Why Would Immigration Deny a Green Card?

Posted by Frank Gogol

There are various things that are on the line when you are pursuing a green card. You put in a fair amount of hope and time, you pay all the necessary taxes, and you are waiting expectantly to receive your green card. This is why it might seem like a devastating shock for you to receive a “DENIED” on your green card.

Can that happen to anyone? And if it does, what might be the cause for it? Why would immigration deny a green card? Here are a few reasons why that might happen.

Can USCIS Deny a Green Card?

Indeed, now and again, USCIS may deny a green card. Not everyone is eligible for receiving one – and if you do not meet the requirements, the chances are that your green card can be denied. This is why you need to check all the demands and make sure that you have what it takes.

Sometimes, it might be due to clerical errors, and other times it might be because you forgot to mention some recent changes. Most of these issues can be solved by yourself – but in the circumstance where that is not possible, you might want to hire an immigration attorney. They will know precisely what your next step should be.

Top Reasons Why Your Green Card Was Denied by USCIS

There are various reasons why your green card might have been denied and we’ve listed them below.

Health-Related Reasons

In order to receive your permanent residence, you will need to provide a medical exam report. They won’t deny you because of diseases such as diabetes or other similar ailments, but they might if you have a communicable disease – therefore, turning you into a liability for the country.

Similarly, if you have recent history with drug addiction and have not been treated, or if you have a mental or physical disorder that can prove dangerous to others, then you might also be denied a green card.

Criminal History

If you have a history of being convicted for certain types of crimes, or if it’s suspected that you are coming into the United States to commit them, then your green card might be denied. These crimes might include drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, fraud, and other similar crimes of “moral turpitude.”

National Security

If you are seeking entrance in an attempt to violate national security laws, then you might be denied residence in the United States. A green card might be denied to people that have engaged in terrorist actions or are current/former members of Nazi groups. You might also be denied if you’ve been involved with totalitarian parties or took part in actions including genocide.

Public Charge

If you’ve been deemed as someone likely to depend on U.S. benefits, the chances are high that you might be denied your green card. People seen as predisposed to being public charge may need financial support or long-term care from the state. It’s less likely to become a public charge if someone signs an affidavit on your behalf, but if you apply by yourself, certain aspects such as your health or your financial status might determine if you are going to be a public charge.

Applications Requirements Not Met

When you apply for a green card, you will be asked to fill in several forms, pay certain fees, and provide some necessary documents. If you don’t read the application requirements for the green card carefully and fail to offer them what they have been asking for, then you might be denied.

In most cases, immigration allows you to supply the materials that are missing. However, if you still fail to come through, then your application might end up being denied.

Missed Appointments

Immigrations are very serious about the appointments that they make – so, if you fail to meet them, you will only suggest that you aren’t just as serious about it. When you file for a green card, then you will automatically be scheduled for fingerprinting – and eventually, for an interview.

These appointments are mandatory, and if you cannot do so on a particular day, you need to reschedule. However, if you miss it without saying anything, then the chances are high they will deny your green card. They will simply take it as “I don’t need a green card anymore,” and will give the slot to someone willing to make every appointment.

Denial of Underlying Visa Petition

If you wish to file for a green card, employment-based, or family-based green card, then the chances are that you have applied for a petition beforehand. If that petition is denied, then the entire process will be put to a halt. This is why you need to bring sufficient proof for the petition stage so that your green card application is not denied.

Change of Job

At some point, you may have to change your job – even though you already have an approved petition for the I-140 visa. There are certain requirements that you have to meet if you change your job – the most important being a pending I-485 form for at least 180 days. Similarly, the job you are opting for should be similar or the same as the job you previously had when your petition was accepted.

Errors by Decision Makers

Mistakes can happen – and just like every organization, USCIS and the consulates can also make them. They can occasionally lose filing documentation or checks, list the wrong birthday, spell your name incorrectly or fail to send an important notification.

This is why you should always carefully review the notice with the intention of denying your application (if you receive it), as well as the document for the final denial. If there were any factual mistakes or if USCIS failed to file you properly, then you might want to address the matter with them. 

How to File an Appeal after Green Card Denial

If you filed for an adjustment of status and found that your green card has been denied, you may file for an appeal using form I-290B. Obviously, you will have to add in a filing fee when appealing.

Bear in mind that you will also have to apply within 30 days of receiving the notification for the denial – otherwise, the appeal will no longer be valid. You’ll get an extra 3 days if you received the notification via traditional mail. When you are completing the form, you have to clearly say that you are filing a motion for your case to be reopened.

If that option does not work, an alternative would be to file once more. However, this time, you might want to go for an immigration attorney, as they can help you with any potential steps that you missed last time.

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Wrap Up

If your green card has been denied, don’t panic – it’s not the end. Granted, some of the problems may be more difficult to address. However, if it’s only a clerical error or you simply forgot to bring in a few documents, you may still be able to get your green card in the end. Find a good immigration attorney and see what your next step should be.

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