Pre-Application Errors That Threaten Citizenship

us citizenship paper and flags

Applying for United States citizenship can be a complex process, and at Buhler Thomas Law. P.C., we’re here to help you with every detail of the process. Our citizenship attorneys can guide you through any confusing elements, and sift through any complicated information you may be having trouble with.

As our immigration attorneys will tell you, knowing what not to do during this process can be just as important as knowing which boxes to check. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes made in advance of a citizenship application.

Too Much Travel

To obtain citizenship in the U.S., you have to have been physically present on U.S. soil for at least half of your permanent residency over a period of five years (three years for people applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen). Spending longer than this outside the country will cause your application to be denied.

In addition, an extended holiday or absence can block your continuous residence requirement. You’ll have to provide evidence of why your absence didn’t interfere with your residence, and how you maintained employment in the United States. If you plan to be outside the U.S. for more than a year, you’ll have to obtain a reentry permit to return.


To apply for citizenship, you’ll once again have to show tax records for five years (three for marriage-based applicants). If there’s any proof you haven’t paid taxes on earned income, this will be among the easiest ways to get rejected.

Arrests or Citations

If you’ve ever been arrested or cited, even for a very minor incident with no formal report, you must report all these instances on your application. Bring any documents pertaining to these cases – if your record has been sealed, you can have it unsealed for the purposes of this application. There are also certain crimes which will automatically cause you to be rejected, and there are even some which might cause you to be deported if you list them in the application. If you’re concerned about this, speak to your immigration lawyer in advance.

Want to learn more about this, or any element of our immigration law services? Speak to the attorneys at Buhler Thomas Law. P.C. today.