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What to do if your naturalization application is denied

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

We understand how frustrating it can be to have your naturalization application denied. However, you still have options if your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is denied . 

USCIS may deny your application for one of these common reasons:

  1. Failing the English or civics test: While you do have two chances to pass, your N-400 will be denied if you fail on the second try. Note that there are some exemptions for the English test related to age and ability.

  2. Criminal history: While committing certain crimes automatically bars you from naturalization, committing others means you must wait three to five years before applying. If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you’ll want to speak to an attorney about your best course of action. 

  3. Disruption in continuous residence: While you may take trips abroad, you must adhere to certain residency requirements to receive naturalization. 

Your eligibility to appeal a denial of your application depends on the specific denial ground. Where a USCIS’ decision is legally incorrect, you can file an appeal within 30 days using Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings. This gives you the opportunity to have an interview with another immigration officer. If you’re working with an immigration lawyer, your attorney will review why your original application was denied and gather evidence to show why your application should have been approved. 

If the second interview doesn’t go your way, you have the option to appeal to a U.S. district court judge.

Sometimes, you’ll need to file a new N-400 and start the process over again. This is a good option if you simply need some more time to fulfill the naturalization requirements, like additional time to meet the continuous residence requirements or to prepare for and pass your literacy or civics knowledge test.

If your application for naturalization was rejected, it’s important that you speak to an Atlanta immigration attorney as soon as possible. Please call us at (404) 850-9394 or visit us online.

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