Help! My Green Card Was Denied And I Do Not Know Why
The green card application process can be lengthy, and many people hoping to obtain permanent residency in the United States invest a great amount of effort (and often money) to complete the process. It can be devastating to learn that despite your best efforts, your green card application has been denied, and it can leave you with a lot of unanswered questions.
Reasons Your Green Card Application May Have Been Denied
- Application errors. This is probably the single most common cause of denials of green card applications. The application requires extensive documentation, completed forms, and fees, and if any of these are missing, incomplete, or contain errors, your application can be denied. For instance, some applicants may not realize that for certain questions if they check “yes,” they may be required to explain or provide additional information. The good news is that these issues can generally be resolved easily with the proper guidance.
- Health-related issues. As part of the application process, you must provide a medical examination report from a government-approved doctor. If you did not include this report, or if the report indicates that you have a communicable disease, a mental or physical issue that poses a danger to yourself or others, have failed to get the required vaccines by the time of the application or will be unable to obtain them, or have a drug-abuse issue, these can all be grounds for denial.
- You have a criminal background. Merely having a criminal background does not mean you cannot be approved for a green card, however, you may face heightened scrutiny. If you indicated on the questionnaire that you have committed or been charged with a crime, you also have to provide more documentation, including the relevant court documents. This is true even if the charges were sealed or expunged. Additionally, if your crime was related to drug-trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, or is considered a crime of moral turpitude, it may be a bar to approval.
- It doesn’t seem likely that you will be able to support yourself. The USCIS officer may consider your age, health, income, and ability to work in determining whether you are likely going to be able to support yourself or if you are more likely to rely on the U.S. government for support. You may be able to overcome this presumption with an affidavit of support.
- Your underlying petition was denied. If the petition underlying your application for a green card (likely based on either employment or marriage) falls through and is denied, then your green card application will also be denied.