Why Many U.S. Citizenship Applications are Rejected

If you want to live permanently in the United States and become a true American, expect it to be a long and difficult process. There are documents to sign, backgrounds to be checked, tests to be conducted before you receive a coveted green card.

Every year, millions of people move to the land of the free and home of the brave. As of 2018, there are about 45 million immigrants living in the U.S. Many more are hoping to create a new life in one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world.

However, not all who want to enter are permitted. Numerous applications for citizenship are denied all the time.

What to Do If Your Application is Denied?

First, call an experienced immigration attorney. They will be able to explain to you the basis of the decision and whether you have grounds to make an appeal. Maybe you have overlooked an integral piece of information in your application. Maybe the authorities made a wrong and unfair decision. Your attorney will tell you if you can appeal and what you can do next.

Here are the most common reasons for denied applications:

Criminal Record

Part of the process that will decide whether you will be granted a green card is a thorough background check. The officer assigned to you will look at your application and will review your criminal history. This includes any arrests and citations that are on your record.

Not all violations will result in an immediate rejection, but some will. Serious crimes like murder, for example, will automatically bar you from becoming a citizen of the United States. In addition, if you are convicted of a serious crime, you are permanently denied citizenship and you may be deported back to your home country.

judge at a court

There are also crimes that may temporarily make you ineligible for citizenship. A gambling crime, crimes involving moral turpitude, or spending over 180 days in jail for any crime may cause your application to be denied until you have proven that you have changed and that you are capable of becoming an upright member of the society.

Unpaid Taxes

Aside from a previous criminal record, your history of tax payment or nonpayment will also be considered by immigration. When applying for citizenship, make sure that you do not have any outstanding tax obligations because it may lead to rejection.

Part of the requirement of naturalization is having a good moral character. Refusing to pay taxes, therefore, is a bad sign.

Providing Inaccurate Information

Everything that you write on your application should be true and accurate. Your life will be investigated by the authorities and if they found that you have lied, you will not be granted a green card. Many, for example, will check the box beside the word “no” when asked if they have a history of being arrested. This one is easy to check. There would be a record if you were apprehended by law enforcement in the past. If they found an error in your application, that counts as falsification and you will be denied citizenship.

There are other requirements for naturalization, such as proficiency in the English language. If your application for a green card is denied, it is best to talk to an attorney to determine your next course of action.

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