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Top 10 Reasons That A Marriage-Based Green Card Application Is Denied


Many couples incorrectly assume that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically approve their marriage-based Green Card application. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Green Card applications are routinely denied for a myriad of reasons.

1. Most Common Reasons

  1. Submitting incorrect forms. The forms required for your application will depend on your spouse’s current residence, current immigration status, desire to obtain temporary employment, desire to temporary travel, immigration/criminal history, etc.

  2. Submitting incorrect fees. Some forms do not require a fee, some require a government filing fee, and others require an additional fee for biometrics (FBI background check).

  3. Submitting insufficient financial documents. The petitioner must be able to demonstrate that s/he can financially support his/her foreign spouse. If you own your own business, had a period of unemployment, just started a new job, owe back IRS taxes, or have been divorced, we recommend that you consult with an attorney to ensure that you can demonstrate your ability to support spouse.

  4. Submitting the application to the wrong place. Most applications will require that the applicant file the application at a certain location depending on the applicant’s current residence, whether the application is filed as a standalone application or with other applications/petitions, the type of courier service used, etc.

  5. Submitting incomplete bona fide (“good faith”) marriage documents. USCIS requires proof that you and your spouse entered your marriage in good faith and not for the purpose of evading immigration law. A personal consultation with an experienced attorney can help you determine what types of documents you should submit to prove that your marriage was entered into in good faith.

  6. Eligibility. Some foreign nationals are not eligible to apply for a Green Card while they are in the United States. If the foreign national entered without inspection (illegally), overstayed on a valid visa (with inspection), committed certain crimes, are currently in removal proceedings, s/he may not qualify for a Green Card.

  7. Submitting incorrect information. There are many different forms that are required for a marriage-based Green Card. This means that there are many opportunities to make mistakes. This means that mistakes can lead to a finding of material misrepresentation – even if you did not intend to deceive USCIS.

  8. Hiring a non-attorney or unqualified attorney. Before you hire an attorney, we recommend that you meet with the attorney and read his/her online client testimonials. Afterward, ask yourself these questions: Is the attorney licensed and eligible to practice law? How easy was it to speak directly with the attorney? How long has the attorney been in business? Does the attorney have experience handling these types of cases?

  9. Missing appointments and deadlines. If you file the application yourself, USCIS will only send notifications to you. However, if you hire an attorney, your attorney will be notified as well. An experienced immigration attorney will notify you of changes related to your application. This will help you avoid missing important notices and/or deadlines.

  10. Not being prepared for the marriage interview. An experienced immigration attorney can provide you with sample interview questions and a list of additional documents that you should bring to the interview.

2. Speak To An Experienced Immigration Attorney

The Law Office of David Nguyen, PC has successfully handled hundreds of immigration petitions and/or applications – and can assist you with your immigration needs.

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