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I Passed The Test | Why Was My Citizenship Denied?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2020 | Citizenship and Naturalization |

Applicants are often under the misimpression that once one has passed the history test, he/she has passed the examination and is entitled to citizenship. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of requirements in order to become a naturalized citizen, which an immigration officer must evaluate during the course of the interview. In fact, there are a number of grounds which may serve as a basis for denial. They include the following:

Failure to Establish:

  • Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence
  • Continuous Residence
  • Physical Presence
  • 3 Months of Residence in State
  • Good Moral Character
  • Attachment and Favorable Disposition to the Good Order and Happiness of the US
  • Understanding of English (reading, writing and speaking)
  • Knowledge of American civics
  • Lack of Prosecution

The first ground is one that was recently incorporated into the Policy Manual, although it has been the long-standing practice of USCIS for many years now. This ground essentially refers to situations where a lawful permanent resident may have obtained his/her green card through some sort of irregularity—whether by fraud or mistake. In these types of situations, the government’s position is that the applicant did not acquire permanent residence lawfully. Because this defect is something material, USCIS will not naturalize the applicant. In some cases, especially in circuits outside the 3rd, the government will go further and initiate removal proceedings to revoke the green card. This underscores why it is critical to assess your prospects—risks and benefits—before submitting an application for naturalization. Undoubtedly, there are tremendous benefits to becoming a citizen of the US. However, for some, there are potential liabilities that need to be carefully assessed before going through the process.