Common Reasons for Denied Citizenship

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Common Reasons for Denied Citizenship

Obtaining citizenship is not always a given. There are numerous hurdles that can come up during the process that could cause USCIS officials to ask for more information or even deny your application. Here are some reasons why USCIS may deny citizenship.

Lack of Good Moral Character

This is by far the most common reason for citizenship rejection. This is another way of saying that USCIS will look at your criminal record and could reject your application if it finds certain offenses. Not every single conviction is grounds for denying citizenship, but some crimes that you might not think are major are on the list. Here are some offenses that could indicate a lack of good moral character to USCIS:

  • Gambling
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Prostitution
  • An offense against the person with the intent to harm
  • Controlled substance violations
  • Habitual drunkenness

Failure to Pay Income Taxes

Those with green cards have the same obligation to pay federal and state taxes as citizens. USCIS will run a check to see if you have filed and paid taxes, or if you have had any other problems with the IRS. You cannot be behind on your taxes when you apply for citizenship. You may consider delaying your application while you work out your tax issues with the IRS. 

Lack of Physical Presence

In order to be eligible for citizenship, you must have been physically present in the U.S. for a certain period of time. The requirement is that you have physically been in the country for 30 out of the 60 months of your green card period. In addition, you must have been in the country for six months out of each of the prior five years. USCIS can track your presence based on entry and exit records.

Fraud in the Immigration Process

You must answer all questions on the application honestly. USCIS will pay close attention to any inconsistencies in your application, and they will ask you about them. If they think that there was something wrong with your application that was not an oversight, they could reject it. In addition, if USCIS thinks that you may have obtained a green card improperly, that could impact your citizenship application.

Failing the Citizenship Exam

Applicants are expected to learn some principles of civics and pass an English assessment as part of the citizenship process. Failing would lead to rejection. It is vital to take this exam seriously and to study because there are 128 questions on it. There is also an oral component to the test. Recent changes to this test have made it even harder to pass, lengthening the exam and adding more difficult questions.

Experienced Citizenship Attorneys in the Midwest

If you are applying for citizenship, you are always better off with a knowledgeable attorney helping you with the process. This could eliminate or help you address things that may be a roadblock. Contact attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC online to learn about how we can make a difference.