You just applied to become a US citizen. You filled out the MANY forms, you went and got fingerprinted AND you attended the interview. A few weeks later you find out that your application was denied! What went wrong?
USCIS can deny a naturalization application for several reasons.
- You failed the English OR Civics Test.
- If you failed one of the tests, you can reapply and you will be retested on the part that you did not pass. You should also see if you qualify for an exemption, you can find that article here.
- Lack of Good Moral Character
- USCIS normally looks at the five years prior to your application. USCIS looks at several things as to whether you satisfy the Good Moral Character piece. They make sure that the applicant has not lied on the application. They check to see if the applicant has a criminal record and whether the criminal offense would permanently bar the applicant. USCIS also likes to see that you paid your taxes and any child support. If you are delinquent in your child support or taxes, your application could be denied.
- Fraud in obtaining green card
- USCIS looks at your entire immigration history! They look to see how you obtained status and your green card. It is so important that when you fill out the application or go in for the interview, that you do some prep work and go over your old applications. The officer can ask about your entire immigration history. If the officer decides that you obtained your green card fraudulently than not only will your citizenship be denied, but you could be deported!
- Other reasons your application may be denied:
- You failed to register for selective service if you are a male between 18 and 26.
- You failed to meet the continuous residence and physical presence requirement.
- Failure to meet basic eligibility requirements for naturalization.
If you are denied naturalization, that is not the end. There is an appeals process. You can fill out the N-336 to appeal the denial, but your basis for the appeal should be based in law or a fact that can be easily resolved if explained properly. Sometimes it is also better to wait and reapply for naturalization after five years, depending on the reason for the denial. If your naturalization application was denied please call our office at (508) 438-1198 to discuss your options!