My Adjustment Was Denied; Now What?

My Adjustment Was Denied; Now What?

Dear Attorney Gurfinkel:

I filed for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to enable me to obtain my green card in the U.S.  Recently, USCIS denied my adjustment of status and is giving me 30 days to leave the country.  Is there any hope?  Is there anything that I can do?  Can I appeal?  Please help!

Very truly yours,



Dear OV:

First, when a person receives any denial (whether for adjustment of status or other petition or application), they should quickly consult with an immigration attorney concerning their options because, as you can see, there are strict deadlines.

Second, when evaluating options, it is important to determine WHY the case was denied.  Only once you can identify the problem can you evaluate the cure.  Was the case denied because the person was not eligible?  Was it denied because not enough evidence, documents, or proof was submitted?  Did the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) misapply the applicable law to your case and therefore wrongfully denied it?  Was there some miscommunication, misunderstanding, or confusion concerning the facts or circumstances of the case or of your situation, resulting in the denial?  For example, a couple is in a good-faith marriage, but the officer thinks the marriage is fixed because the couple doesn’t properly explain or document their good-faith marriage.  Or, there could be issues relating to the applicant’s immigration status and whether they are eligible to apply for adjustment of status because they had either gone out of status and/or violated their status.

Third, once the issue or problem is identified, be aware that you cannot APPEAL an adjustment denial.  Instead, if the reason for the denial can be overcome or clarified, the person can file a motion to reopen or reconsider, which is like an appeal, except that instead of the matter being reviewed by a higher tribunal, the case goes back to the same officer, asking that he or she reconsider the denial based on new facts, evidence, explanations, clarifications, etc.  Also, depending on the circumstances, a person could possibly REFILE an adjustment application, taking into account the issue of their immigration status or whether a refiling would cause a gap in status.

If a denial is final, a person could renew their adjustment of status in removal proceedings before a judge.

As you can see, there are many steps in evaluating a denial, which is why I would recommend that BEFORE even filing for adjustment (or any other petition or application), you consult with an immigration attorney to make sure that you are eligible, and the attorney can help gather and package the proper documents and other proof demonstrating eligibility.

If you get a denial, you should definitely consult with an attorney right away so the attorney can evaluate your situation in a way I have outlined in this article.  But don’t lose hope, because maybe there could be pag-asa.



Follow us on, YouTube: US Immigration TV and

Four offices to serve you:

1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)

+632 8894-0258 or +632 8894-0239