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What are my options after a green card application denial?

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

Applying for a permanent residency card is a lengthy and costly process. That is why when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies one’s application, it can be devastating for the applicant. But a green card application denial does not necessarily mean the end of an applicant’s permanent residency journey. There are still available courses of action that one may look into.

Options to explore

While there is no assurance that the USCIS will reverse the denial of your application or that the court will decide in your favor, there are available options that you can consider if you continue to aim for permanent residency. Those options include filing:

  • An appeal with the USCIS: Fortunately, the USCIS has an appeal process wherein its Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) can review application denials and determine whether the rejection is correct. However, an appeal would require a hefty filing fee and the applicant must file it within 30 days of the denial notice.
  • A motion to reopen and reconsider: With this option, the applicant will ask the officer who denied the application to reconsider their decision, given that there are new or changes in circumstances since the denial that could affect the resulting decision.
  • A federal lawsuit challenging the denial: While uncommon, applicants can also file a lawsuit with the courts to challenge the application denial.
  • A new application: If the applicant finds that there is indeed an issue with the original application, it is advisable to fix it and file a new one.

However, one should note that not all options are available to everyone. The notice of denial will inform the applicant whether their application can be subject to an appeal. Otherwise, the applicant might have to go for another option.

Understanding the reason for the denial

Before considering any of the options mentioned above, it is important for an applicant to know why their green card application was denied in the first place. This way, they will be able to know which option best applies to their case.

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