Petitioning a Court Hearing for a Denial on a Naturalization Application

You submitted your N-400, Application for Naturalization and you waited over a year only to receive a denial in error. After getting such news you were extremely disappointed. There are two ways to mend your situation:

  • File an N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Naturalization Decision that is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form allows applicants to appeal a negative decision made by USCIS on an application for U.S. citizenship through naturalization or
  • Simply reapply for naturalization.

Take note that if you believe your case was denied because USCIS thought you were not eligible for lawful permanent residence in the first place (for instance, due to fraud) or that you have become deportable (for example, on the grounds of a criminal conviction such as an aggravated felony), visit with your nearest immigration lawyer. Regardless of whatever reason you received a denial on your naturalization application, getting legal advice is the best route to take.

Implementing The N-336 Naturalization Appeal Process

Not every applicant who received a denial from USCIS has a legal stance upon which they can file an appeal. Say, for example, you did not pass the civics exam (after the second try that is normally allowed to applicants), then a denial was correct and an appeal will not work on your behalf. Remember that the idea of filing an appeal is to demonstrate to USCIS that it erroneously denied your naturalization application. For example, the officer handling your case failed to acknowledge that your documented physical disability should have made you exempt from getting tested on the civics test material.

By submitting an appeal, you ask that a higher-level officer within the USCIS system examine your case based on the present record and any additional written evidence you provide. An appeal may not involve that the applicant be personally re-interviewed.

If you desire to file an appeal, you will need to file a Form N-336 within 30 days of the date you were notified of the denial. It is a good idea to submit additional supporting documents to substantiate your request, such as a written explanation of where USCIS was wrong and how the laws concerning eligibility for U.S. citizenship are applicable to the facts of your case. Then if after submitting your appeal it is denied, you can ask that the federal district court in your jurisdiction review your case.

Submitting a New N-400, Application for Naturalization

In many circumstances, it is easier to simply reapply for citizenship than to go through the appeals process. You might have to redo the photos and fingerprints and make payment for the filing fees. Resubmitting a new application gives you a fresh start as well as the opportunity to correct any mistakes you made on the first application and you will not be in a position to persuade the government officer that its agency made an error.

Getting the Legal Assistance You Need When Filing a Naturalization Appeal

If you were denied naturalization and you decide to file an appeal, it is time to contact an immigration attorney. Gambacorta Law Office can be contacted at 847 443 9303. Our team will gladly help you figure out the reason for your denial and will help develop a game plan in moving forward with your appeal.