As the United States seeks to get its green card processing back up to normal speed, it is worth revisiting some of the issues in which an applicant can effectively be denied a green card. Sometimes, these reasons span beyond misdemeanor crimes, missing application questions, or getting convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) also highlights other, more subtle issues in which an applicant can be denied a green card—such as the involvement in a dictatorial party or having an affiliation with a supposed terror organization.  

While many immigration blogs highlight rather obvious concerns such as having an affiliation with a dictatorship, they don’t really go into details of what this would consist of and they also miss another crucial aspect—the fact that as U.S. foreign policy is constantly evolving. As new current events unfold around the world, the U.S. as a watchdog is also shifting its perception of who it views as a threat based on principles such as universal human rights, democratic governance, corruption, etc.

Therefore, ones nationality at the time of their I-485 submission, combined with current events,  might result in increased vetting of an individuals I-485 application and their personal record if the State deems it necessary. This is always up to the discretion of the immigration officer presiding over the case.

Press Releases 

If you are worried that your green card case might be scrutinized in light of recent events pertaining to your country of nationality or origin, it is a good idea to check with the State Department’s press releases in relation to international events. For example, the Secretary of State usually posts on Twitter condemning the attacks or human rights violations that are being committed by foreign governments or parties around the world on a weekly basis.  

For example, Burmese nationals who apply for a green card in the United States today are usually vetted to see if the individual in question has any relationship to the government military, which has been found guilty of committing war crimes and abusing protestors in recent years. The U.S. government usually checks for affiliation via social media channels, bank statements that would provide evidence that an individual is closely aligned with a certain organization, as well as attestations or other evidence that the individual is aligned with the mission of the organization in question.

For more information regarding this issue, please see the following USCIS link and peruse the drop down menus for more specifics: https://www.uscis.gov/laws-and-policy/other-resources/terrorism-related-inadmissibility-grounds-trig

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