Fighting Back: A Guide to Appealing Your Green Card Denial

Fighting Back: A Guide to Appealing Your Green Card Denial

Fighting Back: A Guide to Appealing Your Green Card Denial

A green card denial can feel like a punch to the gut. Time, effort, and hope invested – all seemingly for nothing. But don’t give up! In 2020 alone, USCIS processed over 7.7 million applications, and denials happen. This guide will equip you to fight the decision.

Why Was My Application Denied?

Before appealing, uncover the reason. Common culprits include:

  • Not meeting current immigration law requirements.
  • Missing paperwork.
  • Security or health concerns flagged.
  • Mistakes made during application.

Taking Action: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Review the Denial Notice: USCIS will explain the green card denial in this document. This is key to understanding their decision and your next steps.
  2. Can You Appeal? Not all denials can be appealed. Check the notice for appeal eligibility and deadlines.
  3. Motion to Reopen/Reconsider: If you believe the decision resulted from a legal or policy error, file this motion within 30 days.
  4. Gather More Proof: If the denial stemmed from lacking evidence, collect the required documents to strengthen your case.
  5. Submit the Appeal Form: If eligible, file Form I-290B with USCIS, along with the fee and all relevant documentation.
  6. Waiting for a Decision: After submitting, expect a waiting period as USCIS reviews your appeal. The timeframe varies depending on your case.

Tips for Success

  • Know USCIS Policies: Familiarize yourself with their policies to ensure your appeal meets all requirements.
  • Seek Professional Help: Consulting an immigration attorney can offer valuable guidance throughout the appeal process.
  • Timeliness and Thoroughness: Meet all deadlines and ensure your appeal is comprehensive and well-documented.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on any changes in immigration law that might affect your appeal.

FAQs: Green Card Denial Appeals

  • Appeal Timeline? It can take several months to a year for a decision on your appeal.
  • Can I Stay in the US During the Appeal? This depends on your specific circumstances and current immigration status.
  • Do I Need a Lawyer? While not mandatory, an experienced immigration lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success.


Appealing a green card denial is complex. It requires a strong understanding of immigration laws and meticulous attention to detail. However, remember – you have options and resources available.  With the right approach and potentially professional help, you can effectively navigate the appeal process.