My Green Card Got Denied: Now What?
Having a Green Card denied (Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Application) can feel like one of the worst things that could happen to you. You have probably spent a lot of time and money trying to get this green card. A Green Card denial can feel like your American Dream is over.
What should you do if your Green Card is denied?
Immigration benefits can be denied for a variety of reasons. In this blog, we address a specific type of denial – a Green Card denial – and give you tips on what to do next.
Understand WHY you Green Card got denied:
There are many reasons why USCIS can deny Green Card applications. If your Green Card application is denied, you must first understand the reason for the denial. The letter you received from USCIS explains the reasons for the denial. These reasons determine what you should do next.
Understand the CONSEQUENCES of a denial:
If your Green Card application is denied, you will need to return your EAD card (“work permit” card) within a few days. The U.S. government will probably give you a few days to leave the United States. If this is a marriage case and the U.S. government thinks you committed marriage fraud, a denial will likely put you in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.
Under the Trump Administration’s new Notice to Appear Policy, USCIS’s authority to give you an NTA has expanded. Now, if USCIS denies your Green Card application because it thinks you committed some type of fraud, misrepresentation, abuse of public benefits, or crime, it will send you a letter telling you to appear in Immigration Court. USCIS can even refer cases to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency.
What Happens in IMMIGRATION COURT?
A notice to appear in Immigration Court to defend your case is scary. An Attorney for the United States will make many allegations against you. An Immigration Judge decides whether you get to keep your Green Card or get deported. If deported, you will have to fight for your return to the United States from another country. This is devastating, time-consuming and expensive. Worst of all, the consequences of deportation are severe. In some cases you may have to wait 3-10 years before you can return. Some people can never enter the United States again.
What is your DEADLINE to act?
It is absolutely crucial that you know how long you have to act. You must absolutely act within the time frame that the government gives you. Inaction sabotages the chances of saving your Green Card. You should talk to an immigration lawyer immediately upon receiving a denial letter.
What are your OPTIONS?
Green Card denials are very fact-specific and you must understand how the law applies to your case. Fortunately, you might have some options to overcome a denial. For example, if this is a family case and the petitioner is abusive, you may qualify for a VAWA. You may be able to appeal if USCIS made a mistake or misapplied the law. Sometimes, you can file a motion to reopen. Sometimes, you may not have an option and you’ll just have to accept that denial.
Only an immigration lawyer authorized to practice law in the US can give you advice and explain your options, the consequences, and the likelihood of success. If your Green Card was denied, we urge you to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer who can analyze the facts and apply the law to your specific situation. You should never rely on the advice from someone who is not a licensed attorney. The right immigration lawyer can make a world of difference in the outcome of your case.
If you are facing a denial of an Adjustment of Status Application Form I-485, we urge you to contact us today and schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyers. You can call us at (407) 818-1244 or email us here.