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What happens if a family member’s U.S. citizenship gets denied?

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2022 | naturalization & citizenship

It might take years of planning to help family members obtain U.S. citizenship. Many people may worry about what happens if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies an application.

What happens next depends on the reason for the denial.

When applicants fail the citizenship test

The USCIS requires a test as one step in the citizenship process. When applicants fail the test, they can take it a second time within 60 to 90 days. If they fail the second test, their request gets denied.

Luckily, people can appeal the decision or apply again immediately after paying another application fee. There are no restrictions on the number of times people can reapply to take the test, and they can keep their green cards during this process.

When applicants do not have continued residence

Another citizenship requirement is physically living in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the previous five years. If applicants can not prove that they resided within the U.S. for enough time, their citizenship may get denied. In these cases, applicants can wait until they have been in the country long enough and reapply.

When denial is due to criminal activities

Criminal histories may surface when applicants undergo a background check required for citizenship. While some crimes, like murder, automatically disqualify applicants, less serious offenses may only extend the necessary waiting period.

If a family member receives a denial of citizenship letter, it is vital to find the reason for it. Knowing there are second chances might encourage applicants to review the necessary requirements and keep trying.

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