Top Reasons Why Your Green Card Renewal Was Denied and What to Do Next

Applying for the renewal of your green card can be a hassle, but it is usually a formality. While applying for your first green card can be quite complicated, applying for the renewal of your green card is generally straightforward and easy.

However, there are still many cases where a green card renewal application gets denied. Knowing the top reasons why a green card renewal gets denied can help you avoid mistakes and get your green card renewed without a hassle.

Green card renewals are fairly simple, but approval can still take quite some time. You can apply for a new green card once you have less than six months remaining on your current card. It is recommended that you begin the process as soon as you are eligible to account for any delays and avoid any gaps in the validity of your permanent residency card.

Can a Green Card Renewal Be Denied

While green card renewal applications are typically a matter of going through the motions, it is possible that these applications can get denied. Sometimes a green card renewal is denied because of problems that affect your rights to permanent residency. More often, though, an application for green card renewal is denied because of an error made by the application filer.

Reasons for a Green Card Renewal to Be Denied

There are a variety of reasons why your green card renewal might get denied. The best way to avoid problems is to be aware of them before they occur. Some of the most common reasons that a green card renewal application is rejected include:

  • You were ordered removed
  • You were convicted of a crime
  • You filed the wrong renewal form
  • Your application was incomplete or inaccurate

You Were Ordered Removed

Being ordered removed from the United States will almost certainly result in any renewal application you submit being rejected. As the name suggests, a removal order will result in your removal from the United States or denial of your reentry. You are officially ordered removed when:

  • A judge orders you to be deported or removed
  • You sign a stipulated removal order
  • An immigration official at the border completes expedited removal paperwork on you

You Were Convicted of a Crime

Conviction of certain crimes can affect your ability to get your green card renewed. If you have been convicted of a crime, it is essential that you speak with an immigration lawyer before applying for a renewal of your green card. They can advise you if there are any issues that could affect your renewal process, along with steps you can take to remedy the situation.

You Filed the Wrong Renewal Form

Filing the wrong form if you have a conditional green card can be an easy mistake to make. Conditional green cards are different from regular green cards in that they are only valid for a two-year period rather than 10 years. If you continue to meet the conditions of your green card, you can apply to have the conditions removed and enjoy unconditional permanent residency.

Unlike the situation with a regular green card renewal, you will not submit Form I-90 when renewing a conditional green card. The only time a conditional green card holder should submit Form I-90 is if their card is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Instead, those with a conditional green card will need to file either Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions from the green card and receive a new permanent resident card good for 10 years. Which of these two forms you need to file will depend on the specifics of your situation.

Your Application Was Incomplete or Inaccurate

Your green card renewal application must be filled out completely and accurately. Leaving any part of Form I-90 blank or providing false information can result in a denial of your renewal application.

As long as you read all of the instructions for correctly filling out your green card application, you shouldn’t have any problems. The most common mistakes made when filing a renewal application include:

  • Missing a required signature
  • Forgetting to attach a required document
  • Failing to attend a scheduled biometrics appointment
  • Failure to pay the filing fee or biometrics fee

Including inaccurate information on your application does not have to be intentional to result in a Form I-90 denial. Inaccurate information on a renewal application is most often the result of a simple mistake. After you complete your application, reread each section to make sure that the form is filled out correctly.

Note: In fiscal year 2020, our lockbox facilities processed more than 9.5 million applications and rejected 11% of them. The most common rejection reason is that applicants and petitioners did not submit the correct fees. (USCIS report)

Other Related Issues for a Green Card Renewal Denial

Financial issues are a concern for many applicants. While financial problems such as a bad credit score will typically not directly affect your renewal application, unpaid taxes could lead to fines or prosecution. A conviction for unpaid taxes could hinder your chances of getting your green card renewed.

Another issue that can affect your permanent residency status is extensive travel outside of the country. It is recommended that if you are living in the U.S. as a permanent resident, you should avoid any trips outside the country for a period of longer than six months. If you need to take an extended trip out of the country, inform the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

You will need to respond to any communication you receive from them in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in USCIS believing that you have abandoned your permanent resident status. This could not only affect your ability to apply to renew your residency, but it could also mean the loss of your current status.

Green Card Denied: What Next?

If your green card renewal application gets denied, you can not appeal the decision. Instead, you have the option to file a motion for USCIS to either reopen or reconsider your case.

Filing a motion to reopen your case will require that you provide new information to be included as evidence in support of your permanent residency renewal.

On the other hand, filing a motion to reconsider means that you feel the decision by USCIS was incorrect. You must provide evidence that there was an incorrect application of the law or policy, which led to the denial of your green card renewal application.

How ImmigrationDirect Can Help if Your Green Card Renewal Was Denied

The green card renewal denial rate has risen sharply in recent years. It is essential to ensure that you file your renewal application correctly to avoid any problems. Whether you are applying for a renewal of your green card, applying to remove conditions, or applying for a green card for the first time, ImmigrationDirect can help.

We can help ensure that all green card forms you may be required to complete, including Forms I-90, I-130, I-485, I-751, I-824, and I-829, are completed and filed correctly. Don’t let a little mistake affect your permanent residency status in the United States.

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