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What happens if my Marriage-based Green Card is denied?

If your marriage-based Green Card application has been recently denied, or you fear it might be, there are still some things you can do to reopen your case and avoid deportation.

A marriage-based Green Card is granted to the spouse of a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. It allows the foreign spouse to live and work in the United States.

What happens if my Green Card is denied? Why can my application be denied?

Even though marriage-based green cards have a high approval rate, sometimes applications do get denied. There are many reasons for this: maybe you did not finalize a prior divorce; or you are a same-sex couple that got married in a country that doesn’t officially recognize same-sex marriages; or anything else that could invalidate your marriage to the eyes of the immigration officers. Another reason can be mistakes made in the Green Card Application package, such as documents not being translated or missing essential information on the form sent.

What should I do after my Marriage-based Green Card is denied?

Once USCIS decides to deny your application, you will receive a notification in writing of their decision. On that same notice, you will have more information on how you can proceed with your immigration case. It could inform you that you can appeal or not.

  • If you can appeal

When you receive your notification, it will tell you how to appeal and when (there is a deadline). You will have to ask the Administrative Appeals Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (AAO) to review your case. During the appeal,
the AAO will determine if the USCIS officer was wrong in denying your Green Card Application.

  • If you can’t appeal

Under this circumstance, you can file a motion to reopen your case or reconsider. Filing to reopen is a good option if you have new documents that can be submitted as additional evidence or support for your application. If you file a
motion to reconsider, your case will not be transferred to the AAO, and the same person who denied your application will be reconsidering their decision with the new information provided.

In some cases, filing a separate suit in federal court could be an option. To challenge any denial, you will need the assistance of an Immigration Lawyer, who can help you determine if you even have a case.

This article is about the marriage-based green card. Images are for illustrative purposes only.

Removal Proceedings

Once you receive the denial of your application and have no legal right to be in the U.S., you will likely be sent to Immigration Court. If you are in removal proceedings, you will get the chance to renew your Green Card application
before an immigration judge. You should not ignore any notice to appear in immigration court. Follow the advice of your lawyer and make a plan of action to avoid making any costly mistakes.

If you fail to show up on your court date, you will likely be ordered to be removed (deported). You will also get a ten-year ban on returning to the U.S.

Should I hire an Immigration Attorney?

YES! You should definitely hire an immigration attorney and not only if your Green Card application is denied, but for the whole process. Having an experienced Immigration Attorney on your side can prevent you from making mistakes and having any unexpected delays. Also, if you hire a lawyer, you are more likely to avoid getting denied.

Remember that Immigration is not just filing forms. It is a serious matter, and your future depends on it. We can help you figure out all of your options. Give us a call or book a consult!

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The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan, P.A. offer aggressive and experienced legal representation for immigration cases, with a focus on family immigration and investor visas.
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