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What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Rejected” Mean for My EB-5 Green Card Application?

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November 10, 2022

Key Takeaways

The USCIS case status “Case Rejected” means that you didn’t file your immigration paperwork correctly, so USCIS did not review your case. If USCIS rejects your case, it will return your original filing fee. To have your case reviewed, you’ll need to fix the issue that caused the rejection. Common issues that lead to rejection include filing the incorrect form version, paying an incorrect fee amount, and not signing a form.

If you see the “Case Rejected” status on your USCIS account, you’ll need to refile your application and pay your filing fee to move forward with your immigration application. If you aren’t sure how to correct the mistake after reading this article, you may want to contact an attorney for help with your case.

Table of Contents

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected.” What Does That Mean for My EB-5 Green Card Application?

If you filed a green card application as a foreign investor through the federal EB-5 program and your case was rejected, it means you made a mistake on your application.

Upon receiving an application, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines whether it meets the minimum requirements. Minimum requirements include a complete, properly signed form with all correct fees and any required supporting documentation or evidence as necessary.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, USCIS will reject your case without reviewing it and return your filing fee. The good news is that a rejection is usually based on an improper filing that is correctable rather than the failure to meet eligibility requirements. USCIS will send you Form I-797C: Notice of Action with more information about why it rejected your EB-5 application.

It is your responsibility to fix the mistake and refile your application. Luckily, this is often easy to do. However, it can lengthen the green card application process. USCIS will treat your resubmitted application as a new application, and the date of your application’s resubmission will be your new filing date.

Reasons for Rejection

The following are statuses that USCIS may include on a Notice of Action. Each outlines a different reason your case may be rejected:

  • Case Was Rejected Because It Was Improperly Filed
  • Case Rejected Because The Version Of The Form I Sent Is No Longer Accepted
  • Case Was Rejected Because I Did Not Sign My Form
  • Petition/Application Was Rejected For Insufficient Funds
  • Case Rejected Because I Sent An Incorrect Fee

If you made multiple mistakes in your application, you may see two of these statuses combined:

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Form Not Signed
  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Incorrect Form Version
  • Case Rejected For Form Not Signed And Incorrect Form Version
  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee

Does the Case Status “Case Rejected” Mean the Same Thing as “Case Denied”?

No. Having your case rejected doesn’t mean that your green card was denied. When USCIS issues a “Case Denied” status, it means the agency reviewed your forms and decided not to grant you an employment green card based on the merits of your application. This is much more severe than having your case rejected, which just means you made a mistake that needs to be corrected before USICS can review your eligibility.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected” for My EB-5 Green Card Case?

If you see the status “Case Rejected” for your EB-5 green card application, take action to fix these issues. Below are common reasons applicants are rejected and the action to take to correct them.

Case Was Rejected Because It Was Improperly Filed

USCIS will reject your case because it was “improperly filed” if you send your application to the wrong USCIS location, which is usually a service center or field office. The correct location for submitting your EB-5 application is based on where you live and what form you are filing. The USCIS Form I-526 direct filing address webpage provides this information.

You may also see this status if you file the wrong application for your situation. This requires you to fix more than a simple error on your application. If this happens, you may want to get legal help to ensure you file the correct application the next time. Our nonprofit can refer you for a free consultation.

Case Rejected Because The Version Of The Form I Sent Is No Longer Accepted

USCIS sometimes updates its forms. If you don’t use the most recent USCIS form, it will reject your application and you must complete the application again using the correct form. To ensure you’re using the correct form, check the information under “Edition Date” on the Form I-526 website.

Petition/Application Was Rejected For Insufficient Funds

Most USCIS forms require a filing fee. You can find all filing fees listed by form on the USCIS Fee Schedule. Note that if you pay with a check that is not dated within the previous 365 days, USCIS will reject the filing.

If your check is returned because there were insufficient funds in your account, USCIS will resubmit your payment one more time. A second return for insufficient funds will cause USCIS to reject your application. If you’re concerned this may happen, a money order or cashier’s check may be a better option for paying your filing fees.

