What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Was Denied” Mean for My VAWA Application?

In a Nutshell

If you see “Case Was Denied” as your USCIS case status online, it means that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received and reviewed your Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) application and decided not to grant you a green card. If USCIS denies your VAWA case, it will send you a denial notice in the mail explaining why. It can be disheartening to go through months of processing for a VAWA green card only to have your case denied. If this happens, you may want to get legal advice about the next steps.

Written by ImmigrationHelp Team
Written February 8, 2023

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Was Denied.” What Does That Mean for My VAWA Application?

Unfortunately, “Case Was Denied” means that USCIS has received and reviewed your VAWA green card application and decided you do not qualify. You will not receive your filing fee back, and you will not receive a green card through VAWA. USCIS will mail you a notice further explaining why it denied your case. 

This can be extremely disappointing news after waiting for months for USCIS’ decision. However, there is still a chance for you to pursue an immigration attorney’s help in appealing your case or seeking out other options for a green card.  

Where in the VAWA Green Card Application Process Might I See “Case Denied” as My Status?

You may see the case status “Case Denied” at the very end of your application process. After USCIS has received and reviewed your application via Form I-360 for VAWA status and Form I-485 for adjustment of status, it may then decide you do not qualify. 

Throughout the process, you may see a variety of other statuses indicating the progression of your application, including: 

  • Case Was Received: This is the first status you should receive from USCIS, indicating it has received your initial application. This important notice of receipt contains your 13-digit receipt number, which you can then use to check your following statuses. 

  • Case Was Rejected: This status indicates there was some kind of issue or mistake with your application. You will have the opportunity to fix the problem and refile your application again. 

  • Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent: USCIS may need more evidence or documentation to verify the facts of your application. For example, USCIS may need more proof you suffered abuse from a U.S. citizen or green card holder. 

  • Case Was Transferred: USCIS may move your application to a different service center for processing. For example, if one of its service centers has a staffing shortage, moving your case may enable it to process faster. This does not indicate that there are any problems with your application. 

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

No, “Case Was Denied” does not mean the same thing as “Case Was Rejected.” They sound very similar but mean different things. “Case Was Rejected” means there is some kind of problem with your application. For example, you may have used an outdated form version. However, you can fix the problem and resubmit your forms, although it will extend the length of your application processing. USCIS has not yet made a decision on your application. 

On the other hand, “Case Was Denied” unfortunately means that USCIS reviewed your application and decided you do not qualify for a green card under VAWA. You will not get your filing fee back or a green card. This will be more difficult to handle. You most likely should pursue legal assistance to appeal your case or find another way to get status. 

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Denied” for My VAWA Green Card Case?

If your case status says “Case Denied” for your VAWA green card case, your next steps depend on why your case was denied, which your notice should explain. If you believe you have a reason to appeal your case, you should probably hire an immigration lawyer to help you appeal. Your lawyer can also help you to determine if you have a good chance of appealing or if you should pursue another option.  

Otherwise, you may be able to apply again, depending on the reason why USCIS denied your case. You will need to prove that something about your case or eligibility for a VAWA green card changed from your previous application. If you try again, you will have to file a new application and pay another filing fee. Again, it is best to seek an immigration attorney’s advice. 

When Should I Contact an Immigration Attorney About My VAWA Green Card Case?

Many people successfully obtain a VAWA green card without an immigration attorney’s help. However, since USCIS denied your application, you probably need an attorney’s help to decide what would be the best next steps. If you are facing specific challenges proving you qualify for VAWA status, it may also be best to consult with an attorney.