Three Reasons You May be Denied Citizenship

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Three Reasons You May be Denied Citizenship

If you are applying for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, the worst possible outcome, of course, is that your application is denied. Understanding the most common reasons for denying a Form N-400, the form used to apply for citizenship, can help you avoid them and give you the best chance of success with your application. Below are the three main reasons you may be denied citizenship.

You are Not Eligible for a Green Card

In most situations, in order to become a U.S. citizen you must first hold a green card. When you apply for citizenship as a green card holder, it gives the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a reason to review your entire immigration file. Sometimes when conducting this review, the USCIS will determine that you should never have received a green card in the first place. When this is the case, the USCIS may strip you of your green card, therefore revoking your right to become a U.S. citizen.

You Have Done Something That Warrants Deportation

Under 8 U.S.C. Section 1227, there are certain grounds that allow a person to be deported. For example, being convicted of certain crimes or even failing to advise the USCIS that you moved within a certain time period are grounds for being deported. Additionally, if you leave the United States for more than six months and then return, you may be denied entry. If the USCIS notices that you committed a deportable offense, they cannot only decide to strip you of your green card, but also place you into removal proceedings.

You Do Not Meet the Eligibility Criteria

For immigrants to the United States, obtaining citizenship in the country is the best possible outcome. As such, there are a number of requirements you must meet before you are granted citizenship. To obtain citizenship you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time that you apply for citizenship
  • Have carried a green card for the minimum required amount of time, which is usually five years, but is less for some applicants
  • Have been physically located in the country for a minimum of half of the years that you have held permanent resident status
  • Have spent most of your time in the United States and not spent significant periods of time in another country
  • Have remained in the same state for at least three months prior to applying to a certain USCIS office
  • Have shown that you are of good moral character for several years prior to applying for citizenship
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English
  • Be able to pass a test asking about the U.S. government and the country’s history
  • Be willing to state your loyalty to the United States and serve in the military, if necessary

Although failing to meet these criteria may result in a denial of your citizenship application, you likely will not be stripped of your green card in most cases. You can correct the reason for denial and apply for citizenship at a later time.

Our Illinois Immigration Lawyers can Help With Your Application

It is extremely disappointing for immigrants when they learn that their application for citizenship has been denied. If you are going to submit your application soon, speak to one of our Chicago immigration lawyers that can help. At Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, LLC, we can ensure that your application is correctly and completely filled out, and give you the best chance of success of securing citizenship. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.