The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can be confusing, lengthy, and potentially expensive. Everyone who files their N-400 naturalization form may hope that they will become a citizen within the coming years, but thousands of applications are denied every single year. Here is a look at some of the most common reasons that citizenship applications are denied.
A Criminal History
When applying for citizenship, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will obtain the individual’s biometrics and then run a background check to see if they have committed any crimes in the U.S. or their home country. Certain crimes such as murder and aggravated assault will automatically bar an applicant from becoming a U.S. citizen for life.
Lying or Making Mistakes on the N-400
Even if an innocent mistake is made on the application, the individual will most likely be denied citizenship. This commonly happens with questions involving the applicant’s criminal history. Since they were not convicted they might check the “NO” box when asked about being arrested, and that could be viewed as potential fraud. Working with a San Diego immigration lawyer can ensure your application is filled out and submitted correctly.
People who have been in the country for a period of time and are not paying taxes or have outstanding problems with the IRS will most likely be denied. This goes for other forms of debt as well such as failing to pay child support.
Failing the English Test
Applicants do not need to have complete mastery over the English language, but it is vital that they know the basics and can have simple conversations. People who are over the age of 55 who have been in the country with a green card for over 15 years are exempt from this rule.
Failing to Hold Continuous Residence
Anyone who is applying to be a citizen must remain in the country for at least half of his or her statutory period. It is an unfortunate fact that applicants who travel frequently or visit home for long periods may break the continuity of their residence.
If you need help filling out and filing an application or are wondering about other immigration services, call KS Visa Law at (858) 874-0711. A trusted San Diego immigration lawyer can provide a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.