What Are Some Reasons That I-485 Adjustment Of Status Application Can Be Denied?

After entering the United States on a K-1 Fiance(e) Visa, you are required to marry your petitioner within 90 days and file for Adjustment of Status (AOS) with form I-485.

Although there is no time limit to file for AOS, it is in your best interest to submit all the forms and evidence as soon as you have a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Knowing that it can take several months for the USCIS to process your case, the sooner you send it in the sooner you can get your work permit and state drivers license.

What Are Common Reasons That Adjustment Of Status Can Be Denied?

Family based Adjustment of Status generally doesn’t pose a huge risk of being denied unless you did not marry in good faith and do not have enough evidence of a bona fide marriage.

The USCIS wants to thoroughly investigate all cases for Adjustment of Status and make sure they are only approving applications that are legitimate.

There are a few scenarios that could cause you to be denied for the 2 year green card:

1. Overstaying Previous Visas

Expired tourist visa
Expired tourist visa

If you have ever overstayed on previous visa or on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) you will have a tough time at the interview.

You will need to explain why you overstayed after your visa date expired. If you are from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program, that doesn’t mean that you did not overstay.

Most western countries do not need a visa to visit the United States and are granted about a 3 to 6 month stay as a tourist.

If you do not go back home within the time limit, you have technically overstayed and you begin to accrue time illegally in the U.S.

In most cases, you would have had to explain this during your K-1 Visa interview so this shouldn’t cause a complete denial of your Adjustment of Status as long as you are honest.

2. Affidavit of Support

Another major reason you can be denied Adjustment of Status is if you did not submit an affidavit of support or your spouse does not meet the income requirement.

This is an easy thing to correct:

  • If you forgot to include it you need to send it to the USCIS as soon as possible
  • If your spouse does not meet the income requirement, get a joint sponsor

The USCIS wants to make sure that your non-US citizen spouse will not become a public charge and that you are capable of taking care of them financially until they have worked for 10 quarters, they become a U.S. citizen or they die.

If you decide to go with a joint sponsor, the original sponsor (U.S. citizen spouse) still needs to submit their own affidavit of support even if you have no income. You will need to submit a letter explaining why you do not currently have any income.

3. Criminal Record

USCIS does a criminal background check
USCIS does a criminal background check

This can be problematic if you were arrested and/or convicted between the time of entering the United States on a K-1 Visa and before your AOS approval.

Some examples of charges that could get you denied:

  • Prostitution
  • Murder
  • Assault With Deadly Weapon
  • Sexual Crimes

If you were actually convicted, your chances of being denied for AOS is high and you may even be deported.

If you have not yet been convicted, you will have a lot of explaining to do at your interview. It would be a good idea to hire an immigration attorney that is familiar with your situation.

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