Why Would Someone Be Denied a Green Card?

Our Nashville immigration lawyer outlines the most common reasons for green card denials.

While there are 9.2 million immigrants in the United States, fewer than one million of them apply for residence in the United States every year. There are a number of barriers people face that can make it seemingly impossible for foreign nationals to obtain lawful U.S. residence. It can take a long time to receive a response regarding your green card application. If you have been notified that your application has been denied, it is natural to feel helpless, discouraged, and confused. It is important to know the common reasons for green card denial and how you can move forward.

You Have Health Problems

You are required to undergo a medical examination administered by the U.S. government if you wish to obtain a green card. However, typical health problems will not cause a person to be denied for adjustment of status (green card). You may be denied based on your health status if any of the following apply:

You Have a Criminal Record

A criminal record will not result in an automatic denial of a green card. However, if you have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, it can. These crimes are considered to be vile, depraved, and offensive to a person’s moral compass. Some crimes of moral turpitude include murder, incest, spousal abuse, bigamy, and human trafficking. A history of multiple criminal offenses can also result in a green card denial.

You are Considered a Public Charge

A public charge is someone who receives specific government benefits. You may be considered a public charge if your income is too low, but there are other factors the USCIS will consider, too. These include:

There are many ways to reduce the possibility that you will be classified as a public charge. These include having a family member sign an affidavit of support or being sponsored by a relative or employer.

You Committed Immigration Fraud

If you lied at the border or to an immigration officer—or submitted false or fraudulent documents in support of an application for a request to be admitted to the United States—you may be “inadmissible” for fraud or willful misrepresentations. There is a waiver available for fraud for persons with qualifying family members in the United States, but some people do not have qualifying relatives to file a waiver for them. Some people even forget that they made a false statement to an immigration officer years ago. Unfortunately, these false statements follow a person and can cause an application for permanent residence to be denied. Therefore, it is vitally important to speak honestly with your attorney about possible past misstatements to immigration officials.

There Were Mistakes on Your Application

Mistakes can happen very easily, given that the paperwork and forms you must fill out are complex. Some of the most common mistakes made include:

Our Immigration Lawyers in Nashville Can Help with Your Green Card Denial

The most appropriate actions to take after a green card is denied depend on the reason or reasons for the denial. Sometimes an appeal is appropriate, and sometimes filing a motion to reopen or reconsider the denial is best. Time is limited to file a motion to reopen or reconsider the denial, however, so it is important to act quickly. In other cases, it may be more appropriate to file a new adjustment application later.

Whether you still need to apply for a green card or you need to know your options after denial, our Nashville immigration lawyers can help. At Ozment Law, our experienced attorneys can help you file the appropriate forms, guide you through the process, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 615.321.8888 or contact us online to request a consultation and get the legal help you need.