What if my I-751 Petition is denied – and what can I do about it

After receiving and reviewing your I-751 application if USCIS feels your marriage isn’t genuine  (bona fide) even though you have met all other criteria, your petition can be denied.

Other reasons why your application may be denied

  • Submitting your I-751 form late
  • Insufficient Documentation
  • Dissolved marriage.
  • Unreported Criminal Activity

Late Submission of form I-751

USCIS requires you to submit your form 90 days before the expiration date, and failure to do so can lead to the rejection of your application. Should you decide to submit early, your file will be sent back to you for you to file at a later date within the proper window of time.

Late submission of your I-751 form will lead to instant rejection of your application, with your case sent to immigration court for deportation proceedings to start. You will be notified via text why your application was rejected. Ensure you consult with an attorney immediately this happens.

Insufficient Documentation

For USCIC to approve to your I-751 application, you will have to present all required supporting documents that prove that your marriage is genuine and legitimate. If your marriage has dissolved, you will need to apply for a waiver.

This is why it is so important you submit all documents that will support your claim. If you are still married to your U.S citizen spouse, you will have to present documents such as the birth certificates of your children, property ownership deed or apartment lease which prove you two bear the same surname, copies of utility bills, and copies of your tax filings.

You will want to carefully examine your compiled documents before sending it to USCIS.

Furthermore, the documents you submit must cover the specified period of time, which is two years, considering the fact that you have been on conditional residency. Some people submit documents such as wedding, which of course USCIS finds irrelevant. The documents USCIS need from you are those that will prove that you two have stayed married for the past 2 years.

Unreported Criminal Activity

Your application can be denied for some other reasons apart from a fraudulent marriage. For instance, your fingerprints (biometrics) will be taken when applying for the I-751. This is to enable the FBI to check your criminal background. If they find unreported criminal activity your I-751 application may be denied.

A great amount of care must be put in when preparing your documents for the I-751 petition. To increase the chances of your application being granted, seek the advice of an experience immigration attorney. If you are applying separately from your U.S citizen spouse, you will have to apply for a waiver.

Can I appeal a denial?

Should USCIS reject your I-751 application, you will be sent a letter which will explain reasons why your application was denied. A Notice to Appear (NTA) in the immigration court will also be included in the letter.

No right to Appeal

Immigrants do not have the legal right to appeal should their I-751 application be denied.  Though lacking the legal right to appeal in court, immigrants are given the chance to defend their case before an immigration judge, and if they prove to the judge that USCIS decision to deny your case was unfair, the judge might end up granting them permanent residency. However, you need the guidance of an attorney for this to happen.

If your application was denied because you failed to submit your documents as at when due, you can avoid court proceedings by taking swift action. Once you have submitted your I-751 form, giving reasons with strong evidence why you were late, your application may be approved, and there will be no need for a court proceeding.

Related Links:
I-751 – Overview
I-751 – Immigration Attorney
I-751 – How to Avoid the Interview
I-751 Interview – What to expect

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