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What is a Green Card?

What is a Green Card?

Green cards, also known as permanent residency cards, allows foreign nationals to live and work in the United States permanently. Although the process of obtaining a green card can be complicated, there are some things that you should know to be prepared.

Common Reasons Green Cards Get Denied

Making errors on your green card application can cost you an approval. Here’s how you can ensure your green card application is submitted correctly.

  • Complete all forms entirely with all required information.
  • Submit all necessary accompanying documents (i.e., proof of identity, marital status).
  • Submit application and documents in a timely manner.

Green cards may also get denied for the following reasons:

Health Status

Immigrants are required to have a medical exam conducted by a government-approved doctor. The following are some common health-related reasons for a green card denial:

  • The applicant has a communicable disease posing a health risk to the public.
  • Lack of proper documentation proving the applicant has had all appropriate vaccinations.
  • The applicant has refused to receive the required vaccinations.
  • The applicant is addicted to drugs.
  • The applicant has a physical or mental disorder that may be a threat to themselves or others.

Criminal Record

Individuals who apply for a green card must not have been convicted of a crime or have come to the U.S. intending to commit a crime. This includes but not limited to the following:

  • Theft
  • Drug trafficking
  • Prostitution
  • Fraud
  • Aggravated assault
  • Rape
  • Money laundering
  • Child or spousal abuse

A Threat to Security

If it is determined that an individual has engaged in terrorist acts or associated with terrorist groups, they will not be permitted to obtain a green card.

Public Charge

Immigrants receiving benefits at the expense of the government for income support or long-term care are not eligible to apply for a green card.

Illegal Entry Into the U.S.

Immigrants who have entered the U.S illegally will not be granted a green card. For example, entering the U.S. as a stowaway, violating visa terms and conditions or failing to attend a removal hearing.


Although the above reasons are causes for denial, that does not mean you cannot reverse a denied decision through an appeal or filing of certain waivers. While filing a waiver is complex, having legal representation to carefully prepare your case and can make all the difference.

The Green Card Process

The green card process is a complex one and not having a skilled immigration attorney on your side can make the task that much more difficult. There are many different types of green cards with their own set of rules and procedures. Depending on your immigration situation, you may be eligible for a green card under the following categories:

  • Marriage green cards.
  • Immediate relative green card
  • Employment-based green card
  • Special immigrant green card
  • Green card for asylum seekers
  • Green cards for refugees
  • Green cards for members of the clergy
  • Green cards for human trafficking and crime victims
  • Green cards for victims of abuse

The Difference Between Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status

There are two different methods in obtaining a green card — consular processing and adjustment of status. Here’s how each one works:

Consular Processing

To be eligible for a green card through consular processing, immigrants must already have an approved visa petition with a priority date and available visa number. Once this requirement has been met, a green card application is submitted to the United States Embassy or consulate in their country of origin. The applicant will also be required to attend an interview.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is handled in the U.S., and the entire process is overseen by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. You may not be eligible to apply for adjustment of status, but not limited to the following:

  • You entered the U.S. without a visa.
  • You were not permitted or paroled by inspection of an immigration officer.
  • You are employed in the U.S. without authorization.
  • You are no longer legally residing in the U.S.

When it comes to your green card application, you can’t afford to make mistakes. Having an experienced immigration attorney assist you is crucial to increasing your chance of approval. Your immigration attorney can proactively avoid any foreseen complications as well as help you with an appeal, should your application be denied. Contact Revilla Law Firm, P.A. today at (305) 858-2323 for more information on how we can help you with all your immigration needs.

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