Green Card Denial Reasons 

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Why Your Green Card Application May Be Denied 

Obtaining a green card is a dream come true for many immigrants in the U.S. because of its benefits. A green card holder can live and work permanently in the United States. They may also be eligible for citizenship within 3 to 5 years, depending on how they became green card holders.

However, the journey to becoming a green card holder is complex. Many who seek to attain that status fail for several reasons. Such denials can be devastating, especially if you have waited a long time for it. As such, if you’re about to begin the green card application process with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. consulate abroad, knowing why those denials could occur before you apply can help you avoid them.

 If your application has already been denied, you may be able to reapply. But it is still important that you understand why you were denied in the first place to avoid such issues in your subsequent application.

This guide highlights some of these reasons so you’ll know what to expect beforehand.

Common Reasons for Green Card Denials

Green Card Ineligibility

Generally, you are eligible to apply for a green card if you fall within any of the approved green card categories, including the following:

  • You are an immediate relative (spouse, parent, or minor child) of a U.S. citizen.

  • You are closely related to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and qualify for a green card under the family preference categories. 

  • You have sponsorship from a U.S. employer or otherwise qualify for an employment-based green card

  • You have refugee or asylee status in the U.S.

If you apply for a green card without belonging to any category, your application will be denied because you are ineligible.

However, you are not entitled to receive a green card just because you belong to the green card categories. You’ll need to meet certain conditions to receive a green card under the category you’re applying for. If you fail to meet those conditions, your application will be denied.

Sometimes, it could be difficult to tell whether you’re eligible for a green card and what you must do to establish your eligibility. An experienced Immigration Attorney in Texas can help in such cases. They can assess your case, determine your eligibility, and ensure your application meets the required standards.

Inadmissibility Under the Immigration and Nationality Act

Under U.S. immigration laws, certain conditions could disqualify a person from entering or remaining in the U.S. even if they were ordinarily eligible for a visa or green card. Those conditions are known as grounds of inadmissibility and include the following:

Inadmissibility Due to Health Related Issues

As part of the green card application process, you must complete a medical examination with an approved medical professional.

Your green card may be denied if the examination shows that you have any infectious disease or harmful physical or mental disorder. You also risk a denial if you fail to complete the necessary vaccinations.

Inadmissibility Due to Crime 

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, you cannot obtain green card approval if you’ve been found guilty of or admitted to committing certain offenses, including;

  • Crimes of moral turpitude, such as murder or rape

  • Drug trafficking

  • Money laundering

  • Controlled substance violations

  • Prostitution

  • Human trafficking. 

When you file your green card application, you’ll be asked to provide details of your criminal history. If you’ve been involved in such crimes, you may be tempted to omit those details. But that could get you in bigger trouble, as intentionally providing false information on your green card application is also a ground for inadmissibility.  

Inadmissibility Due to Immigration Violations 

If you overstay your visa or violate U.S. immigration laws in any way, you may be barred from entering the U.S. for some time or permanently, depending on the circumstances. In such cases, you’ll only be able to obtain a green card or visa if the ban expires or is lifted.

The Likelihood of Becoming a Public Charge

If the immigration authorities assess your application and determine that you’re likely to become a public charge who depends on government benefits for survival, your green card application will likely be denied. To avoid such issues, you must show the authorities that you have enough financial resources to support yourself or that someone else is willing to offer you financial support while you find your feet.

The evidence or documents required here vary depending on your green card category. For example, with family-based green card applications such as adjustment of status through marriage, you’ll need an affidavit of support (usually signed by your U.S. family member (spouse) who filed your immigrant petition).

If you fail to provide the appropriate documentation while filing your green card application, it would mean that you do not have the resources to support your stay, in which case, your application would be denied. 

Waiver of Inadmissibility 

The Immigration and Nationality Act recognizes that a strict application of these rules could lead to extreme hardship for individuals. So, it provides for certain instances in which the immigration authorities could waive some of these grounds of inadmissibility.

Once a waiver is obtained, the individual involved can proceed with their green card application and would likely succeed if they meet all other requirements.

Making Mistakes During the Application Process

When you apply for a green card, you’ll need to complete and file certain immigration forms. You must complete the forms accurately, as the slightest mistake could affect the outcome of your application.

The consequences of making a mistake during the application vary depending on the type of mistake or omission. In some cases, the immigration authorities would reject your application outrightly. In others, the processing of your application could be delayed.

Regardless of the specific effects, a mistake during the application process could cost you your green card even if you are otherwise eligible. To avoid such issues, you can consult an immigration lawyer who can help you understand what you need to do at this stage and help you avoid costly errors that could lead to denial. 

What To Do After a Green Card Denial 

If your green card application has been denied, do not lose hope. Depending on the reason for denial, you may have several options to help you salvage the situation. Some of them include:

  • Filing a motion to reconsider

  • Filing a motion to reopen

  • Appealing to the Administrative Appeals Office

  • Refiling your green card application. 

You can get professional help from an immigration lawyer to determine the most suitable option for your case. 

Speak to an Experienced Immigration Attorney at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law

There are many reasons why your green card application may be denied, most of which you can avoid with the right information and guidance. That is why seeking the help of an immigration attorney when filing your green card application is essential. 

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we understand what becoming a green card holder means to you, and we are prepared to help you navigate the complex green card application process and work to make your dreams come true.

To reduce the chances of denial, our experienced attorneys can assess your situation and help you determine your eligibility for a green card. That way, you won’t have to spend time and resources pursuing something you do not qualify for.

If your application has already been denied, we can help you explore your options and determine the best course of action for your case.

We’ll be glad to be a part of your success story. So, feel free to contact us if you have questions or need help with your green card application. Let us evaluate your case and help steer you toward a positive outcome.