Some immigrants living in Georgia or elsewhere in the nation do not have a green card. To remain in the country as a lawful permanent resident, however, they may request an adjustment of status from the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services. In general, a decision by the USCIS on an application for an adjustment of status cannot be appealed. However, applicants may be able to move the court to either reopen or reconsider the case. It is important to understand what these two terms mean, so that those who find themselves in this situation can make an informed decision.

A motion to reopen involves a review of the decision based on new facts. These facts must not have been included in the denied application. In addition, the new facts must be relevant to the specific issues detailed in the motion.

A motion to reconsider involves a review of the decision on the basis that the law was incorrectly applied based on the evidence of record. Supporting citations to relevant laws must be included, demonstrating that the law was incorrectly applied, and, thus, the decision to deny the application was incorrect. The only evidence and facts that will be considered are those included in the initial application.

So, if your application for an adjustment of status is denied, this need not be the end of the story. However, immigration laws are incredibly complex, and this post cannot serve as the basis for any legal action. Those wishing to pursue a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider will want to make sure they understand how these processes work before proceeding. An immigration law attorney understands these issues and may be a useful resource.