ST. LOUIS (AP) — A group of Muslim immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship sued federal officials on Friday, contending they've been left in limbo for months or years because of slow background checks.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 33 plaintiffs who have settled in Missouri from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and other countries. It said some have had to wait more than four years to be cleared by the FBI, violating time limits.

By law, a decision on processing must be made within 120 days of the immigrant's interview, the last step in becoming a citizen, attorney Jim Hacking said.

The lawsuit seeks to have a federal judge enforce the time limits on name checks for those being naturalized.

Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller said the agency would review the complaint and determine how to respond in court.