More family immigration petitions denied in 2018 versus 2016

Many immigrants come to the U.S. seeking a better, safer life for themselves and their family than they would have had in their home country. Many do so through the proper legal channels, filing the correct paperwork needed to obtain a work permit, visa or green card. However, residents of Kentucky may be concerned to hear that, according to government data, in fiscal year 2018 the number of denied applications for work permits, visas and green cards submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has gone up 37 percent compared to the number of denials in 2016.

The Cato Institute found that the Department of Homeland Security denied 11.3 percent of all applications submitted to USCIS in fiscal year 2018, except for citizenship applications and those brought through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Temporary Protective Status program. In fiscal year 2016, only 8.3 percent of such applications submitted to USCIS were denied. This amounts to approximately 155,000 more denials in fiscal year 2018 than what were issued in fiscal year 2016.

When it comes to family immigration specifically, the greatest uptick in denied family-sponsored application were petitions for fiancés, which increased from 13.6 percent in fiscal year 2016 to 21 percent in fiscal year 2017. Moreover, family-sponsored adjustments to green cards were denied at a rate of 13 percent in fiscal year 2018 compared to 10.2 percent in fiscal year 2016.

These numbers may be of concern to those immigrants who are hoping to lawfully reside in the U.S. However, these numbers should not discourage immigrants from pursuing a family-sponsored visa, green card or U.S. citizenship. With legal help, immigrants can submit a strong application for the documents they need to lawfully reside in the U.S.