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N400 denied because of bad moral characteristic. When should I re-apply for naturalization? I am married to a US Citizen

Santa Ana, CA |

Dec 14, 2008 --- Married to US Citizen
Jun 17, 2009 --- Received my green card
Dec 21, 2009 --- Arrested for shoplifting
Sep 19, 2012 --- File N-400
Jan 07, 2013 --- N-400 Interview
Officer asked for additional documents about my marriage and said the supervisor will review the shoplifting case.
Jan 08, 2013 --- Sent USCIS additional documents about marriage
I assume USCIS will consider my marriage is in good faith but it will deny my application based on bad moral characteristic. When can I re-apply for Naturalization?
(1) --- Wait 3 years (after the arrest) for the arrest to be cleared if I am married to a US Citizen. Meaning I can re-apply RIGHT AFTER they deny my N-400.
Or
(2) --- Wait 5 years for the arrest can be cleared (re-apply after Dec 21, 2014)

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You need to wait for 5 years from the date you serve your sentence. Then, you can re-apply, Hire an attorney to advise you how to build a record of rehabilitation.

    Att. number 917-885-2261 This advice does not create an attorney client relationship. No specific legal advice may be offered by the lawyer until a conflicts check is undertaken. Information sent through a web form or via email may not be treated as confidential. Please accept my apologies for spelling mistakes. Law Office of Alena Shautsova www.shautsova.com www.shautsova.com www.russianspeakinglawyerny.com


  2. I agree with Alena. You are to show good moral character for 5 years before filing. Also if you are on probation, you should wait.

    This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.


  3. You applied too early within five years of your conviction. Next time hire a lawyer so this complication will not arise.

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