Common problems in applying for U.S. citizenship | Inquirer

Common problems in applying for U.S. citizenship

When applying for naturalization, many applicants encounter problems during the interview process.  This is because authorities investigate how permanent residency (green card) was obtained and what actions the green card holder has committed since then.  Listed below are some of them:

  • Proving good-faith marriage. You will be surprised that you are applying for naturalization and yet the USCIS is considering you as a green card applicant, although your marriage happened ten years ago.  If you obtained your green card through marriage, no matter how many years have passed, questions will always be asked whether your marriage is bona fide and what joint documents support this marriage.
  • Proving family relationship if you were petitioned by your parents, siblings or as derivative of your parents. You should be able to show proof of your relationship through marriage certificate, birth certificate, divorce or death certificate, whichever documents applied to your case.
  • If you were involved in a crime, no matter how minor you think it is, authorities will always look for documentation of your conviction and if you have served your sentence.
  • There are crimes that will make you deportable when applying for naturalization. These include committing two crimes of moral turpitude or an aggravated felony.  Theft is a crime involving moral turpitude.  There are waivers available, and you should talk to an immigration lawyer.
  • Green card holders who obtained their green card through misrepresentation may also be sent to removal proceedings. These include those who committed marriage fraud or declared themselves as single but are actually married.  If you have this kind of problem you need to talk to an immigration attorney to find if you qualify for a waiver of fraud or misrepresentation.
  • Failure to file and pay your income tax may also disqualify you from naturalization. If you have a payment plan agreement with the IRS and you keep paying the monthly payments, you may be able to get approved.  Again, you need to consult an immigration lawyer about your situation.
  • Failure to pay child support. You may be denied if you fail to pay child support.
  • If you stayed outside the U.S. for more than 180 days in a single year, you may be denied naturalization.
  • If you lack the required period of residency, you may also be denied.

To avoid problems when applying for naturalization, you should consult an immigration attorney.

(Note: This is not a legal advice) Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and income tax preparation since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: [email protected]  Website:

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TAGS: US citizenship, US naturalization
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