10 Common Reasons for Your Green Card Application Denial

10 Common Reasons for your Green Card Application Denial

After all the hard work you put in, it will be devastating to find out that your green card application has been denied.  If you wish to avoid the pitfalls that could lead to the failure of your application,  read on for some helpful information from our immigration attorney in New Jersey.


Reason 1: You are not eligible for a green card in the first place

Similar to being a medical doctor, a medical degree is necessary to practice the profession.  The same goes for getting a green card.  There are specific requirements you must meet to qualify. There are many paths to a green card. Below are just some examples:  

If you have not applied for a green card or are curious on how you can do so through the above categories, do not hesitate to contact us at Andres Mejer Law. 

Assess yourself and find out if you belong to this group of eligible applicants: 

  • If you are a family member of a U.S. citizen
  • If you have an employer based in the US that can back them up 
  • If  you are seeking asylum
  • If you are a victim of abuse, human trafficking, or other crimes
  • If you lived here in the United States since the years before January 1, 1972.
  • If you are considered a special immigrant.


Special Immigrant

Now, a special immigrant is someone who meets certain criteria of the USCIS or has helped the U.S. government. Ask yourself the following: 

  • Are you a foreigner working for a known religious denomination in the US?
  • Are employed by the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government?
  • Are you a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been on active duty for more than 12 years after October 15, 1978?
  • Are you a foreign national who wishes to work in the U.S. for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) as a broadcaster?
  • Are you a retired officer of G-4 international organizations and have lived here in the US for a long time.
  • Did you enter the U.S. in NATO-6 nonimmigrant status?
  • Are a foreign medical graduate who has lived licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978?
  • Are you an Afghani or Iraqi national who served the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator?
  • Are you an Iraqi national who worked in Iraq for the U.S. government?
  • Are you a foreigner who needs the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent?


Reason Number 2: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may have denied your underlying petition as an employment-based or family-based green card applicant.

To apply for an employment-based green card, you need to file Form I-140 or the “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker” form first. If you change employers or your employer fails to establish their working relationship with you sufficiently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will deny the underlying petition. You can’t progress with your green card application if USCIS denies your I-140 petition.

Similarly, your sponsor must have filed Form I-130 or the “Petition for Alien Relative” for you to apply for a family-based green card. If your sponsor fails to establish your genuine or bona fide relationship with one another, USCIS will deny the underlying petition and you can’t apply for the green card. So make sure your sponsor provides all of the necessary information for Form I-130. 


Reason Number 3: Your green card application can be denied because of a simple oversight.

This includes failing to attend your scheduled appointments such as biometrics or fingerprinting appointments or not appearing on your green card interview. Both of these are required and should be attended to if you wish to succeed in your green card application.


Reason Number 4: You missed your deadlines. 

The USCIS will send a form to your mailing address if they need more information from you. This form is called the Request for Evidence or RFE form and has a strict deadline. If you missed out on responding to it because you gave the wrong address or probably moved out of your declared address, USCIS could decline your application.


Reason Number 5: You overlooked or made some mistakes on crucial paperwork in your application. 

These mistakes can be as simple as:

  • Failing to provide certified translations to documents that are not in English. 
  • Missing out on information on your application. It is vital to fill out the form entirely. If a question does not apply to you, it is best to put “N/A” on the blank.
  • Not paying the appropriate fees. There are different charges for each green card application category. Not paying the correct fees will result in the non-processing of your application.
  • Using electronic signatures instead of actual signed-on with pen signatures in the application.
  • Or the photos you used did not meet the requirements. USCIS required passport-style photos. 


Reason Number 6: Somebody at the USCIS messed up.

Sometimes, your application can be rejected not because of your own fault but because somebody from the USCIS made a mistake. Such errors such as misencoding your information, misplacing your documents, or even forgetting to send notices to you can happen. Be ready to file an appeal if this happens.


Reason Number 7:  You do not have the financial means to stay.

Unfortunately, money makes the world go round. The same thing applies to a green card application. If you do not have proof that you have enough financial resources to live in the US, or if you are likely to become a burden in the country,  you will most likely get a green card denial.


Reason Number 8: You have a history of deportation or committed immigration fraud.

The US government can deny your request for a green card if you have a bad record in the immigration bureau. Those who stayed illegally in the US through misrepresentation or expired visas may also be denied a green card application. 


Reason Number 9: You have a criminal record.

A criminal record can have far-reaching consequences.  Certain criminal offenses such as theft, robbery, drug trafficking, rape, and the like can negatively affect your green card application. Not writing down your criminal history in your application is a No-No.  If you have a criminal record,  it is best to write it down together with an explanation that can support your eligibility. 

Reason Number 10: Your poor health condition 

The state of your health can also be a barrier to a successful green card application. A medical exam is a part of your green card application. Possible health barriers may occur if:

  • you have been diagnosed with a communicable disease
  • or you were found to have been a drug user
  • you have a physical or mental disorder that can be a threat to yourself or to others
  • or you failed to comply with the required vaccinations. 


Get yourself an immigration attorney! 

Don’t lose hope. There are ways to address any issues you may have discovered. You can call our immigration lawyers today if you want to discuss your case or need help on your green card or immigration journey, and we will let you know if and how we can help.

Remember, every case is different and we won’t take your money if we can’t help you. At Andres Mejer Law, we can help you get that chance to live permanently and legally here in the United States.

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