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Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Rejected

Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Rejected

Reasons Your Citizenship Application Was Rejected

Many foreign nationals who seek and obtain U.S. permanent residency (Green Card) have their goal to become U.S. citizens. However, not everyone who is a Green Card holder who applies for citizenship and naturalization is approved. At Vestal Immigration Law, we have seen and helped clients who have had their applications denied for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include the following:

  1. Having a Criminal Record. As part of the application for citizenship, an applicant is required to have their fingerprints taken. This allows the immigration officer reviewing the application to conduct a criminal history search to determine if the applicant has been arrested, has been charged with a criminal offense, or if they have been convicted of any crime. Though not all criminal issues result in denial of an application, most do, and if an application is denied for this reason, the applicant will be placed in deportation or removal proceedings where an immigration judge must determine whether the person should be deported.
  2. False Information on the Citizenship Application. If an application is found to have false information, then that will be a reason to deny the application. It does not matter whether the false information is a single incident or several. For example, if someone has an arrest record and they answered “no” to the question of whether they have been arrested, then that alone can result in their application being denied. The person may not have intended so, perhaps because they were arrested but never charged, but according to the immigration officer, they have lied.
  3. Fraudulent Green Card. The immigration officer reviewing the citizenship application will review the applicant’s immigration record and, specifically, information related to how they obtained their green card. They may also ask the applicant questions during an interview, and if they find inconsistent information or fraudulent submissions made by the applicant, the officer will deny the application and have the applicant placed in removal or deportation proceedings.
  4. Failure To Pay Taxes. Not paying taxes is not only something that can send one to jail, but an applicant for citizenship who has outstanding tax bills can have their application denied on that basis alone. However, just having outstanding or unpaid taxes alone is often not the reason the application is denied. Rather, it is having an overdue tax bill for which the applicant has done nothing – such as making payment arrangements with the IRS  – that would result in denial.
  5. Failure of a Civics Test or Knowledge of English. All applicants for citizenship are required to take and pass a basic civics test as well as to be proficient in basic English. There are materials available for an applicant to study for these basic tests, and most people easily pass the test as it is that simple. However, some have difficulty passing it. The immigration examiner will also ask questions during the interview to make sure the applicant has some level of ability to read, write and speak English. With good practice, most applicants can demonstrate this.

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If you are applying for citizenship and need help in doing so, contact our office today for a consultation.

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