Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Denied

Home > Blog > Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Denied

Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Denied

The goal for many green card holders is to become U.S. citizens. However, becoming a U.S. citizen is not automatic after becoming a green card holder. Rather, those who seek U.S. citizenship must apply, and their applications may or may not be approved, depending on various eligibility factors. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have experienced immigration attorneys who help clients in the Chicago area to successfully apply for citizenship.

Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship

To obtain U.S. citizenship, one must go through a naturalization process, which requires the applicant to first apply for citizenship by completing and filing Form N-400 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS).

Before submitting the application, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of submitting the application
  • Must have been a green card holder for the past three or five years, depending under which category they are applying for citizenship
  • Must have continuous physical presence and residence in the United States
  • Must be able to write, read and speak basic English
  • Must show good moral character
  • Must show a knowledge and understanding of basic U.S. history and government
  • Must show loyalty to the U.S. Constitution and
  • Must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

Being eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship is, however, only part of the naturalization process. Once the application is submitted, a USCIS examiner must determine that the applicant is not disqualified from being a U.S. citizen on other grounds or reasons provided under the law. There are many reasons that an application for U.S. citizenship may be denied, but the main ones are as follows:

Failing to Meet Financial Obligations

If the applicant has been ordered to pay child support but has failed to do so, then this will be a good reason for their application to be denied.

This can also be the outcome if the applicant has failed to pay taxes or is behind in paying their taxes. This is by far the most common reason many applicants are denied citizenship, but it need not be fatal. If you owe taxes, then you should contact the IRS and arrange to pay the taxes. The IRS will usually agree to a payment plan to pay the overdue taxes. 

Fraud on the Application

If there is evidence of fraud or if the USCIS examiner handling the file suspects fraud, an application for citizenship can be denied on that basis alone. Fraud is usually established if the applicant provides information on their application or says things at their interview that are inconsistent or contradicted by other documents.

USCIS will usually provide an opportunity for the applicant to overcome the fraud finding, and in some cases, an applicant is able to do just that, usually with the help of an experienced naturalization lawyer.

Reach Out to a Chicago Citizenship Attorney

If you are interested in applying for citizenship, contact our office today for a consultation to determine your eligibility and to guide you on how you can address issues or problems that may result in denial of your application.