Reasons For A Green Card Application To Be Denied

There are a multitude of reasons why an application for a green card could be declined. In order to give your petition, the highest possible chance of success, it’s important to understand all of the key reasons why your application could be denied. So that you’ll be able to avoid making some of the common errors that cause green card applications to be denied.

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Reasons For Your Application To Be Denied


In order to save yourself valuable time and money, it’s highly worthwhile to make sure that you understand the eligibility requirements of the different types of green cards which are on offer. For example, if you plan to apply for a family-sponsored visa, your petition will be dismissed if you plan to ask a sibling under the age of 21 or your grandparent to be your sponsor.

As you’re actually ineligible to apply for residency through a grandparent or a sibling under the age of 21. Instead, you can only submit an application for a family-sponsored visa, through your parent, fiancé, spouse, or sibling who is aged 21 or older.

As another example, if you plan to apply for a visa as the spouse of a US citizen or resident but you did not take part in a legal wedding ceremony and are unable to provide a legal marriage certificate with both of your full names and the date of your wedding, you are not eligible to apply for residency through your partner. In this scenario, you should consider applying for a K1 fiancé visa instead, which will require you to get legally married within 90 days of entering the United States.

As a final example, if you apply for an employer-sponsored green card before you have been offered a job position from a US-based employer, you are ineligible to apply for an employer-sponsored visa.

Incorrect Information

If you provide incorrect information, your application is likely to be declined. For example, if you are caught listing an incorrect address, your petition will instantly be declined. So, it’s a wise idea to double-check all of the information which you have provided before you submit your application to avoid your application being declined.

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Fraud is a common reason why petitions are denied. For example, if you apply for residency through a K1 fiancé visa and you get caught faking a relationship with a US citizen, to try and gain entry to the United States, your application will be denied.

For this reason, if you apply for a K1 fiancé visa or a marriage visa, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence to convince your assessors that you’re in a legitimate, committed relationship. You may need to provide letters of reference from friends who have spent time with you and your fiancé on multiple occasions as well as photographs of yourself with your fiancé.

Alternatively, if you plan to apply for a marriage visa, you’ll need to prove that your application isn’t fraudulent by providing evidence that you are committed to your spouse. For instance, you may want to provide bank statements from your shared accounts.

Criminal Convictions

Individuals who have criminal convictions may also have their visas denied. Some examples of crimes that may cause a green card to be declined include prostitution, drug trafficking, money laundering, and fraud. It’s well worth noting that through the consular processing stage of your application, you will be required to answer a series of questions about any criminal convictions which you may have which you are expected to answer honestly.

If your assessor has reason to doubt your answers, they may choose to investigate your criminal history further, in order to find out whether or not you are likely to be a high-risk threat to the safety and well-being of US citizens.

Security Threat

If it’s deemed that you could be a security threat to the United States and have been involved in a terrorist group or totalitarian group or a group that has policies that are averse to U.S foreign policy, your application will be promptly denied. Even if you are no longer affiliated with any terrorist or totalitarian groups.

Financial Difficulties

If there is reason to believe that you will have difficulty supporting yourself in the United States and that you may become reliant on government assistance, it’s also likely that you’ll be denied residency. For example, if you apply for a K1 fiancé visa, your fiancé will have to prove that they earn at least 120% of the minimum federal poverty guidelines, each year. In order to prove that they’ll be able to financially take care of you if you’re unable to quickly find a job in the United States.

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Serious Medical Issues

If you have serious health issues which could place a strain on the healthcare system, there is also a chance that your petition could be denied. However, you are expected to answer any questions about your health openly and honestly. Be warned that if you try to access public healthcare for a pre-existing condition that you omitted from your application form when you applied for residency, you could have your visa revoked.

Failure To Meet Specified Deadlines

If you are asked to provide documentation to support your application and fail to provide the necessary information in time, expect to have your petition denied. As each year countless individuals from around the globe petition for residency in the United States and in order for applications to be processed in a timely manner, applicants are expected to stick to the deadlines which they are given to prevent delays in the system. Also make sure to pay your application fees on time, in order for your application to be considered.

Failure To Turn Up To Schedule Appointments

If your initial application is processed and you move on to the consular processing stage of your application, you will likely be given an appointment for an interview. If you fail to turn up to this interview, your petition could be denied even if there are no other issues with your application.

In Conclusion

Now that you’re aware of all of the major reasons why your application for a green card could be denied, your chances of having your green card application approved should be higher. As you’ll be aware of all of the potential pitfalls to avoid and will be more likely to apply for a visa that you’re eligible to apply for.

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