checklist, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the application processed. I suggest following up for a full year before filing a petition for writ of mandamus.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
Security checks can pretty much take up years if USCIS wants to stall your case and not grant you the green card. Consider hiring an attorney and filing a Mandamus action in federal court to compel Immigration to act.
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It can take a very long time. If so, have your lawyer file a Petition for a writ of Mandamus in federal court.
Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
A security check involves running your name and fingerprints through databases to check if there is anything questionable in your background. If it takes too long consider hiring an immigration attorney to compel action. That being said, 8 months doesn't seem unusually long.
This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.
Understand that immigration security checks are more thorough and can take substantially longer than school or employment background checks. As my colleagues have stated, it can pend indefinitely. After one year, contact an immigration attorney to consider a mandamus suit (getting a Federal Court judgment to force the agency to make a decision on your case).
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Without filing a mandamus the situation will not be expedited as you hope.
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