Though USCIS receives thousands of applications, probably the form they receive the most is Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The US citizenship application is a 21-page form with complicated legal language. Completing the entire citizenship application without any mistakes is complicated.
Filling out the application yourself is risky: a single mistake can cause an application to be denied. The bottom line: if you want to become an American citizen, the US citizenship application has to be filled out perfectly.
What follows is a list of the top 10 reasons why a US citizenship application can be denied.
1. Not Paying Taxes
Make sure you have no pending obligations with the IRS before filing your citizenship application. If you don’t pay your taxes, your application might be denied.
2. Not Paying Child Support
Complying with child support payments is just as important as paying your taxes. If you are behind on child support payments, your N-400 citizenship application might be refused.
3. Not Registering for the Selective Service
All males applying for American citizenship must register for the US Selective Service. If an application is denied because of man fails to do so, they may be unable to refile until they are 31.
4. Having a Criminal History
USCIS will check for any citations, arrests, or other violations in an applicant’s criminal history. Note that some crimes can cause an automatic denial of citizenship or deportation.
5. Possession of a Fraudulent Green Card
If USCIS discovers that your Green Card was issued fraudulently, they can deny you citizenship. US immigration services can also refer you to an immigration judge for deportation proceedings.
6. English Proficiency
You must have some level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English. This is critical, as English is the principal language in the United States.
7. Lying on the Citizenship Application
If you give a false or misleading answer on your citizenship application, you will be denied. Be careful when answering questions, especially about criminal background.
8. Failing the Civics Test
Failing the civics test is another reason many people have their citizenship application denied. A USCIS officer asks 10 out of the 100 possible questions; 6 must be answered correctly.
9. Failing the Naturalization Interview
During the US naturalization interview, you will be asked questions about your application in English. A USCIS officer will look for inconsistencies in an application and for anything that might seem suspicious.
10. Not Renewing Your Green Card on Time
If your Green Card has expired, your citizenship application can be denied. You should begin the Green Card renewal process at least six months before it expires.
Becoming an American citizen is no easy task. The US citizenship application is complicated and it’s easy to have an application denied. Because these errors can be costly and time-consuming, it is even more important for you to file your US citizenship application correctly the first time.