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Can my N-400 citizenship application be denied for lying at the interview?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2014 | Citizenship and Naturalization |

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This is obviously a big no-no, to say the least. One should never want to lie or make any affirmative misrepresentations to the government when applying for US citizenship. If a notario, consultant, or even attorney advises you to lie, conceal, or hide something from USCIS, the best thing you can do is to look for someone else.

What can I do if someone filled out the form on my behalf and and it is not filled out correctly or there are omissions?

This may be a salvageable situation. The N-400 application for naturalization will rarely be decided on the basis of the information in the application alone. The individual will always be scheduled for an interview to review the answers in the application and to take the civics test. The applicant may want to clarify or amend any incorrect answers during the interview. Additionally, the applicant may furnish or disclose information that may have been omitted from the N-400. Do not assume that USCIS does not know of or about certain things in your past just because you do not indicate them on the application. If you are unsure of the impact about something in your history, the best thing to do is to consult with an attorney before you apply, rather than having to clear things up after you have already filed the application. An officer could potentially have jumped to conclusions about your veracity and character on the basis of leaving something out.

What Can Happen If The Officer Thinks I lied or am lying?

If an immigration officer believes hat you have lied, either on the application or during the course of your citizenship interview, your application will most likely be denied. There may be situations where you can recant during the interview, but generally speaking, the N-400 can be denied on this basis alone, even if you have passed the history and English tests. Aside from the potential criminal implications of having submitted false information on an immigration form or having lied to a federal officer, there are immigration consequences as well. For one thing, your application for naturalization will not only be denied, but you will effectively be barred for at least five years from applying for naturalization again. When an application is denied for false information, the basis is that the applicant has not shown good moral character (the misrepresentation reflects on the person’s character). Since you must demonstrate good moral character for the statutory period, which is normally five years, that means that you would normally have to wait until the lie falls outside the five years being considered for moral character. Even then, the lie will always be in your immigration history, and potentially influence how the naturalization officer views you, even if it is more than five years after the lie.

So, the takeaway is obvious: don’t lie. If you are concerned over facts or circumstances in your history that might affect your eligibility for citizenship, talk to a qualified immigration attorney who will realistically assess whether citizenship is viable and how to address the problem.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the “Subscribe To This Blog’s Feed” button on the left. It is important to understand that the above is only general information and not legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the “Case Evaluation” box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.