Not everyone qualifies for an immigrant visa. You should never assume that it will be easy to get an immigrant visa or that the process involves just “filling in some forms.” Many people are denied immigrant visas each year. Other people learn before they apply for an immigrant visa that they aren’t qualified.
What if my immigrant visa is denied?
If you applied for the immigrant visa without the assistance of a lawyer, you should consult with a lawyer before you do anything else. An immigration lawyer can help you identify why your immigrant visa was denied. Once you understand the reason for the denial, you can then decide what options are available to you. Filing a new immigrant visa application or appealing the denied immigrant visa application will likely be a waste of time and money if you don’t first understand exactly what led to the denial. Seriously. How can you fix the problem if you don’t know what it is?
The reason for the denial will determine your options. In some cases you may be able to file a new immigrant visa application. This is sometimes the case when the visa is denied due to insufficient evidence. In other cases, you may be able to file an appeal if the visa petition was denied. Appeals can be expensive and time consuming, so you should first make sure that you have strong legal arguments to support your appeal.
If your visa was denied because you are inadmissible to the United States, you should discuss your case with an immigration lawyer. Depending on the reason you are inadmissible, there may be an immigration waiver available that would allow you to still qualify for an immigrant visa.
What if I don’t qualify for an immigrant visa based on a family relationship?
Even if you don’t qualify for an immigrant visa based on a family relationship, you may qualify for other immigration options. For example, you may still be able to get an immigrant visa based on employment. There is also a diversity visa program (also known as the green card lottery). There are also other options that eventually could lead to a green card, such as H1B work visas. If you don’t qualify for an immigrant visa based on a family relationship, you should discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer to see if there are other options that may be available to you.