Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter that says that you are scheduled for a naturalization oath ceremony. This is a ceremony where you swear and affirm to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, to renounce any other allegiances, to defend the United States against any enemies, and to perform military or civilian service if required by law.
Why Would Someone Be Denied Naturalization?
As we’ve already covered, one of the most common reasons is when they’re not able to show sufficient ability in conversational English. Another frequent issue is the good moral character requirement. There are people who are blanket ineligible, in other words they have something in their past that makes them ineligible for life to become a US citizen. They aren’t the ones who are applying in the first place. It’s the people who have something that wouldn’t make them automatically ineligible, such as a driving while intoxicated or domestic violence charge. It may have been resolved but it can still affect their naturalization application depending on the timing.
Let’s say it happened seven years ago, that it took them a year to get through the court system, and then they pled out and they were given two years of probation. Well, that puts them at four years since the case was resolved. If they applied for citizenship at that point they would have a problem, because it has to have been five years since the case was completely resolved, including the satisfactory completion of all probation requirements.
People often miscalculate and start counting from the wrong point, and that’s one of the most common reasons to be denied citizenship through the naturalization process.
What Can I Do If I’m Denied Naturalization?
It depends on why you were denied. If you were denied based on a blanket ineligibility then that would be a permanent bar to you becoming a US citizen. There’s not much you can do and you may end up becoming ineligible to be a resident which could place you in removal. That’s why it’s very important you have someone who knows what they’re doing on your side.
Let’s say it’s something that can be cured, such as an issue with the good moral character requirement. In that situation you can wait until you’ve completed the five years based on the proper calculation and then reapply for citizenship as long as you don’t have any other eligibility issues and you can pass the test.
If you have failed the English requirement twice you can go and study. They don’t hold it against you if you come back in six months and apply for citizenship again. In fact they applaud you for that because they want people to be able to become US citizens. If the problem is that you haven’t developed sufficient English language skills, then you can do whatever you need to in order to fix that and then reapply when you’re eligible.
Generally speaking, you’re eligible to reapply immediately if you so choose unless there is a good moral character problem or a blanket ineligibility. Just remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. Unless you are willing to put the time and effort into learning conversational English and learning the testing questions and the words that are going to be written and read, then I wouldn’t advise you to apply again. It would only be a waste of money until you are prepared to pass that examination.
Can I Reapply For Naturalization If I Am Denied?
That depends on why you were denied and your eligibility under the criteria for naturalization. It is possible to reapply for citizenship even if you’re denied, but once again you must be eligible. In other words you must have the nine eligibility requirements listed above, and you must have fixed whatever problem caused the original denial.
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