Denied Citizenship: What Causes It and What Steps Should You Take

applying for citizenship in usa


Everybody has probably heard the term ‘the American Dream’. Most immigrants aspire to come to the United States seeking better opportunities and a better quality of living, hence the need to apply for citizenship in the US. Citizenship grants people privileges in the country that natural-born citizens enjoy, ensuring the full expression of their rights. In order for the citizenship application to go smoothly, one would need the assistance of an immigration lawyer. 

There are cases, however, where a citizenship application gets denied. Application for US Citizenship is called naturalization, and though it might get a reputation for being one of the least complicated immigration laws, that doesn’t mean it’ll always go according to plan. If you wish to further understand naturalization and other immigration law concepts, it would be best to consult with an experienced immigration law attorney.

Understanding Naturalization

As previously mentioned, naturalization is the step to becoming a citizen. Before you can take measures to solve your citizenship denial problem, you have to first understand the procedure for applying for naturalization. 

Certain privileges that American citizens enjoy can also be applicable to individuals who apply for citizenship in the USA. Among them are the right to vote in local and national elections, traveling outside the U.S. with no restrictions, the ability to petition relatives for immigration, and entitlement to healthcare and other benefits. 

Individuals who have been legal permanent-residents for five years can start applying for citizenship in the USA. while those who have been legal permanent-residents through marriage can apply after three years, provided the individual is still married. 

The naturalization process involves the preparation and submission of a naturalization form to the USCIS or the Citizenship and Immigration Services. The applicant will then undergo a citizenship interview conducted by an immigration officer and will be subjected to a language and civics test before swearing allegiance to the United States. Only then will the applicant be formally naturalized. 

Though the process of applying for citizenship in the USA might appear simple on paper, it’s best to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer that can help employ the best strategies for  becoming a U.S citizen, such as assisting individuals in passing language and civic exams.

Grounds for Denying Application for Citizenship in the USA

There are various reasons why your application for citizenship in the USA has been denied. Among the common reasons include failure to register for the Selective Service, which is a must for male individuals seeking citizenship. Failure to register results in the applicant not being able to apply for U.S. citizenship until the age of 31.

Cases such as possession of fraudulent green cards and having a criminal record can also result in an application being denied. If the individual’s green card is proven to be falsified, he or she can face deportation. As for criminal records, it usually depends on the case, but the individual will be subject to immediate hearing in the immigration court for deportation. If an applicant is proven to have failed in paying taxes and child support, he/she can have their application for citizenship in the USA denied. 

Some other reasons for rejection aren’t as grave as fraud. Some can simply mean a failure to measure up to the citizenship criteria. Lack of proficiency in the English language can result in denial of citizenship application, as well as failing the civic test. The civic test comprises a hundred questions, only ten of which will be asked. Applicants who fail to score at least six out of ten can find their application denied. Failure to strike a good impression with answers on the immigration interview can also result in denial of application.

Should your citizenship application be denied, consult with an immigration lawyer who can help you on the best course of action. 

Citizenship Denial Cases

Citizenship denial can spell panic or worry for applicants. Common causes for one’s citizenship to be denied range from serious cases such as fraudulent green cards, criminal records, and skipping out on taxes and child support to basic criteria-related ones such as struggling with English proficiency and doing poorly on the immigration interview. 

When a citizenship application is denied, the applicant can file for an N-366 form also known as a “Request for A Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings.” This form can help one appeal for approval, depending on the cases that surround their citizenship denial. Upon handing in a denial, the applicant can select a different immigration officer who will review the application and go through the entire process from language and civics exams to interviews.

In the event that a citizenship application is denied, one is advised to consult with a legal professional well-versed in the area of immigration law to help navigate the process of applying for citizenship in the USA.

Filing Process

Individuals who have had their applications denied must apply for administrative review within 30 days since denial. They must submit their N-366 form that has been completed at the same USCIS office that denied their application. One can file for extra supplementary documentation and a short summary which entails eligibility for citizenship. Upon seeing that the administrative review request is correctly filed, the USCIS will reach out with a date for the scheduled hearing. A filing fee of approximately $600-$605 should be included. 

Court Review Requests

In case your application gets denied again after filing for review, it is advisable to submit the application to the Federal District Court where another officer will conduct the interview to see if it complies with the country’s immigration law. If you choose to have your application reviewed by the federal district court, you must accomplish it within 120 days of administrative denial and have the hearing scheduled in 180 days since the request. 

Seek Legal Help

Schedule an appointment with the New Jersey law firm, Andres Mejer Law by calling (888)695-6169 to get assistance and decide on the best course of action for applying for naturalization and other immigration concerns. The experienced immigration lawyer can advise you in seamlessly applying for citizenship in the USA and guide you in the best course of action should you get denied. Everybody deserves a shot at the American dream and you are no exception. Schedule your appointment with Andres Mejer Law immediately.

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