There are few things that are more important to foreigners than obtaining their U.S. citizenship. Becoming a U.S. citizen provides so many benefits that include steady employment, housing, insurance, among other benefits. Regrettably, the procedure of obtaining legal citizenship in the U.S. is not considered a simple process. The Form N-400, Application for Naturalization used to be a four-page document, currently, it is approximately twenty pages which clearly points out that the process is not as easy as it used to be before. Before applying for naturalization, it is in your best interest to obtain the help of an immigration attorney this way you are not prone to making any mistakes. There are many reasons why a citizenship application can be rejected.
A. Criminal Background Check
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will orchestrate a criminal background check and a biometric screening. The biometric screening is a procedure that records your unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, height, weight, and other features. At this point, they will also perform an extensive background check to see if you have been convicted of any crimes in the U.S. or other countries. It is important to know that particular crimes make a person ineligible for citizenship. For example: if you have been convicted of violent crimes, murder, or an aggravated felony, your citizenship application can be denied immediately, and you can be put in removal proceedings. Other minor crimes will not necessarily face denial. You will be asked to wait a few years, normally around three to five years before reapplying. The point of the criminal background check is to make sure you have a strong good moral character within your community.
B. False or Deceptive Answers on the Application
Every USCIS employee working in the immigration services department in the U.S. understands full well how important citizenship is. U.S. citizenship is very valuable to applicants. Some foreigners go to the extreme of lying or even providing misleading and deceptive information to get the application moved forward. Lying or providing false information can be a costly mistake. If anyone falsifies information in their application, it will be denied. If you ask any immigration lawyer, they will adamantly advise that you provide honest answers on your application. It is better to acknowledge that you committed a nonviolent crime than to lie and state that it never happened. The truth will eventually come out and it is better to write truthful information in your application from the start than to have to face a complete denial of your application.
C. Not Passing the Civics Test or English Proficiency Test
In the first USCIS interview every applicant is asked to take an English and/or civics test. If you fail that test, you will be given a second chance to take another test 60 to 90 days after your first interview. If you did not pass a section of the test, you will be asked to retake the segment of the test you failed. If you failed both sections, you will be required to retake the entire test. Legal representatives and advocates will strongly advise you to use study tools or free prep courses to assist you in passing the test. Your citizenship application will not be granted if you are not properly prepared to take those tests. Failing the tests, a second time will end in a denial of your application.
D. Substantial Financial Struggles
It is a known fact that most Americans are in debt. For example, some Americans have:
- High mortgage prices
- Credit card debts
- Student loans
It is quite unusual to find anyone who is not in some form of financial debt. While having debt may not completely bar you from becoming a citizen, if you ignore certain financial obligations that contribute to moral character, your naturalization application can be denied. For instance, failure to pay taxes or child support are valid grounds for a denial. If you believe that you have a financial obligation that could impact the way the immigration department looks at your moral character, you must make mention of it immediately before it is too late. By making payments towards your debts, paying fines, tax obligations, you might be able to move your application forward.
E. Neglecting Requirements to Meet Residence and Physical Presence
When you are applying for citizenship, the USCIS likes to know where you are and that you are committed to the process altogether. This means that you must maintain continuous residence and a physical presence during that time. If you constantly keep moving from state to state or travelling overseas, it is possible that your naturalization application can be denied. Usually, you will need to demonstrate that you have maintained physical presence in the U.S. for at least 30 months before you can become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If you are uncertain about what this means or if you have further questions about your application call an immigration lawyer. A seasoned immigration attorney will help you see why your application was not granted and aid you by fixing particular issues with your application.
Connect with an Immigration Lawyer Today
Before filing a naturalization application contact your local immigration attorney this way you do not miss chief information throughout the application process. Make notes if you need to and always ask questions when in doubt. Call The Gambacorta Law Office, at 847-443-9303, our attorney specializes in this area of U.S. immigration and our team will walk you through the application step by step.