Form N-400 is used to request US citizenship via naturalization. Lawful permanent residents of the United States who meet the eligibility requirements can apply for citizenship using the N-400 form. Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of the United States if you were born outside of the country, which is done through the United States citizenship and immigration services.
If an immigrant has held a green card (permanent residency) for at least 3-5 years or meets various military service requirements, they become eligible to apply for US citizenship.
Immigrants must devote attention and diligence to the citizenship process.
Applicants for citizenship sometimes receive a denial and are left wondering why it happened.
If you are planning on applying for citizenship, be aware of the reasons why your application may be rejected. Denial can be frustrating and set back your plans, so it is best to avoid any potential pitfalls.
We will review the five most common reasons your citizenship application gets denied.
1. Criminal record
If you have been convicted of a crime, even if it was just a misdemeanor, your application will likely be denied. It is essential to disclose any criminal convictions on your application, as lying about them will only result in further delays or denial.
Some grave offenses can prevent you from becoming a citizen and perhaps result in your removal from the country. Suppose you have had an altercation with the law in the last five years. In that case, even if it was in another country, you should consult with an immigration attorney to handle the issues and figure out how to navigate your unique application. The USCIS lists several instances of actions that they believe demonstrate bad moral character, such as:
⦁ Imprisonment for 180 days or more over the previous five years
⦁ Illegal gambling
⦁ Failure to pay support or alimony
⦁ Habitual drunkenness
⦁ Violation of any controlled substance laws
⦁ Crimes against a person involving intent to harm
2. Incorrect or false information on Form N-400
Every piece of information on your Form N-400 needs to be factual. Your application will most likely be rejected even if you made a simple error and did not mean to supply misleading information.
3. Not being in the United States
An applicant for citizenship must have been physically present in the United States for at least half the time required for continuous residence. A citizenship application may be denied if you do not spend the required time in the United States. Traveling outside the United States for six months should be avoided regardless of your visa.
4. Not paying taxes
Turning in your taxes on time and in full, like paying child support or alimony, is critical to your path to naturalization. Meeting your financial commitments demonstrates to the USCIS that you are responsible and prepared to maintain good moral standing. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you should be honest with USCIS. Working with an immigration attorney, USCIS, and a tax advisor demonstrates that you are committed to resolving the situation. If you have any outstanding tax debts, you will need to take care of them before your application can be approved.
5. Failure to register for selective service
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 who wants to become a citizen of the United States, you must register for Selective Service. Failure to do so is a common ground for denial of citizenship.
There are ways to appeal a denial based on this decision. However, you must be able to demonstrate that failure to register for Selective Service was not a deliberate act.
If you are applying for citizenship, be aware of these common reasons for denial. If you know the potential reasons for denial, you can avoid them and increase your chances of a successful citizenship application.