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#USImmigrationLaw: What Will Affect My Citizenship Application?

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

You're applying for citizenship in the US and wondering what issues will impact your application. There are many factors that go into a final determination about whether to grant status, and an initial denial does not necessarily mean you have no chances of becoming an American. But there are some specific matters that will impact the determination. Let's briefly examine them here.

Four Issues to Consider

  1. Taxes: You must show evidence of tax filings and will be denied citizenship if you are in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. The privilege of citizenship is not going to be extended to someone with a record of avoiding obligations to the nation. But tax problems are relatively common and easy to fix. You can file adjusted taxes if you made any mistakes or get on a payment plan if you owe money. You must show a willingness to follow the law and you will likely be naturalized as long as you prove you are handling your obligations.
  2. Child Support: Like taxes, child support is an individual's financial obligation but impacts society as a whole. If you don't support your children, and you were ordered by a court to provide, you will have trouble becoming a citizen. Again, as with taxes, you do not need to be perfect, or prove that you never have problems. What you do need to show is a sense of responsibility. So even if you are behind on payments, it's important to keep in contact with the court that ordered your child support and to stay in its good graces.
  3. Good Moral Character: A person's moral qualities are not always easy to discern in an application process. But plenty of evidence of lack of moral character can be found in the extensive documentation required for an immigration application. Your citizenship application will be denied if it is found that you lied on the papers, committed certain types of fraud or crimes, or are delinquent in your obligations, including the above-noted taxes and child support. Moral character is a huge topic and anyone applying for immigration benefits with a criminal background or a bad financial track record should seek legal assistance with an application. There are exceptions to most rules and one may apply to you.
  4. Selective Service: Male citizenship applicants between the ages of 18-25 must register with the Selective Service System unless they fall under one of the limited exceptions. Proof of registration must be shown with an application and is an indication that you are willing to defend the US Constitution.

Talk To a Lawyer

If you are considering applying for citizenship or are in process already and have run into trouble, talk to an immigration lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your situation.

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