Why Was My Application for Marriage Green Card Denied?

There are many different reasons and conditions of denied applications for marriage Green Card. For a successful marriage Green Card application, let’s look into what factors could cause red flags and make the marriage Green Card application denied.


In general, if all requirements and requested documentation has been submitted, then the approval rate for a marriage Green Card application is relatively high. However, it is still important to understand the reasons for marriage Green Card denial in order to avoid any unnecessary delays or unwanted attention. The following are several reasons for denied marriage Green Card applications.


I. The marriage must be a bona fide marriage

The basic foundation that needs to be laid before the approval of a marriage Green Card application is that the underlying marriage be legally recognized and valid in the place of residence. Whether there are additional guidelines due to same-sex marriage, or concerns of legitimacy due to religious considerations, or whether one of the spouses were previously married, the marriage Green Card applicant and the main sponsor spouse must show proof that their marriage is legal and valid.

  1. Either the marriage Green Card applicant or the main sponsor spouse has not finalized a divorce
    • As mentioned in other sections, should there be a previous marriage, a final certified copy of the final decree of divorce must be submitted to prove to the USCIS that the previous marriage is no longer valid
    • Should there have been a previous marriage that ended due to a death of the other spouse, certified documentation showing the death certificate and final decree of divorce need to be submitted
  2. Same-sex marriage ceremony was held in a country that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage
    • When a same-sex marriage is formalized, it must be recognized by the jurisdiction of residence. The same-sex marriage must be legally binding and legal in the location that it occurs to be recognized equally by the United States
    • This is also the case for other marriages that are not legally recognized in the location that it occurs. Should your marriage not be legally recognized, you must ensure that a marriage is legal and official before proceeding with a marriage Green Card application
  3. Proving that the marriage is authentic and not entered into for the sake of violating USCIS guidelines or purely for immigration purposes

The marriage Green Card application must be free of errors

Although the marriage Green Card application can be a lengthy process, it is imperative that all the information provided is accurate and reviewed in detail. Should there be missing information or inconsistent information, this is a common reason that marriage Green Card applications may be denied.

  1. Missing information on forms submitted: While filling out the forms, should there be missing information or skipped, this could lead to a denied application for marriage Green Card

  2. Missing required documentation: All required documentation must be submitted adequately. Should the forms require foreign documents, they need to be translated and certified in English, and provided along with the non-translated version to be sufficiently considered by the USCIS or the National Visa Center (NVC)/U.S. State Department

  3. Missing photographs: The marriage Green Card application requires multiple photographs that need to be government authorized passport-style photographs. Failure to provide the properly requested photographs could lead to a denied application for marriage Green Card

  4. Missing fees: Improperly including the proper fees could result in a denied application for marriage Green Card

  5. Missing signatures: Failure to sign all forms by the required party could lead to a denied application for marriage Green Card. All required signatures must be in ink and original, and not be scanned or electronic signatures


Failure to meet the minimum income requirements

As part of the marriage Green Card application process, it is imperative that the main sponsor is able to meet the minimum income requirements for the application. This amount is based on 125% of the Poverty Guidelines set by Form I-864P (HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support) set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Although there are other ways to meet the minimum income requirements, it is imperative to ensure that all requirements are adequately met during the marriage Green Card application process.


IV. Ineligibility to apply for a marriage Green Card

Although there are many ways to be eligible for a marriage Green Card, it is often easy to overlook certain statuses that will deem the marriage Green Card applicant ineligible.

  1. Immigration status concerns

    • Traveling individuals will have a presumption that they did not enter the United States with the intent to obtain a marriage Green Card. It is crucial that the marriage Green Card applicant understand the time restrictions imposed on them by their visa
    • Illegal entrants into the United States are generally ineligible to apply for a marriage Green Card application while still residing within the United States. However, there may be options to apply for a marriage Green Card application from the applicant’s home country
    • If the marriage Green Card applicant is engaged in removal proceedings, they will not be allowed to apply for a marriage Green Card while residing within the United States
  2. Generally ineligible

    • Certain marriage Green Card applicants who are convicted of certain crimes are deemed ineligible to be marriage Green Card applicant
    • Convictions of certain crimes can deem the main sponsor ineligible to sponsor a marriage Green Card applicant
    • Medical concerns from the medical examination can deem a marriage Green Card applicant ineligible for entry into the United States, making the applicant ineligible for a marriage Green Card applicant
    • Inconsistencies, fraud, or misrepresentations during the marriage Green Card application forms and the evidence submitted may deem the applicant ineligible. Furthermore, providing inconsistent information during the marriage Green Card interview may also deem the applicant ineligible