There is a lot of trepidation and fear in the community of immigrants who are wondering what happens if their citizenship case gets denied. Now since the inauguration of President Trump and the two years that he has been in office we have seen a sharp uptick in the number of naturalization cases filed. A lot of immigrants who should have filed for citizenship a long time ago are finally filing their N400s. They are getting their cases on file and many of them are becoming US citizens. However, not every case is approved.
A St. Louis, MO green card lawyer can guide applicants through the process to give the greatest chance of success. A dedicated immigration attorney can also advise of what to do if a naturalization application has been denied.
USCIS has seen a huge spike in the number of applications and in the number of people being naturalized. We have had some questions lately about what happens if a citizenship application is denied and whether it means the applicant loses their green card. Certainly, there are many people who have applied for citizenship, not received their citizenship, and have maintained their green card.
In the vast majority of cases, if you apply for citizenship and for whatever reason your citizenship case is denied, maybe you flunked your test or there is something that makes you ineligible at this time for citizenship, for the most part, you are not going to lose your green card. In this case, you are not going to lose your lawful permanent resident status. You might need to renew your green card because it might have expired, but typically, you are going to be allowed to stay in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
The only exception would be if, during the naturalization process, they find something about you that either they did not know before or that renders you not only not eligible for citizenship but also puts your green card at risk. Usually, that is going to involve one of two things, either crimes or some kind of fraud or other bad behavior at the time that you got your green card. If USCIS finds out something during your naturalization process that if they should have known when you applied for your green card, they might come after your lawful permanent resident status.
We had never had a case where a person filed the naturalization and USCIS not only denied the naturalization but also went after the green card until recently. In the last month, we have seen it three times. We have had two consults from applicants in this situation and one of our clients not only had their citizenship case denied but also got a referral to the immigration court. In other words, USCIS denied the naturalization case and referred the individual to the immigration court for deportation proceedings. They are not only denying applicants’ citizenship but also are going to go after their green card.
In these situations, I think USCIS is overstretching, at least in the cases that we have seen, and we are going to fight all of them. We also are making sure that we are going to hold USCIS accountable to prove that this some kind of fraud occurred or that there is some reason this person should lose their green card.
These are mostly marriage-based green card cases where perhaps the couple has broken up and USCIS has gone after the US citizen spouse to try to get them to turn against the applicant. Often when this happens, USCIS is basing their case on the legitimacy of the underlying marriage.
If you feel like you have a shaky green card that might be something that you want to talk to your green card lawyer about. You want to make sure you are not putting yourself in peril. A citizenship application is their last chance to deport you. Filing for citizenship is generally good, but if you have any kind of questions about either criminality or about situations applicable when you got your green card, you are going to want to make sure to talk to an experienced St. Louis green card lawyer so that you get competent advice.
If you have any questions send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 314-961-8200 and find us on our Facebook group which is called Immigrant Home. We would be happy to see you there. Contact us with any questions or concerns about the future of your green card after a citizenship denial.