Top 4 Reasons Green Card Renewal Denied

Denials of green card renewal applications are on the rise. According to USCIS, 34,444 applicants had a green card renewal denied in fiscal year 2014. That’s a 56% increase compared to the previous year.

USCIS reporting for 2014 shows that 781,701 applications for green card renewal (Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) were received by USCIS and just over 639,014 were approved. Many are getting denied. When an application is denied, USCIS 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.

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There are actually very few ways to get your green card renewal denied. Most people won’t run into a problem. Here are 4 of the most common reasons a green card renewal can be denied by USCIS:

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 been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, 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 is 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, you will be asked 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, this must be disclosed. 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:

A judge ordered you deported or removed.
You signed a stipulated removal order.
You were caught at the border and immigration officials decided to complete Expedited Removal paperwork on you. (This is different than simply being refused entry.)
“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 of 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 a green card renewal won’t be denied for filing too early, it will likely be rejected. 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, readWhen 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 citizen or immigrant working in the United States, you are obligated by law to file a tax return. Although this won’t likely get your green card renewal denied, it will become problematic. You could be prosecuted, and it is unlikely that you can become a U.S. citizen. Learn more about becoming a U.S. citizen.

Delays in Your Form I-90 Application
Most people are not affected by the problems listed above, and most people can file Form I-90 to renew a green card without the help of a lawyer. On average, it takes about three months to replace or renew a green card. But there are many reasons that a Form I-90 application could be delayed. Some of these reasons that a green card renewal may be delayed include: inconsistencies, incomplete fields, ambiguous information, and incorrectly filed with USCIS.

Additional Resources

Green Card Center
Green Card Renewal Fee Keeps Climbing
How to Read a Green Card
How to Replace/Renew a Green Card
Register for a New Green Card on 14th Birthday
My Green Card Was Lost or Stolen
U.S. Citizenship Resource Center


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