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What happens if my application to renew a green card is denied?

Immigration Services

If a person is a permanent resident of the United States, and their 10-year green card is set to expire within the following six months, they will need to apply for a renewal of their green card, if they wish to stay in the US as a lawful permanent resident. However, not every application for renewal is accepted. Sometimes, a green card renewal request is denied. People in Kentucky and elsewhere who find themselves in such a predicament may feel distressed, but they should know that there are options available.

First, it is important to understand that it is technically not possible to appeal a negative decision. But, one's options include filing a motion to reconsider or a motion to reopen with the office that denied their green card renewal application. In these motions, a person is requesting that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that made the decision reconsider or reexamine the application.

In a motion to reconsider, the applicant must state that the denial was premised upon an incorrect application of the law based on evidence located in the person's file, when their application was denied. In a motion to reopen, there must be new facts stated and documentary evidence submitted that would be applicable, if the person's case is reopened.

Many people have worked hard to gain U.S. permanent residency. Therefore, if their green card renewal is denied, this is an upsetting situation. They may fear they will have to leave the country, the one they now call home. Luckily, there are procedures available to them that may allow them to stay in the country as a lawful permanent resident. It is important for people in such situations to ensure they understand their rights, so they can make informed decisions moving with regards to a green card renewal denial.

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