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What Happens if You Get Rejected by Immigration?

During the fiscal year 2021, more than 1.4 million visa applications were declined or not approved by the United States Department of State. This represents nearly 9.5 percent of all submissions, which were largely for non-immigrant visa categories, such as skilled workers, tourists, entrepreneurs, students, artists, and a few others. As for the negative adjudications issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the same period, more than 2.5 million petitions were rejected, which represent close to 30 percent of all cases.

Even though the figures above indicate that most visa and immigration applications are approved, the percentage of rejections shouldn’t be ignored. All foreigners should know getting rejected is a possibility in the immigration process, and it’s important to understand what happens in such cases.

Admissibility & Permanence

All visa applications or immigration petitions are subject to a binary disposition. They’re either approved or denied, and although the reasons for rejection may vary, the rationale always boils down to the concepts of admissibility and permanence. Admissibility is the legal term that refers to whether a person is allowed to enter the United States. Permanence can be granted to admissible foreigners based on a visa program or immigration benefit.

Let’s say a businesswoman submits a visa application to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Even if her request is denied because of a mistake she made while completing the forms, she’s still not considered to be admissible until she gets an approval. If, upon correcting the mistake, she’s granted approval, she will be deemed admissible but subject to an inspection at the port of entry, where her status will need to be reaffirmed. Let’s say this woman later requests a visa extension while in the U.S. If she doesn’t get an approval, she’ll only be admissible as long as her permanence doesn’t extend beyond the last date on her visa.

Deportation Due to Inadmissibility or Unlawful Permanence

What happens to foreigners whose petitions are rejected by USCIS depends on their status. In general, if a negative adjudication includes a determination of inadmissibility, this would trigger an administrative process of deportation that will start as soon as legal permanence expires. Let’s say a conditional resident has 60 days left on her two-year green card. If she submits a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, and is declined, she’ll become inadmissible in two months.

In essence, foreigners who are in the U.S. when the State Department or USCIS rejects their applications or petitions will eventually be subject to deportation because of inadmissibility or unlawful permanence. The order of legal actions the government takes in this case are: 

  • Notice to appear
  • Order to show cause
  • Hearing notice

The hearing is when orders for deportation and removal are generally issued. Depending on the circumstances, some individuals are allowed a short period of permanence to leave the country, but others may be subject to detention prior to removal. Getting a rejection from USCIS while in the U.S. is a serious matter that should be reviewed by your San Diego immigration lawyer. In some cases, adjudications can be challenged, a different strategy can be formulated, and a harsh deportation may be prevented. What’s more important is to do everything to avoid a strong determination of inadmissibility. 

If you have questions about any aspect of immigration, contact the immigration attorneys San Diego residents trust. The lawyers at KS Visa Law have vast experience with every aspect of immigration law, and they’re the attorneys to call on when you need the most up-to-date information about immigration regulations. Call KS Visa Law today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

May 2024