Can I-485 be denied after I-130 is approved?

Question: Can I-485 be denied after I-130 is approved?


Yes, an I-485 application (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) can be denied even after the I-130 petition (Petition for Alien Relative) is approved. The I-130 approval establishes a qualifying family relationship, but the I-485 focuses on the applicant’s eligibility to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident.

Reasons for I-485 Denial:

  1. Inadmissibility Issues:
    • If the applicant is found inadmissible to the U.S. for reasons such as criminal convictions, prior immigration violations, or health-related issues, the I-485 can be denied. Some grounds of inadmissibility can be waived, but not all.
  2. Failure to Meet Requirements:
    • The applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria for adjustment of status. This includes being physically present in the U.S. and having entered the country lawfully.
  3. Public Charge Grounds:
    • If the applicant is deemed likely to become a public charge (dependent on government assistance), the I-485 can be denied. Providing a sufficient Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) from a sponsor can help mitigate this risk.
  4. Fraud or Misrepresentation:
    • Any instances of fraud or misrepresentation in the application process can lead to denial. This includes false information provided in either the I-130 or I-485 applications.
  5. Insufficient Documentation:
    • Failure to provide necessary supporting documents or evidence can result in denial. This includes medical examinations, proof of lawful entry, and any required background information.
  6. Failure to Attend Interviews:
    • Applicants are typically required to attend an interview as part of the I-485 process. Missing the interview or failing to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE) can result in denial.
  7. Security Concerns:
    • If the applicant is found to pose a security risk, the I-485 can be denied.

Steps to Take if I-485 is Denied:

  1. Review the Denial Notice:
    • Carefully review the denial notice to understand the reasons for the denial. The notice will provide detailed information on why the application was denied and whether you can appeal the decision.
  2. Appeal or Motion to Reopen/Reconsider:
    • You may file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or a motion to reopen or reconsider with USCIS. This involves presenting new evidence or addressing errors in the original decision.
  3. Refiling the I-485:
    • In some cases, refiling the I-485 application may be an option if the issues leading to the denial can be resolved.
  4. Seek Legal Assistance:
    • Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you understand your options and navigate the next steps. An attorney can provide guidance on how to address the reasons for denial and improve your chances of success in subsequent applications.

For a more detailed explanation and guidance on handling an I-485 denial, visit this comprehensive resource: Can I-485 be Denied after I-130 is Approved?.

Understanding the potential pitfalls and ensuring thorough preparation can significantly enhance the chances of a successful I-485 application. Professional legal support can be invaluable in navigating this complex process.