What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Rejected” Mean for My Work Permit Application?

In a Nutshell

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 repay your filing fee to move forward with your immigration application.

Written by ImmigrationHelp Team
Written November 29, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected.” What Does That Mean for My Work Permit Application?

If you’re applying for a work permit and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has flagged your application as “Case Rejected,” don’t panic. This case status doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified for a work permit. It also doesn’t mean that you need to speak with an immigration attorney about appealing your case. A “Case Rejected” status simply means that you made some kind of mistake when filing your work permit paperwork and/or fees.

Because your case was rejected due to a filing error, USCIS has not yet reviewed your application. The agency also has either returned your fee or will do so soon. Once you fix whatever mistakes have been made and resubmit your application and fees, USCIS will review your application and decide whether to issue you a work permit or not.

Reasons Your Work Permit Application May Have Been Rejected

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. If you made a mistake when preparing or submitting your work permit paperwork and/or fees, USCIS will flag your application as “Case Rejected.” Work permit applicants commonly discover that USCIS has rejected their applications for the following reasons:

  • 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 For Incorrect Fee/ Case Rejected Because I Sent An Incorrect Fee

When applicants make multiple filing mistakes, their cases are commonly flagged with these status updates:

  • 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

Specific instructions concerning how to fix each of these mistake types can be found below.

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

A case rejection is not a case denial. If your case has been flagged as rejected, this simply means that you’ll need to fix whatever filing mistake(s) is holding up the review of your application. Once you’ve fixed your mistake and resubmitted it to USCIS, your application process should move forward.

USCIS only issues a case denial for work permit cases after it has evaluated a case and determined that an applicant doesn’t qualify for the benefits that they’re applying for. Under these circumstances, applicants usually need to speak with an immigration attorney about appealing the denial of their application.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected” for My Work Permit Case?

USCIS doesn’t simply reject a case without any explanation. The agency will clarify what mistake was made so that you can fix it.

Missing Signature

A missing signature is the easiest mistake for an applicant to make and the easiest to fix. If this is the only reason why your case was rejected, simply sign the space(s) where your signature is missing and resubmit your entire work permit application and fee.

Incorrect Fee

If you submitted a fee but the fee amount didn’t exactly match the fee listed in the USCIS fee table, you’ll need to submit the exact fee amount requested before USCIS will review your work permit application.

Insufficient Funds

When USCIS processes a fee, the agency usually receives a receipt confirming that the bank account or credit card transaction was approved. If an account doesn’t have enough credit or funds to cover a fee amount, the transaction will be denied. Under these circumstances, USCIS flags a case as rejected due to insufficient funds. To fix this mistake, you’ll need to resubmit your fee via credit card or bank account authorization once you have sufficient funds to cover the cost.

Incorrect Form Version

USCIS regularly updates the forms it uses for immigration and nonimmigration purposes. If you submitted an outdated version of any form required for your work permit case, the agency will reject your application. To fix this error, transfer the information you’ve listed on the outdated version to the current version and resubmit your application for consideration. 

The USCIS website features the most current Form I-765 application. When you visit the Form I-765 page on the USCIS website, take note of any alerts at the top of the page. The agency uses these alerts to notify applicants of procedural changes, fee adjustments, and helpful tips. Also take note of the “edition date” section near the bottom of the page, which will confirm the latest edition of the form that you’ll need to submit when you correct your filing. 

Improper Filing

You’ll need to take different steps to file your work permit application and fees depending upon where you live. If you’ve accidentally sent your application to the wrong USCIS service center or field office, your application may be rejected. Double-check USCIS filing guidance resources before resubmitting your application to ensure that you’re sending your paperwork and fees to the right place.

Multiple Mistakes

If your case has been flagged for multiple reasons, you’ll need to fix each mistake before resubmitting your application to USCIS. Otherwise, your case will be rejected again and the possibility of obtaining a work permit will be delayed again.

Where in the Work Permit Application Process Might I See “Case Rejected” as My Status?

Applying for a work permit can be a complicated process, depending on the unique circumstances you’re facing. In addition to preparing a detailed Form I-765 and gathering supporting documentation, you may also need to apply for an immigration status that will permit you to work. Your case could potentially be rejected any time you file paperwork or a fee with USCIS. For example, your case could be rejected for missing signatures during the immigration status application phase of your case and again for an incorrect fee submitted with your Form I-765.

Any time that you check the status of your case and see that it has been rejected, promptly correct your mistake and resubmit the relevant paperwork and fees to keep your application moving.

When Should I Contact an Immigration Attorney About My Work Permit Case?

Most of the time, case rejection concerns can be successfully remedied without a lawyer’s help. For example, you don’t need a lawyer’s help to fix a missing signature, an incorrect fee, or an insufficient funds issue. Simply fix your mistake and resubmit your application if your case rejection issues are this straightforward.

If, however, you have questions about why your case was rejected or how to fix your mistakes, there’s no shame in asking for help. For example, you may be unsure about which form you submitted is outdated or how to ensure that you’re submitting your application to the right service center.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

Once USCIS has rejected your case, the agency will send you an official notice with a detailed explanation of why it took this action. This notice should arrive in the mail. But sometimes mail gets lost and never arrives. Other times, it’s delayed. As a result, you’ll want to regularly check the status of your case online. By being proactive in this way, you won’t experience delays in the work permit process simply because a USCIS notice got lost in the mail or mail service was slow.

Before checking your case status online, you’ll need to have your 13-digit case receipt number ready. Once you’ve entered this number, click “Check Status” and assess where your case is in the review process. Remember that your case may be rejected at any stage in the application process and could be rejected more than once. By checking your case status, you’ll be able to resolve mistakes quickly and keep your application moving forward.

Checking your status regularly will also help you to stay informed about any additional action that USCIS needs you to take, such as providing your fingerprints or attending an interview.