When Should I Reconsider Naturalization/Citizenship and Contact an Immigration Attorney

Kevin Lawrence Dixler

Written by  Pro

Immigration Attorney - Chicago, IL

Contributor Level 20

Posted about 5 years ago. 5 helpful votes



Have I Ever been Arrested of a Crime?

If you are arrested, then you must disclose the arrest. If you lie, then DHS can deny naturalization. You must tell the truth or you can be denied. However, if the arrest led to a conviction, then the crime may require DHS to take you into custody and detain. Once detained, an Immigration Judge can make a decision whether the U.S. must deport you.


Have I ever been Convicted of a Crime?

Most criminal convictions, even if they ended in probation or supervision, can result in denial. In fact, such convictions can also cause detention and deportation. The USCIS requires a certified copy of the court order that result in conviction or dismissal. Otherwise, the USCIS can not only deny, but may do their own research and refer the matter to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency so it can file a complaint for deportation/removal. The type of conviction and the conviction date plays a role in whether a potential applicant should file for naturalization. If there is a conviction, even for DUI, a potential naturalization applicant should seek legal advice from an experienced immigration and visa attorney.


Have I ever Registered to Vote for U.S. State or National Elections?

A lawful permanent resident and/or intending immigrant who falsely represents themself to be a U.S. Citizen in order to register to vote is deportable and inadmissible. Naturalization applicants have been referred to immigration court for deportation, when they register to vote and vote in a U.S. or State Election. It does not matter if you were persuaded by someone, who mistakenly encouraged you to register. It does not matter if you did not mean to misrepresent yourself as a U.S. Citizen. There are exceptional situations. If a mistake was made, an potential applicant should avoid filing for naturalization and seek the advice of an experienced immigration and nationality attorney.


Have I ever served on a Jury in the the U.S.

Some foreigners are sent notices to serve on a Jury in the United States. You must be a U.S. Citizen to serve on a Jury. The decision to serve on a U.S. Jury, even if by mistake can create grounds for deportation. If you accidentally receive a letter to serve on a Jury, immediately contact the courts and tell them that you cannot serve UNLESS you have a U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate. A green card is NOT ENOUGH! You can be ordered deported/removed if you serve on a U.S. Jury and are not a U.S. Citizen.


Can I take the Oath of Allegiance?

There are some lawful permanent residents who are unable to swear allegiance to the United States and consent to the possibility that they may be asked to serve in the U.S. Armed Services. These include certain members of religions and conscientious objectors. If you have concerns, then you should reconsider filing a naturalization application and seek legal advice from an experienced immigration and nationality attorney.


Have I Derived U.S. Citizenship through My Parents?

Some applicants have actually derived U.S. Citizenship before they turned eighteen years old. This can happen even if they have a lawful permanent resident card. This means that they must file a different USCIS form. If they file the wrong form, they can lose upwards of $675 in filing fees. Derivative U.S. Citizenship, if it exists, can prevent the U.S. Government from deporting a greencard holder. If in doubt, you should schedule an appointment or teleconference with an experienced Immigration and naturalization attorney.


What Else Can Cause the USCIS to Delay or Deny My Naturalization Application?

Well, this can depend upon the applicant! Frankly, quite a bit! Some may have committed immigration fraud in the past. Some may have unknowingly obtained a green card through fraud. Others, may 'fail to prove that they timely responded' to a USCIS request for additional evidence. If the USCIS Naturalization Examiner or supervisor has discomfort, doubt, or if a name check is pending, then delays take place. If the USCIS delays a decision for more than 120 after the examination, then an applicant can file a legal action in the Federal Courts for a decision. These actions may be referred back to the USCIS. Some Federal Judges may think that the USCIS will make a decision, even if USCIS eventually does not! This is why it is best to discuss legal tactics with an experienced immigration and naturalization attorney should the USCIS delays action on a Naturalization application.

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