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Reasons You Could Be Denied a Green Card

Posted on in Green Cards

Stamford green card attorneyIf you are a foreign citizen currently living in the United States, you may be thinking about applying for an adjustment of status (AOS) using Form I-485. If your AOS application is approved, you will be given a green card, and you will be able to live and work in the U.S. for as long as you want.

In our last post, we explained the requirements to qualify for a green card. However, even if you meet all of the qualification criteria, your application could still be denied. In this post, we will explain some of the reasons why U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) might deny an AOS application. 

Reasons for Denial of an Adjustment of Status

Here are some of the common reasons that the USCIS might deny your AOS application:

  • You failed to complete the application correctly, including all supporting documentation and English translations of any documents that are not in English.
  • The petitioner (that is, the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is sponsoring your immigration) did not provide sufficient documentation to prove that they meet the financial requirements for minimum income and/or assets.
  • You originally entered the U.S. without the proper temporary visa.
  • You overstayed your visa or otherwise failed to continuously maintain a lawful immigration status since your entry into the U.S. You can overcome this barrier if you can show that the failure was not your fault or was due to a “technicality,” such as a school official’s failure to renew a student’s status or failure by the USCIS to process a request for an extension of stay in a timely manner. 
  • You left the U.S. while your AOS application was pending, and you failed to file Form I-131 to obtain an Advance Parole Document. 
  • You unlawfully took a job (that is, worked for pay) in the U.S. prior to applying for AOS. For example, if you enter the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé visa or an F-1 student visa, you cannot be lawfully employed without an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or a green card.
  • You are seeking to adjust your status based upon a marriage that is not legitimate.
  • You committed a serious crime in the U.S., or you did not honestly answer questions about your past encounters with law enforcement.
  • You are deemed inadmissible to the U.S. for health or other reasons.

These are just some of the reasons that an adjustment of status may be denied. 

Conversely, the spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen may be exempt from some of the above reasons for denial simply because of their Immediate Relative (IR) status. For example, suppose you are a U.S. citizen, and your foreign mother visits you in the U.S. She decides she would like to remain in the U.S. permanently and overstays her visitor visa. That particular violation will be overlooked because your mother falls into the IR category. Your mother can still file Form I-485 and adjust her status to lawful permanent resident, which will typically take a few months to process. However, if your visitor was your sister, she falls into the Family Preference (F visa) category, which is subject to annual quotas and a queue that could extend for several years. Her visa overstay would likely result in her green card application being denied.

Consult a Knowledgeable Darien, CT Immigration Lawyer 

Before applying for an adjustment of status, seek the aid of an experienced Fairfield County immigration attorney. Attorney Hector Gonzalez-Velez is well-versed in the workings of the USCIS and the common reasons for denial of an adjustment of status. We will make sure that your green card application has the best possible chance of approval. Contact Gonzalez Law Office, LLC at 203-323-1440. 

Sources:

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&node=se8.1.245_11

https://www.uscis.gov/i-485

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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