What Should You Do If USCIS Rejected Your Case? [TOTW]

Tip of the Week #3

My name is Andres Mejer, and I’m an immigration attorney. In today’s tip of the week, I want to talk about what you should do if USCIS rejects your case. We’ll discuss the difference between a rejection and a denial, and talk about what you can do if USCIS rejects your case.

Denial vs Rejection

First, you need to know that there is a difference between a rejection and a denial. 

 A rejection means there was an error in your application. No decision has been made on the merits. They will send the entire packet back to you with your filing fee. While this is disappointing, it’s also good news because you can fix whatever the problem is, and send it back in. A rejection is not held against you and no receipt number is issued. In fact, it is almost as if USCIS never received the application.

A denial means that they adjudicated (decided) your application. Keep in mind a policy under the Trump Administration is that if you apply with errors, they can deny it outright. Usually, they will cash your check and if you want to appeal that decision, or re-apply, you will need to resubmit another fee. A denial is less positive for you. You probably got a receipt number and USCIS will keep this denial in your file and it will be considered with any other applications. You’ll need to read this denial carefully to see if you can appeal or need to reapply. 

Also, under this administration, a denial often will result in you being put into removal proceedings if you don’t have legal status.  That means your job just got much harder.  

What to Do After Your Case is Rejected

The first thing you will need to do is to figure out why your application was rejected. 

The most common reason is that you missed answering something, did something wrong, or didn’t include a necessary document (like the I-864) or evidence. Maybe you didn’t include something like a birth certificate, the correct fee, or you didn’t sign a form. Fix whatever the problem is and send it back in. 

If your check bounces, you must pay a penalty fee of $30 before you can re-file. You can pay the overdraft fee online – the information to do this will be in the rejection notice. Make sure to include a copy of the payment receipt with your new application. 

Read all the documents from USCIS thoroughly. They will usually tell you what the issue was and how you can fix it. Follow these instructions carefully and take care of the problems quickly to get your application back to USCIS as fast as you can.

We hope you liked this tip of the week. If you have any other questions regarding your immigration case, don’t hesitate to call our office and schedule a free immigration checkup with us.

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