Your chances of having a green card renewal denied are on the rise. In fact, based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data reviewed, the number of denied applications increased for a third year in a row. All of this comes at a time when USCIS is also increasing the fee to renew a green card.
After receiving USCIS applications and petitions, USCIS reports that they reject approximately 8% of forms. Then, thousands more green card renewal applications (Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) are denied.
According to USCIS, 27,902 applicants had a green card renewal denied in fiscal year 2015 (through the three quarters reported). That’s a 9% increase compared to the previous year. Too many applications are getting denied. When USCIS denies an application, the immigration agency keeps the filing fees and the applicant is denied benefits. If certain immigration violations are exposed in the review process, this can lead to significant legal problems for the applicant.
Top 4 Reasons Green Card Renewal Denied
There is a variety of ways that you may have a green card renewal denied. Most people won’t run into a problem, but the impact can be significant. Here are four of the most common reasons USCIS may deny a green card renewal application:
Green Card Renewal Denied for Committing a Crime
Some crimes are deportable offenses. However, there is no simple list of crimes for you to check. If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, it is always wise to get a quick consultation from an immigration attorney before filing Form I-90 to renew your green card. Don’t rely on what you’ve heard or read on the internet. Get professional advice from a experienced, licensed immigration attorney.
Remember, it’s better to play it safe than to get your green card renewal denied. In many cases, an experienced attorney can successfully obtain a renewed green card for clients that have deportable crimes. Read more about Renewing a Green Card After an Arrest.
Green Card Renewal Denied for Lying on Renewal Application
After filing Form I-90, USCIS will schedule you for a biometrics appointment. At the appointment, USCIS will ask you to re-affirm under penalty of perjury that all of the information in your application is complete, true, and correct and was provided by you. If you obtained assistance from a friend, family member or attorney to prepare the application, you must disclose this information. Likewise, indicate if you received help from a language interpreter.
Knowingly submitting incorrect information on Form I-90 and lying to USCIS officers is against the law and will get your green card renewal denied. It’s simple — be truthful. If you believe that the truth will damage your chances, you should consult with an immigration attorney.
Green Card Renewal Denied Because You Were Ordered Removed
If you were ordered removed from the United States since obtaining permanent resident status, you will likely get your green card renewal denied. “Ordered removed” has a very specific meaning. You have only been “ordered removed” if one or more of the following happened to you:
“Ordered removed” also does not apply to you simply because you have one of the following immigrant visa (class of admission) categories: Z11, Z13, Z14 and Z15. These visa categories are based on a “suspension of deportation” or “suspension of removal.” This is different than being ordered removed.
Green Card Renewal Denied for Using Wrong Form
Every year many conditional permanent residents incorrectly file Form I-90. Conditional permanent residents should only use Form I-90 to replace a green card (i.e. lost, stolen, damaged or incorrect information). A conditional permanent resident should never file Form I-90 to renew a green card; this will result in a denial.
If you became a conditional permanent resident through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and your conditional status is expiring within the next 90 days, file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
If you became a conditional resident based on a financial investment in a U.S. business, file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.
And What About These Issues?
Filing Too Early. Although it’s unlikely that USCIS will deny an early green card renewal, they will most likely reject it. USCIS requests that applicants do not renew a green card more than 6 months prior to the expiration date on your current card. To learn more, read When to Renew a Green Card or use the Green Card Renewal Calculator.
Extensive Travel Abroad. Traveling abroad for more than one year at a time or spending significant amounts of time outside the U.S. over multiple trips probably won’t result in getting your green card renewal denied. However, it can lead to issues re-entering the country and obtaining U.S. citizenship. Avoid taking any trips abroad that are six months or longer. Learn more about becoming a U.S. citizen.
Unpaid Taxes. As a U.S. citizen or immigrant working in the United States, you may be legally obligated to file an income tax return. Although this most likely won’t get your green card renewal denied, it will become problematic. You could be fined, prosecuted, and it is unlikely that you can become a U.S. citizen. In most cases, it can be resolved by setting up a payment plan. Learn more about becoming a U.S. citizen.
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