Why was my Marriage Green Card Denied? Understanding the Reasons

Hi Alvva community! Today, let's tackle an important topic - common mistakes when applying for a Green Card for yourself or your spouse. As immigrants, we each dream of a better life in the United States. And obtaining permanent residency is often the first step towards realizing that goal.

But this process should not be taken lightly. In fact, part of navigating this journey successfully lies in understanding the requirements for obtaining a Green Card, and more importantly, the reasons why your application could be denied. Surprisingly, more than 10% of applicants who meet all the requirements still have their applications rejected.

At Alvva, we want to make sure you're well-equipped for the journey ahead. We're here by your side, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and ensuring your documents are error-free. Remember, even a small error can catch you off guard, and we don't want that happening.

You're not just someone trying to fill out forms, you're a part of our community, and we want you to succeed. If you’d like support preparing your Green Card documents, get started today.

Common Reasons for a Green Card Denial

Not Meeting Eligibility Criteria

For someone to be eligible for the Green Card, you must belong to one of the following groups - below are the main ones. If not, you may face immediate rejection. In this article, we’ll be focusing on applicants who are part of the first group, and are eligible via marriage.

  • Having close family members who are US citizens or permanent residents.
  • Being sponsored by an employer.
  • Being a refugee or seeking asylum
  • Being a victim of trafficking or abuse in their home country.
  • Residing in the United States since a date prior to January 1, 1972.

No Proof of Authentic Relationship

An essential part of the I-130 document package is proving the validity of your marriage. If this proof isn't confirmed, the Green Card can be denied. For marriage-based visas, it’s important to make sure you also meet the following:

  • You have marriage certificate issued by a government agency
  • If you were previously married, proof that the prior marriage has ended (divorce or death certificate)

If you’re required to attend an interview, the interviewer's primary goal is to determine if your marriage is real. They'll ask questions about your relationship, your daily life together, and your plans for the future, so it’s important that you answer in a genuine way, and to ensure that your answers are consistent. It may also be helpful to prepare additional evidence, like shared finances, photos of your time together, and any children's birth certificates.

Violating Immigration Laws

As an applicant, you’ll need to comply with immigration laws, since being subject to deportation can lead to a denial. Remember, using or submitting false documentation or lying would imply committing immigration fraud. For example, if you’re already in the US and entered via a tourist visa, you may be asked to provide proof that you aren’t misusing the tourist visa as a way to fast track your Green Card process. Lastly, make sure any travel plans you have don’t conflict with your Green Card application. In general, if you’re already in the United States, you’re not allowed to leave the country while your application is processing, but you are free to travel within the US.

Criminal Activities and Security Concerns

This is a prevalent reason for a Green Card's rejection. A history of crime, drug usage, or terrorism results in an immediate 'No' from the USCIS. If you believe there's any chance to dispute these charges or offer clarification, we recommend seeking specialized immigration legal advice immediately.

If an applicant has transmissible diseases of public health significance, like active tuberculosis, gonorrhea, or syphilis, or if they have a history of mental health issues or prevalent addictions, it can result in Green Card denial.

Errors During the Application Process: Mistakes to Avoid

Failing to Attend Scheduled Appointments

Missing out on an appointment for biometric data collection or an interview without rescheduling can lead to the denial of your the Green Card application.

Failing to Submit Additional Documents When Requested

After submitting your I-130 documents, you may receive a request to submit additional documents needed to prove eligibility. Failing to respond within the given period may result in rejection.

Avoidable Errors within Documents and Forms

The Green Card application could be rejected for any of the following items, so it’s very important that you double-check everything before submitting:

  • Not presenting birth or marriage certificates with certified English translations.
  • Leaving blank spots when filling out forms. If it doesn't apply, you need to write 'N/A' (Not Applicable).
  • Missing handwritten signatures on the forms
  • Photos do not meet the official specifications.
  • Payments for USCIS fees in full

Lastly, consider your finances

The petitioning spouse must demonstrate they have enough financial resources to support their spouse, which usually means earning at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level. It’s also important to make sure that you have enough finances to cover not only government fees, but also other expenses, such as document preparation and legal fees, and related travel.

With Alvva, you have an ally in every step of your immigration journey. Together, we can make your dreams a reality. With our Case Center, you can compile all your information and documents in one place, and we’ll do the rest to make sure your forms are filled out correctly, with our Approval Guarantee. Take a couple minutes to see if you’re eligible today.