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Some Reasons Why Green Cards Are Denied

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Why are Green Card cases denied? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. In today's video, we're talking about what happens when you apply for a Green Card and what are the reasons why they might get denied. So there's two main inquiries in most Green Card cases. Now, first we'll talk about marriage-based Green Card cases, and then we can talk about employment or Green Cards based on asylum. Those are really the three main ways that you're going to get a Green Card or be able to apply for a Green Card.

With every Green Card application, there's usually a underlying basis for it. Either the person has married a US citizen and is applying for a Green Card for lawful permanent residence status based on that marriage, or an employer is sponsoring them, or they have received asylum in the United States and now the time has come for them to apply for a Green Card.

Denials can be similar in each of those kinds of cases or they can be different. We're going to talk about those in today's video. Whenever you're talking about the underlying basis for the Green Card, so you're going to want to be thinking about, well, is the underlying petition approvable? And so, one of the reasons why Green Cards gets denied is because there's a defect in the underlying petition. On the marriage-based context, that would be an I-130, and on an employment-based context that would be the I-140 petition for an alien worker.

Speaking about marriage, if there's something about the marriage that makes the marriage invalid, say one of the members of the couple weren't legally divorced, or they are first cousins, or the person who is the petitioner is too young to sponsor the foreign national, or for a variety of reasons. It could just be lacking enough marital evidence. If the underlying petition is denied, then the Green Card's going to be denied. One of the main things we see with marriage-based Green Cards is when the government believes there's been fraud. If there's any kind of allegations of misrepresentations or fraud on the part of the foreign national, or even the US citizen, that's another reason why Green Cards can be denied.

On the employment-based context, sometimes the I-140 will be approved, which is the process by which the foreign national is sponsored by the employer. The employer goes through all the hoops associated with trying to get someone an employment-based Green Card, but USCIS not satisfied. We've been seeing a lot of pushback lately on Green Card applications, especially in those rare circumstances where somebody applies without an employer for a national interest waiver or any B1 type scenario. We're seeing lots of denials there.

On the employment side, if the government doesn't believe that the job is legitimate or that the person is qualified for the position, there might be some pushback, or if there were US citizens or Green Card holders who could do that job, the government, USCIS specifically, is doing a lot more pushback on employment-based Green Cards.

And then, with the asylum, we've been seeing more and more that USCIS goes back and looks at the underlying asylum application. They scrutinize that Green Card application very heavily to see if there's any discrepancies between what the person said on their asylum application and what they said on their Green Card application. This is especially true when there's been a big gap between when you got asylum and when you apply for a Green Card. You always have to ask first, what about the underlying petition, is this all approvable?

And then the second question is, is the person admissible? And this is going to be the same in the I-130, the I-140, and the asylum grantee context. There's always the question of the beneficiary's admissibility. Are they admissible to the United States? Specifically, do they have some kind of a bar on admission to the United States? Have they been deported before? Have they snuck into the United States before? Have they overstayed a visa and left the United States and then tried to come back? These are all ways that you can be inadmissible.

When the question is asked, why do Green Cards get denied? You have to go look at the underlying 485. Now, the I-45 is the form that's used by the foreign national to say that they want to get permanent residence in the United States. When I first started doing immigration law, these forms were six pages long. Now, they're 20 pages long, and they're split down the middle with questions on each column. And so, there are a lot more questions about admissibility. Were you ever a member of the communist party? Were you ever a prostitute? Are you coming to the United States to practice polygamy? Have you ever supported organizations that the United States doesn't like anymore? Have you ever been arrested? Have you ever been in front of an immigration judge? There's all these questions that go to inadmissibility.

If you really want to understand all the ways that Green Card cases can be denied, look at those questions on the I-45. Those questions are all designed to bring out information related to all the statutory reasons why someone could be inadmissible to the United States. So really, to get the best understanding is the 485 itself.

If you find yourself going through an I-45, and you say to yourself, "Oh boy, this question applies to me. Maybe this means I'm not admissible." You might need some help. If you need our help, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We'd love to see in there. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. And then, every Tuesday and Thursday, usually at noon Central time, you can find me in immigrant home and on our YouTube channel, answering all of your questions for free for an hour. So hope that helps. If it does, or if you need anything, give us a call. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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