All the Reasons USCIS Can Deny Your Employment-Based Green Card

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On this site we list 40 reasons an applicant for a student visa can be refused; 34 reasons for a visa denial under Section 214(b); 16 reasons for a K-1 visa refusal; and 14 reasons for an EB-3 visa denial. But not to be outdone, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in its internal training materials, lists 31 reasons to deny an EB-13 multinational executive/manager immigrant petition; 7 reasons to deny a National Interest Waiver petition; 49 reasons to deny an EB-2 advanced degree/exceptional ability petition;  46 reasons to deny an EB-3 professional petition; 41 reasons to deny an EB-3 skilled workers petition; and 29 reasons to deny an EB-3 other workers petition.  These training materials, obtained as a result of filing a Freedom of Information Act request and suing USCIS, offer eye-opening details about the myriad of possible reasons that a petition can be denied. No wonder USCIS did not want to turn these materials over to the public!

There are common threads among some of the above-mentioned employment immigration categories. For example, if the petitioning company does not have the ability to pay the proffered salary or if the position is not full-time, this can serve as the reason for a denial for a multinational executive/manager, an individual with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, a professional, or a skilled or unskilled worker.   Marriage fraud can serve as a bar to approval – regardless of the category.  But many of the reasons are extremely category-specific.

The reasons for a denial under the multinational executive category that are detailed in the USCIS documents focus on whether the individual beneficiary will work in an executive or managerial position.  Such a denial can be triggered because of a vague description of the job duties or too “few employees” in the US company. Another subset of refusal rationales relates to the petitioner: is it merely acting as an agent for the foreign company? Has it been systematically operating for the past year?  For the advanced degree category, among the reasons for a refusal cited in the USCIS materials is that the offered position does not require an advanced degree. For the professional category, a bachelor’s degree in the “wrong field” will be fatal, as will a position that does not qualify under this category.

 As you can see there are dozens of legal nuances for each category of employment-based immigration. Some of the terminology is extremely nebulous. An overzealous USCIS examiner or consular officer looking for a reason to deny you can always find a reason – whether the refusal reason has a basis in fact or law or not.  If you believe that you have been improperly denied, feel free to contact us.