People in California who are applying for a green card renewal should be aware that denials are on the rise nationwide. From fiscal year 2016-2017 to fiscal year 2018-2019, denials increased from 30,242 annually to 103,140.

While the majority of green cards are still approved, there are four main reason for denial. First, a person might be denied for committing a crime. This is not a clear-cut area since there is no single list of all crimes that are deportable offenses. By working with an attorney, some people might be able to get a green card renewal despite having a deportable crime on their record. Another common rejection reason is lying on the application. People should be honest about any help they had on the application, including help from an interpreter. If they are concerned about being truthful, they might want to consult an attorney.

If a judge has ordered a person to be removed or deported, the person has signed a stipulated removal order, or the person has been stopped at the border with expedited removal paperwork completed, the person is considered to be “ordered removed” and can have their green card denied. Applying by using the wrong form, traveling too much and having unpaid taxes can also result in denial.

People who are working on a green card renewal, who want to become naturalized or who have other immigration issues may want to contact an attorney. An attorney might be particularly important for people who have any irregularities or complications in their application, but given the complexities of immigration law, others might also benefit from this assistance too. People should not assume that they can rely on the experience of a friend or relative since immigration law is fast-changing. Instead, they should make sure to seek out current information.