Family Immigration
Factors That May Impact the Naturalization Process

Factors That May Impact the Naturalization Process

Factors That May Impact the Naturalization Process

Applications to become a U.S. citizen is known as the naturalization process. Not all applications are approved – rather, some are denied for a variety of reasons. If you are in this position and reside in the Hickory or Huntsville area of North Carolina, read on to learn about some of the reasons why naturalization applications may be denied,  and get in touch with our immigration law office for more information and advice.

There are several reasons why naturalization (citizenship) applications may be denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which processes those applications, but the most common reasons include the following:


Your application for naturalization may be denied if you owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you do not disclose this information.  However, owing back taxes to the IRS is not an automatic disqualification for naturalization. An applicant who shows that he or she is trying to resolve their tax issues, such as by arranging to pay the taxes with the IRS under some payment plan, could have their naturalization application approved if that is the only eligibility issue.

Child Support

Under U.S. immigration law, an applicant who has a minor child or children who do not live with them may have to prove that he or she is financially supporting his or her child or children. If the applicant has a court order to pay child support, then the applicant may have to show evidence that he or she has complied with that court order. If an applicant is not in compliance with the court order, the application for naturalization may be denied. 

However, owing back child support is not always an automatic bar to citizenship. Although citizenship will be denied in cases where an applicant has willfully failed to provide financial support to his or her dependent child or children, a parent who can provide a legitimate explanation as to why he or she has not met their financial responsibilities for child support may still be able to naturalize.

Selective Service

Nearly all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants who are 18 through 25 are required by law to register with Selective Service, a system of military deployment commonly known as “the draft.” An applicant who is required to register, but has not done so will have their application for citizenship denied or delayed.

If you are required to register, but have not done so, and you must do so to be eligible to apply for citizenship. You can register on the Selective Service System’s website. You may also have to explain why you registered late. 

Good Moral Character

To be approved for citizenship, one must also prove that he or she is a person of “good moral character”, which is an all-encompassing expression which means the person has not behaved in a manner that USCIS finds so egregious that the person should not be a  U.S. citizen. Some of these moral character issues are a permanent bar for naturalization, but others are temporary.

Speak with a North Carolina Immigration Lawyer

If you are in North Carolina and have questions or need help with your U.S. citizenship application, contact our office for a consultation. We help with a wide range of immigration and naturalization matters.

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