The United States immigration process is highly complex. In order to fully understand the process, you need to understand the factors that could affect your status or even your initial application. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the policy allows an annual limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants into the United States (with a few exceptions).
For most, applying for a green card is the first step into entering the United States – but these days, receiving a green card has become one of the more difficult tasks for immigration. If you are applying for a green card, a few things can influence your ability to be approved.
What Factors Could Affect My Green Card?
Many people apply for a green card each year and are denied. This is often because the application is completed incorrectly, or they do not understand the factors used to determine eligibility. If you are applying for a green card, it is best that you speak with an attorney. An attorney can help you file the necessary paperwork but also any potential appeals – to increase the likelihood of an approved green card application.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
There are several basic ways to qualify for a green card, including:
- Having a family member that is already a permanent U.S. resident – such as a spouse or parent.
- Having a job or job offer in the United States in which your employer is willing to sponsor you into the country.
- Being an entrepreneur with at least $900,000 to invest in a United States business that will create jobs for the country, as of June 2021. Previous requirements started at $500,000 if the petition was submitted on or before November 21,2019.
- If you are fleeing persecution in your country – you may qualify for refugee or asylum status, depending on your circumstances.
Proving You Are Not Inadmissible
Even if you meet the basic eligibility requirements above, you could be denied a green card if you cannot show that you are not inadmissible into the United States. Those that pose a danger to the country financially, in health, or on a criminal basis will automatically be disqualified from receiving a green card. Some are denied admissibility even if they are not a threat.
For example, on your green card application, if you omit important details or conceal something, you could be denied and considered inadmissible in the future. For example, a hospitalization for tuberculosis that you did not include on your application could lead to permanent inadmissibility. Listed below are other factors that can impact immigration status in the U.S.
#1. Being Arrested or Convicted of a Crime
Being arrested or convicted of a crime can negatively impact your ability to immigrate. Not only are you at risk of having your work visa request or citizenship application denied, but you also risk deportation. Anytime someone is arrested, the arrest is registered with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Your personal information is then uploaded into the federal database, where immigration officers and other law-enforcement officials can access your information.
If you are found guilty of a crime, the outcome of your case will have an impact on your immigration status as well. For example, if you plead no contest, plead guilty, had a guilty judgment entered against you, entered into a pretrial diversion program, or another type of plea agreement, this will be taken into account when reviewing your application.
#2. Tax Issues
The U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services department will be paying a close eye on applicants who are not in good standing regarding their taxes. If you owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you do not necessarily need to worry about your application being denied, but you should be prepared to show USCIS that you have made efforts to get your account in good standing.
#3. Leaving the United States
Before you visit your home country or take a vacation outside of the United States, it is important to understand how this trip could have an impact on your immigration status. You must adhere to specific citizenship rules when seeking permanent residency and citizenship. These include the following:
- You must have five continuous years of U.S. residency.
- Do not leave your permanent U.S. residence for more than six months.
- Do not make multiple trips that add up to more than six months.
- You must be present in the United States for at least half of your residency before applying for U.S. citizenship.
- You must be a resident of your state or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district for at least three months before applying for citizenship.
Keep in mind that you must complete your citizenship interview and fingerprinting process in the United States. You cannot perform these tasks outside of the U.S. If you must leave the country for any reason, be sure to contact your immigration attorney to protect your citizenship application.
#4. Losing Your Job
Foreign nationals have the right to work in the United States by obtaining green cards through employer sponsorship programs. They must submit an I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker to USCIS. If you lose your job while applying for a visa, you may need to begin your citizenship application or temporary visa application again. If you are unsure what your next steps should be after losing your job with a temporary visa, reach out to your immigration lawyer for guidance.
#5. Mistakes During the Application Process Are Common
Applying for a green card requires that you fill out paperwork and prepare your application in accordance with the green card guidelines. Sometimes you can destroy your chances for approval just by ignoring the instructions or accidentally skipping one critical step. Failure to follow instructions or pay the appropriate fees can lead to an application denial.
While typically the U.S. immigration authorities reviewing your application will send it back to give you the opportunity to correct your application, there are other times it will be denied with no opportunity to correct the errors.
#6. Get Assistance
If you have a Las Vegas immigration issue or you are concerned about immigration law, contact the attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group. We can assist you with your case. Contact us now for a consultation or fill out an online contact form with your questions.