Jamaica Magazine

Immigration Question & Answer: Permanent Residence Application

This month’s article will address the issues that applicants face when they receive a denial of their permanent residence petitions. Most applicants who receive a denial of their permanent residence petitions face the uncertainty of removal proceedings or the issue of whether or not to re-file their application or to file an appeal. This month I will answer questions that I receive from applicants who are in this uncertain position.


Question 1: My permanent residence application was denied. However my employment authorization card does not expire for another six months. Am I still able to work despite the fact that my permanent residence application has been denied?


Response: According to Immigration regulations a denial of a permanent residence application effectively revokes any prior authorized employment authorization. The fact that the employment authorization card had not yet expired at the time of the I-485 denial is irrelevant.


Question 2: My permanent residence application was denied. Should I re-file my application or should I wait until I am in removal proceedings.


Response: This is a very common question. The answer is dependent on the reason for the denial of the permanent resident application. In some instances an application is denied for a procedural issue such as the applicant missed the appointment or the applicant inadvertently failed to respond to Immigration’s request for additional evidence. If the applicant is not currently in removal proceedings then it is sometimes permissible to re-file the permanent residence application. In the event that the applicant is already in removal proceedings all issues regarding the denied application and re-filing will be addressed by the Immigration Court.


Question 3: My permanent residence application was denied and I want to file an appeal. If I file an appeal will I be able to have legal status? What is the processing time for my appeal?


Response: The processing time for appeals varies. Immigration processes appeals on a first come first serve basis. Unfortunately, a pending appeal does not confer legal status on an applicant who does not already have legal status.  


Thank you to everyone that had submitted questions to our firm. If you have a general question or an immigration topic, you may submit it to our firm at [email protected]. Your question and our answer may appear in our monthly Q&A article. Please note that the complex questions will not appear in our article and can only be answered via a paid confidential consultation.

About the Writer:
Safiya Byars ([email protected]) is the senior partner and owner in the Law Office of Safiya Byars (www.byarslawgroup.com). She is an active member of the Caribbean and International communities in Georgia. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Montevallo and received her law degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her office is located at 160 Clairemont Avenue, Ste. 200, Decatur, Georgia 30030.  Attorney Byars handles all immigration matters, deportation defense, family law issues, and business formation/litigation. To discuss you case, contact Attorney Byars at 404-992-6506 or 678-954-5809.

About the author

Safiya Byars, Esq

Safiya Byars is the founder and senior partner of the Byars Firm. Attorney Byars serves as the Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Learning Education and the Vice-Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. The Byars firm is located at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite D2, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. The Byars Firm handles Immigration, Family, and Estate Planning matters. We can be reached at 678-736-5600 and email: [email protected].