Common Mistakes During Citizenship Application

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Obtaining U.S. citizenship is a varied and often-complex task, and at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C., we’re here to help you through it. It breaks our hearts when deserving applicants are denied entry or citizenship based on missing steps in the process or a basic detail, and our immigration attorneys are here to stop this from happening.

Many of these common mistakes are just details inexperienced applicants could never have known about. Let’s look at a few of them, and how you can avoid them during the citizenship application process.

Language Barrier

One of the chief reasons many people need a solid citizenship attorney is due to a language barrier. Failing to understand or communicate basic information can doom a citizenship application from the start, but an attorney can act as the perfect middle-man, and line up translators if needed. Don’t let this factor keep you or a loved one from being approved.

Early Applications

You’re allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship three months before the fifth anniversary of holding your green card, if you’ve maintained permanent residence the entire time. If you’ve been married to another legal permanent resident who is a citizen for at least three years, you can apply after three years instead.

However, there are situations where applying right away is a mistake. This might relate to recent trips taken abroad, or the length of time you’ve been living with a spouse. Our green card attorneys can explain any of these details to you. In addition, if you want to take the civic portion of the citizenship test in your native language, there are age and residency requirements to be completed in advance.

Fee Issues

There are fees attached to a citizenship application, and a failure to attach them – or the attachment of the wrong amount – will lead to automatic rejection. This will only be a delay in many cases, as you can still resubmit the application with the right fee attached, but this delay can be damaging to people in some situations.

Time Outside USA

Any recent trips abroad can force an application into denial. Any trip over 180 days can threaten your continuous physical presence in the country, which can be a major roadblock.

Criminal Record

Failing to properly disclose any criminal history is a quick way to get rejected. There’s no way to get away with it – USCIS has your fingerprints, and they will know if you’ve lied on the application. Keeping arrests or convictions off your application does not raise your chances of being accepted, and will definitely get you denied if (when) you’re caught.

For more information on citizenship applications, or any of our immigration services, speak to the attorneys at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. today.