5 Reasons why a citizenship application can be denied:

  • Failing the English or Civics Exams:
You must have an acceptable score on the English and Civics exam to be approved for citizenship. Only applicants over age 55 with 15 years as a lawful permanent resident or over age 50 with 20 years can take the civics exam with an interpreter; the rest of the applicants take the exams orally in English.
If you fail your first exam, USCIS will schedule a second exam within 60 – 90 days of the first one. And will deny your naturalization if you fail the second one.
  • Failing to demonstrate Good Moral Character:
According to the USCIS, you must “show Good Moral Character during the five-year period immediately preceding your application for naturalization and up to the time of the Oath of Allegiance.” Keep in mind conduct prior to the five-year period can also affect your application.
The following points will be considered:
–  Misinformation or fraud of any kind on your Form N-400.
–  Fraudulent Green Card history
–  Failure to pay taxes.
–  Failure to provide child support
–  Criminal history
USCIS will check if the applicant has committed a crime in other countries as well.
Permanent denial of citizenship: If the applicant has ever been convicted of a murder or aggravated felony (any crime of violence, theft, or burglary that resulted in a prison term of one year or more will be considered an aggravated felony).
Other crimes may result in a temporary denial of citizenship, meaning the applicant can reapply after five years (or three for applicants married to and living with a U.S. citizen)
  • Not meeting the physical presence requirements
Applicants can travel outside the U.S. as a legal permanent resident but must avoid extended travel (longer than six months in a given year). Extended travel previous to applying for citizenship could disqualify you. The applicant must reside in the U.S. without leaving, from the moment he/she submits their application to the time they are given citizenship.
In addition, applicants for naturalization must file their application for naturalization with the State or Service District that has jurisdiction over his or her place of residence; the applicant must have resided in that location for at least three months prior to filing.
  • Failing to Register for Selective Service
Men between 18 and 26 years old must register for the Selective Service and provide proof for the purposes of naturalizing as a U.S. citizen.
Registering for the Selective Service is not the same as joining the military; registration adds your name to a list in case of a national emergency. A citizenship application can be denied because of this issue.
  • Divorce
Those who apply for citizenship under the three-year rule will need to prove that they are still married to the U.S. citizen spouse who sponsored them for legal permanent resident status; if they have divorced, their application will be denied.
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