USCIS also allows you to use a debit card or credit card to pay your filing fees. If you are having problems paying USCIS filing fees, check out our article on tips for affording the fees.

Case Rejected Because I Sent An Incorrect Fee or Case Rejected for Incorrect Fee

If you submitted a fee but it wasn’t for the correct amount, USICS can reject your application. If this happens, you need to resubmit your application and make sure that you include the correct fee based on the USCIS Fee Schedule. If you have any further questions about filing fees or any other relevant issue, our nonprofit can refer you to an immigration attorney who can answer your questions.

Combined Fees Are No Longer Allowed

As of Sept. 1, 2022, USCIS stopped accepting a single, combined fee payment when an applicant files the following forms together:

  • Form I-526: Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, or Form I-526E: Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, together with
  • Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form 131: Application for Travel Document, or Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization.

If you submit a single, combined payment for Forms I-526 or I-526E and the other forms, USCIS will reject the forms and your application for improper fee payment and return the fee. You may combine the fee payment for Forms I-485, I-131, and I-765. However, you must send a separate payment for Form I-526 or Form I-526E.

Case Rejected for Multiple Errors

If USCIS rejects your application because you made two or more of the previous mistakes, you may see any of the following errors:

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Form Not Signed
  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Incorrect Form Version
  • Case Rejected For Form Not Signed And Incorrect Form Version

Be sure to remedy both mistakes before you resubmit your application.

Where in the EB-5 Green Card Application Process Might I See “Case Rejected” as My Status?

Here is a brief summary of the important stages, forms, and fees related to the EB-5 application process. Remember, you may see “Case Rejected” at any point you file any of the following forms or submit any of the following fees.

If you need help filing your EB-5 application, ImmigrationHelp.org can refer you to an immigration attorney for a free consultation.

Step 1: File Form I-526

Step one of the process involves filing Form I-526 by mailing it to the appropriate direct filing address. The filing fee is $3,675, and there is no fee waiver available for this application. You must submit specific forms of evidence with Form I-526 which are described in the instructions for completing the form.

Step 2: File Form DS-260 or Form I-485

If you are living in the United States, you must file Form I-485 with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States. Once USCIS approves your Form I-485 application or upon admission into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, it will grant conditional permanent residence to you and any dependent family members for a two-year period. There is a filing fee of $1,140 and a biometrics fee of $85 associated with this form.

If you are living abroad, you must file DS-260 with the U.S. Department of State to get an EB-5 visa before seeking admission to the United States. There is a $325 processing fee for this form.

Step 3: File Form I-829  

You must submit Form I-829 within the 90-day period before the second anniversary of your admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident. The filing fee for this form is $3,750, and there is no fee waiver available.

When Should I Contact an Immigration Attorney About My EB-5 Green Card or Form Case?

Form I-526 requires specific forms of evidence. If you fail to provide the required evidence, USCIS will reject your case. It may be wise to seek legal help. Immigration attorneys know the legal requirements for Form I-526 and have experience organizing and presenting this type of evidence.  

While legal assistance is not always necessary to get an application approved, if you want some help or don’t understand the reasons why USCIS rejected your case, we can help you find an attorney.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

As your case proceeds through the USCIS system, your case status will change. It’s important to track these case status changes as they happen so you are prepared to take any necessary action.

You can use USCIS’s online status tracking tool to check for status changes in your application. USCIS will also send an official notice by mail when it changes your case status. Keep this notice. It contains your unique 13-character receipt number. This is what you’ll use to track your application online.

If you are notified that your case has been rejected, you must act to remedy the issue or your application won’t be processed. Our nonprofit can help you understand your case status or find an attorney for a free consultation.

Conclusion

Getting an EB-5 green card and understanding the U.S. immigration system can be complicated, but help is available. If your EB-5 Green Card case is rejected by USCIS, stay calm. Remember that you can fix the issue and resubmit your application. If you need some extra help understanding your case, we may be able to refer you to an experienced immigration attorney.

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