Why was my I-485, Application to Adjust Status case denied?
When clients come to our office after they were denied permanent residence, these are the main reasons why the application was denied.
The applicant was not qualified to apply for permanent residency inside of the United States. Most adjustment of status cases require that the foreign national maintain lawful immigration status until the date that the I-485, Application to Adjust Status is filed. If a foreign national has failed to maintain lawful immigration status, his/her application will be denied at the adjustment of status interview.
Example – Stephanie is a U.S. citizen. Barbara files an immigrant petition for her unmarried, adult son, John. Since John is not considered an “immediate relative” for immigration purposes, he has to wait several years before he can apply for a visa and/or a Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”). While John is waiting for a visa, he enters the U.S. on a F-1 student visa. During his senior year of college, John drops a class and fails to maintain his F-1 student status. By failing to maintain full-time coursework at the university, John is ineligible to file for adjustment of status in the U.S. and he must leave the U.S. to obtain his visa.
The applicant inputted misspelled/incorrect information on the application, which contradicted the information in the immigration officer’s possession. Our office uses a document management system that allows us to enter in information one time and the information is inputted to every single immigration form exactly the same way. Additionally, our office reviews the client’s information with an internet search to confirm accuracy. This avoid human errors.
Example – Rashid does not have a first name, but has a two-part last name (surname). His birth certificate indicates that he does not have a first name, but his passport has his first surname as his first name and his second surname as his last name. Rashid has prior criminal violations that were dismissed. On the court documents, his name was inputted in various ways as well. Rashid does not know how to complete the immigration forms. At this adjustment of status interview, Rashid is questioned on why his documents contain various variations of his name and he is accused of material misrepresentation and was denied permanent residency.
The applicant failed to provide sufficient information or had incomplete information on the application, which caused an issued with the mandatory background check.
Example – Veronica has a difficult time remembering details of where she has lived or where she has worked. Veronica also left many items blank on her I-485, Application to Adjust Status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies Veronica’s adjustment of status application citing the USCIS Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0163) that allows USCIS adjudicators to deny various applications and/or petitions without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to request the missing information. If Veronica wants to reapply, she will have to submit a new application and a new application fee. If Veronica is unlawfully present in the U.S., she is at risk of removal/deportation.
The applicant provided incorrect/wrong information due to a lack of understanding of English and/or U.S. immigration laws.
Example – Miguel is from Mexico. Some young men in Mexico are required to undergo weapons and/or military training. On the I-485, Application to Adjust Status, Miguel accidentally indicated that he has never received weapons training. When Miguel went to the adjustment of status interview, he was questioned by the adjudications officer. Miguel’s adjustment of status was denied because of material misrepresentation.
The applicant submitted the incorrect supporting documents, which delays the processing of the case.
Example – Irina submitted an I-485, Application to Adjust Status based on her marriage to Calvin, a U.S. citizen. Irina wanted to start using Calvin’s surname (last name) as her own and placed her new name on all of the immigration documents. USCIS questions the legality of Irina’s name change and sends a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE), which delays Irina’s ability to obtain a temporary employment/travel document (EAD).
The applicant did not provide English translations for non-English documents or provided invalid translations.
Example – Fatima filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for her mother. Fatima provided translations from a professional translator. USCIS rejects the translation citing that it was improperly translated.
The applicant did not understand the questions on the I-485, Applicant to Adjust Status.
Example – Tom was born in Vietnam. Tom did not understand some of the questions on the I-485, Application to Adjust Status. Tom’s friends help him complete the application and told him how to answer the questions. At the adjustment of status interview, the USCIS officer asks Tom some of the questions from the application. Tom states that he does not know what the question means and his friends helped him complete the form. The USCIS adjudications officer denies Tom’s adjustment of status application.
The applicant has a criminal record and did not provide the USCIS officer with required documents.
Example – Yusuf had prior Driving While Intoxicated (DWI/DUI). He went to trial and the case was dismissed. Yusuf hires a public notario to help him complete the documents. The public notario was not a licensed attorney and did not inform Yusuf about which documents to submit with his I-485, Application to Adjust Status. Yusuf receives a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) based on his prior criminal charges.
The applicant has a criminal record that makes him/her ineligible for permanent residency.
Example – Trinity submitted a I-485, Application to Adjust Status. While her application was pending, Trinity was charged with possession of marijuana. Since Trinity did not have an attorney, Trinity relied on internet searches and her friends to help her with her criminal charge. Trinity’s friends told her that marijuana was no big deal. Trinity was ultimately convicted of possessing more than 32 grams of marijuana. When Trinity went to her adjustment of status interview, she was told that 30 grams of marijuana may be forgivable, but a conviction of 32 grams of marijuana was not forgivable. Trinity hires an immigration attorney. The immigration attorney informs Trinity that she should have contacted an immigration attorney before she was convicted, but that it was [now] too late to fix the problem. Trinity is placed in removal/deportation proceedings.
The applicant has a medical condition that makes him/her ineligible for permanent residency.
Example – Vy-Vivian submitted a I-485, Application to Adjust Status. Vy-Vivian has gonorrhea. She read online that she did not have to submit her I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, until the date of the adjustment of status interview. Vy-Vivian is notified of the interview and makes an appointment for the medical exam (immigration physical) a few days before the appointment. Vy-Vivian finds out that she has gonorrhea and that the treatment will take several days/weeks. Vy-Vivian is denied her permanent residency on her interview date, since she is ineligible for having a communicable disease.
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