Thousands of people are awarded Green Cards every year. While the chances are good you could be granted lawful permanent resident status, there’s also a possibility you could be denied.
Understanding your responsibilities and the more common reasons are for denial may help you spot areas of concern early on, allowing you to adjust your petition and increase your chances for approval.
Some of the reasons for a Green Card denial include:
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Health – One of the most common reasons for denial is due to health issues. To protect the health of United States citizens, applicants with certain types of illnesses increase the likelihood they will be denied. Communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis or mental issues are some of the key health issues that will raise a red flag to immigration officials. Another common reason for denial on health grounds is if the applicant is not current with vaccinations. However, these can be administered at the end of the required health examination all applicants must undergo as part of the screening process.
Criminal convictions – Several different types of crimes committed by an applicant will lead to the denial of a Green Card. While there is no definitive list, crimes such as murder, rape, and a host of other crimes of “moral turpitude” are likely to lead to a denial. Also, two criminal convictions for any type of crime is considered grounds for denial as well. Because there is no single, set way to determine eligibility, it’s best to seek the advice of a lawyer if you aren’t sure of the circumstances in your situation.
Threat to national security – If you are known to associate with criminals, terrorist organizations or other groups perceived as threats to the United States, you will be deemed as inadmissible to the country.
Lack of financial means – Although the United States makes some allowances for “public charges”, immigrants who cannot show the means to support themselves financially once in the country run the risk of denial. Applicants must be able to show that a family member will have the means to support them. If they are attempting to enter the U.S. on a work related Green Card application, they must be able to show proof of a valid job offer that meets certain wage requirements.
Illegal immigration violations – If you have committed fraud trying to get a Green Card or previously attempted to enter the United States illegally, your application may be turned down. This also extends to helping others attempt to enter the U.S. illegally. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, the denial may be permanent or it may only be for a certain number of years.
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Failure to meet application requirements/failure to keep appointments related to your application – Rules and paperwork required for a Green Card application are numerous and thorough. Not supplying forms and documents, not paying required fees in a timely manner, or not keeping all appointments scheduled by immigration officials increases your chance for denial as well.