Every year, the U.S. government allows thousands of people to enter the United States with permanent resident or green card status.
Although most people can apply for it, not everyone can receive one.
There are several reasons why your green card application is denied and the denial rates vary by category.
Each year USCIS denies about 8% of the green card applications.
In fiscal year 2018, data shows that USCIS denied 52,868 applications out of 835,972 for Form I-130 petitions.
During the same period, USCIS denied 39,836 applications out of 334,182 Form I-485 applications.
Here are the top reasons why your Green Card gets denied.
Note: Immigration authorities can appropriately, under the law, deny your application for the following reasons:
Inability to Demonstrate a Bona Fide Family Relationship
The family-based green card is categorized into two groups: immediate relatives and family preference categories.
You must meet the necessary evidence to prove your relationship with either of the two categories before you can qualify for a family-based green card.
Failure to prove this may lead to denial.
Filing a Marriage-Based Green Card Petition Shortly after Arrival
Although your marriage to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident is qualified for a green card application, doing it too early may raise a red flag.
This usually happens when you entered the United States with no intention of staying at first, but decided to marry within a short time of your arrival and request for a green card immediately.
This rushed process may sound questionable to the USCIS officer. This is called “willful misrepresentation of your true intentions” and may lead to denial.
Denial Due to Ineligibility
Green Card application requires a medical examination approved by a government doctor.
Your green card can be denied if:
You have a communicable disease;
You are a drug abuser or an addict;
You have a physical or a mental disorder; or
You don't provide documentation of the required vaccinations.
If you are convicted of some sort of crimes in the past, there’s a high possibility that your green card application can be denied;
Crimes qualified for inadmissibility include “moral turpitude” such as drug trafficking, prostitution, commercialized vice, money laundering and fraud.
Issues of National Security
A green card can be denied to someone who engages in terrorist activities, is a current or former member or involved in Nazi or totalitarian parties or genocide.
Fraud or Misrepresentation
Providing incorrect information on your green card application is considered a fraud and might lead to a green card denial.
Likelihood of Public Charge
Your green card is also at risk of denial if you are likely to rely on the government for health and financial assistance.
Violations such as entering the United States illegally, gaining entry by misrepresentation, failing to attend immigration removal proceedings, or have abused the visa process, can be a subject to green card denial.
Prior Removals or Unlawful Presence
If you are in the United States illegally or you have been previously deported from the U.S. your green card application can be denied.
Denial Due to Error Made by the Immigration Officers
Just like any government organizations, USCIS and the consulates can make mistakes too.
They can either lose one of your important documents, misplace your filing fee checks, or list your information incorrectly.
Consequently, this will lead to the denial of your green card application.
Failure to Meet Application Requirements
During the course of your application, you will be asked to bring numerous forms, fees, and documents.
Failure to provide what is requested can ultimately result in denial.
Incomplete Information and Mistakes Made on the Application Form
Incomplete information or technical errors made in the application form can also cause green card denial.
Make sure to fill up all the required information in the filing form and review if there’s something you missed.
Missing Application Deadlines and Failing to Attend Appointments
If you miss application deadlines and fail to attend appointments within the required timeframe, your green card application can be denied.
9. On the other hand, employment-based green card applications are unlike family-based green cards.
10. It’s not as straightforward as the latter since employment visas vary and each has differing requirements.
11. Your green card could be denied as a result of a failure to meet any one of those requirements.
12. Errors and mistakes on green card applications can be costly – and result in denial.
13. Although some grounds can be corrected or waived (legally forgiven), you'll have to have a lawyer's help to prepare a waiver application.