Green Card Application Denial

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When Your Green Card Application Is Denied

Getting a green card is a dream for many people. Unfortunately, many applications are denied due to eligibility issues, application errors, inadmissibility grounds, or interview problems. In FY 2022, more than 270,000 immigrant visas were found ineligible based on varying reasons, according to the Department of State (DOS).

A green card denial can be devastating and can dash your hopes and plans of building a future in the U.S. Talk to an experienced immigration attorney in Texas to learn about your options following a green card denial.

What’s After a Green Card Application Denial?

The notice of denial should state why your application was denied and whether you are entitled to appeal the decision. It also includes your options and steps that you can take, such as:

  • Appealing the decision to a higher authority

  • Filing a motion to reconsider the decision

  • Reapplying for a green card with new evidence or applying for a different type of visa or relief

  • Seeking a waiver of inadmissibility if applicable.

The Appeal Process For Green Card Application Denial

The appeal process for an immigrant visa denial can be complex and lengthy. Working with a qualified immigration lawyer can be a game-changer.

Here are the main steps involved in appealing a green card application denial:

1. Motion to Reopen or Reconsider

Filing a motion to reopen or reconsider is your first step to appealing your visa application denial. You file a motion to reopen or reconsider with the USCIS, requesting to review your application again with new facts or evidence.

To file a motion, you need to submit Form I-290B and pay a filing fee of $675. It should state the grounds of your request and include relevant evidence that shows that the USCIS decision was incorrect.

The USCIS will review the motion and decide whether to grant or deny it. If the motion is granted, it will issue a new decision.

2. Appeal to AAO

If your motions to the USCIS are denied, you may be able to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). You’ll need to file Form I-290B and pay the filing fee along with any supporting documents. 

3. Appeal to Federal Circuit Court

If the AAO denies your appeal, your next option is to appeal to federal circuit courts. To do so, you must file a petition for review and pay a $500 filing fee within 30 days of receiving the AAO decision. You also need to submit a brief outlining your issue and the grounds for your appeal.

4. Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

Appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court is your last resort to obtain a favorable outcome. You need to file a petition for a writ of certiorari within 90 days of receiving the circuit court’s decision. However, your request can only be granted if your case involves an unsettled question of federal law or a matter of national significance. This means that your grounds for appeal should be as solid as it can be.

Common Reasons for Green Card Denial

USCIS may deny a green card application because of:

  • Eligibility issues: You do not meet the green card eligibility requirements

  • Application errors: You made mistakes in your green card application forms and documents or failed to include the required supporting documents such as birth or marriage certificates.

  • Inadmissibility grounds: These may include:

    • Health problems such as a communicable disease or a physical or mental disorder

    • A Criminal record for crimes such as drug trafficking or money laundering

    • Posing a security risk, such as being involved in terrorist efforts

    • Accumulating unlawful presence, such as when you enter the U.S. illegally or overstay your visa

  • Interview issues: You failed to attend, prepare for, or pass your interview

What’s the Difference Between a Green Card Rejection and a Denial?

A rejection of a green card application means that your application was not processed due to technical issues. For example, you may have missed some information, paid the wrong fees, or filed the wrong forms. A rejection does not affect your eligibility or status, and you can usually fix the issues and resubmit your application.

However, a denial means that your application was processed and denied on substantive grounds, such as not qualifying for the green card category you applied for or giving inconsistent answers in your application or interview.

Green Card Application Process Explained

A green card denial shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams. You have the right to try again, and with the help of a qualified immigration attorney, you can succeed.

Here’s the process for obtaining a green card:

  • A sponsor, who can be a family member or an employer, files the appropriate petition on your behalf (Form I-130 for family-based visas and Form I-140 for employment-based visas). Sponsors must be either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and show they have sufficient financial resources.

  • Apply for a green card on your priority date, if applicable, by filing Form DS-260 and paying the applicable filing fee.

  • If you are already in the U.S., you can obtain a green card by applying for an adjustment of status. You can do so by filing Form I-485.

  • Submit supporting documents and evidence, such as:

    • Birth certificate

    • Valid and authentic marriage certificate

    • Medical examination by a government-approved doctor

  • Attend the biometrics appointment (if applying through adjustment of status)

  • Attend the interview at a U.S. consulate or the nearest United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.

  • Wait for a decision on your application.

How Can an Attorney Help?

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we have a team of experienced immigration attorneys who are ready to fight for your immigration rights. We have helped many families reunite thanks to our extensive knowledge of immigration laws and experience in handling immigration appeals.

Here’s how we can help you:

  • Review your case and identify the specific reasons for the denial.

  • Advise you on the suitable course of action and guide you in the process.

  • File your appeal or motion with the appropriate authority.

  • Gather and present evidence and arguments to support your case.

  • Communicate and negotiate with USCIS, AAO, BIA, or the appropriate courts on your behalf.

  • Protect your rights and interests throughout the process.

Contact us today and book a free consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.