Can You Be Denied Citizenship in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Once you’ve begun the application process to become a U.S. citizen—particularly if you’re applying through the process of naturalization—the U.S. government may be able to deny your application and tell you that you’re not eligible for citizenship.

For many people, it makes sense to work with a Milwaukee immigration attorney who understands how the process works (and who can complete the paperwork properly to help avoid any snags in the process).

How Can the Government Deny Your Citizenship?

There are several “grounds for denial” that the U.S. government can use, but the most common include mistaken eligibility, whether you did something that makes you “removable” from the U.S., and whether you meet the eligibility criteria.

Mistaken Eligibility

Sometimes green cards are approved when they shouldn’t be. When you apply for citizenship with Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representatives will review your entire case file—including your original green card application. If there’s a mistake, you could be stripped of your green card and, as a result, be rendered ineligible for naturalization.

Being “Removable” From the U.S.

If you’ve committed a crime, violated immigration policy, or even done something like failed to let USCIS know about an address change, you could be considered “removable” from the United States. If that happens, you could lose your eligibility to apply for naturalization.

Failing to Meet Basic Eligibility Criteria for Naturalization

There are several criteria you must meet to be eligible for citizenship in the U.S., and failure to meet any of them will make you ineligible for naturalization. You must:

  • Be at least 18 when you file
  • Have permanent residence in the U.S. for a prescribed number of years
  • Have demonstrated good moral character in the years leading up to your application
  • Be able to speak, read, and write in English
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. for a prescribed amount of time during your residency
  • Pass the citizenship test
  • Be willing to affirm your loyalty to the U.S.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Attorney?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee immigration lawyer, call us right away at 414-383-6700. We’ll evaluate your situation and make the appropriate recommendations on what you can do next.

Carlos Gamino