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What Are Common Challenges in the Green Card Application Process?

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Understanding the Complexity of the Green Card Application Process

The citizenship and immigration processes in the United States are quite complex. There are numerous paths to legal immigration, including family-based immigration, employment immigration, and options for entering as a refugee or asylum seeker. However, every path has its own application and eligibility requirements, and a mistake with the lengthy paperwork can cause your application to be denied.

Understanding the common challenges that you might face in the green card process can help you prepare for them.

Green Card Eligibility Categories

The first challenge is choosing the right path to a green card. Green card eligibility categories include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Family immigration situations. You may be able to do this if you are a qualifying relative of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age or older. This includes spouses, unmarried minor children, and parents as well as some other types of relatives in certain cases.
  • Employment immigration. Workers with certain knowledge and skills, and even some unskilled workers, may be able to apply for a green card related to their work within the United States.
  • Refugees and asylees. This covers individuals who have held refugee or asylum status for at least a year.
  • Victims of certain crimes. Individuals who are victims of human trafficking, abuse, or other crimes may be eligible for a green card.

Numerous other eligibility categories exist, and the requirements and steps for each category differ. Talking to an immigration attorney about which category best applies to you before you begin the green card application process can help you choose the right option and avoid unnecessary work.

Common Application Errors

Another challenge is completing the necessary paperwork and application processes without any type of administrative error. Some common errors that can delay your green card process or result in a denial include:

  • Filling out and submitting the wrong form. The green card process involves numerous forms, and not all forms are applicable to each individual. You must select the forms relevant to your situation.
  • Incomplete or inaccurate forms. Overlooking a single area or question on a form or entering the wrong information in a field can cause delays in your application process.
  • Missing deadlines. In some cases, you may face specific timelines for filing certain forms or documents related to your application. Missing these deadlines can result in denial of your application.

Other Common Green Card Application Obstacles

Even if you complete every form perfectly and go through the process in a timely, accurate manner, you may face other challenges in the green card application process. The nature of the challenges can depend on the type of green card application you are filing. Examples of challenges that people face are summarized below.

Proving a Marriage Is Valid

Family-based immigration that is contingent on marriage may require that you can demonstrate the marriage is valid. This is especially true when the marriage is newer and may be seen as a strategic union only to support the green card process. You may need to provide evidence of your life together to show that your marriage is authentic. You will also need to demonstrate that the marriage is legal and binding; if your marriage wasn’t recognized legally by the country you got married in, for example, it may present a problem in the green card process.

Completing the Labor Certification Process

Getting an employment green card involves a lot of paperwork on the part of the employer. Their employer may need to document the fact that there are not enough qualified individuals within the U.S. already for the position before they can hire through green card processes.

Proper Submission of Medical Forms

Many green card application processes require medical forms. An authorized medical provider must complete and submit the form, indicating that you don’t have certain contagious dangerous diseases or that you are properly vaccinated. Problems with this form can delay your green card approval.

Concerns About Government Dependency

If the government believes that you present a risk of becoming dependent on public funds, your green card application may be denied. Because of this, you may need to present information about your finances, skills, health, and other factors that can help demonstrate you will be able to support yourself.

How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

These challenges are just some of the many obstacles you might face in the green card application process. Working with an immigration attorney who is experienced with this process can help you increase the chances of a positive outcome. Some ways an immigration attorney can help include:

  • Supporting you in understanding what your options for immigration are and which application path is the best choice
  • Ensuring all your documentation is complete and free of errors
  • Helping you to navigate the lengthy application process and ensuring you have the resources you need to succeed with any interviews or other requirements
  • Following up on denials with new paperwork when possible

If you or someone you love wants to immigrate to the United States or is dealing with a green card issue, having an experienced legal team on your side can help. Find out more about what we can do for you by calling the team at Jarrett & Price at 855-909-3021.

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