If you are going through the process of applying for U.S. citizenship, you should be aware there are various reasons your application could be denied. The citizenship, or naturalization, process can be long and arduous. It is beneficial to green card holders to know the most common application issues and how they are addressed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Taxes Owed To The IRS

If you owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will likely deny your citizenship application. However, personal tax issues do not automatically cancel your application. Suppose you can show that you are making a reasonable effort to resolve your tax issues. The USCIS considers whether or not an applicant has voluntarily entered into a payment plan to settle unpaid taxes. If you owe back taxes to the IRS, resolving these issues as soon as possible is a good idea to ensure your citizenship application doesn’t hit a snag.

Issues Regarding Child Support

Citizenship applicants who are parents must prove they can financially support any minor children who do not live with them. If a court has ordered you to pay child support, you must verify that you comply with that order, or your application may be denied. If you are delinquent with child support payments are in danger of being denied citizenship, but owing back child support does not immediately bar you from naturalization. If you can provide a reasonable explanation for why you are behind on your child support payments and your plan to rectify the situation, you may still be granted citizenship.

Questionable Moral Character

To gain U.S. citizenship, you must demonstrate to the USCIS that you have good moral character. While some moral character issues permanently bar applicants from citizenship eligibility, others are only temporary setbacks. For the most part, the USCIS only considers an applicant’s previous five years before applying for naturalization; however, earlier conduct may also be considered depending on the offense.

Since the term “good moral character” is broad, the USCIS runs a criminal background check on applicants and attempts to determine if they lied during the citizenship process. Some of the crimes that may not meet the good moral character include but are not limited to:

● Crimes with intent to do harm

● Crimes against Government property such as fraud

● Violating a controlled substance law

● Habitual drunkenness/DUI

● Imprisonment for 180 or more during the last five years

● Failing to complete parole or probation

● Terrorist acts

Help With Your U.S. Citizenship Application

The process of becoming a citizen of the United States can be slowed or stalled if applicants have personal issues that undermine the process. In that case, it is in your best interest to consult with an Immigration Attorney. An experienced attorney can help you have the best chance of getting your application approved and becoming a U.S. citizen.