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When Should I Re-Apply for Citizenship

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How long should I wait to reapply for my citizenship? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. Today’s video comes from Monsur. Monsur wants to know if I’ve been denied my citizenship, when can I reapply or how long should I wait to reapply?

And the answer to this question, Monsur, is like so many things under the law, it depends. It depends on why you were denied. So denials can come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes denials are wrong and they need to be appealed by filing an N-336. But I think Monsur is asking about a case where he might think that the denial was warranted, or understandable at least, and he wants to know when can he reapply. And it depends on the basis of the denial.

So if you’ve been denied because of some kind of criminal act or probation, you’re going to need to wait until you have five years of good moral character. And that five year period should start on the last day of your probation. So you’re going to need to do math. And we’ve had plenty of consults where I’ve told people, “Well, you’re going to need to wait at least five years from the end of your probation to apply for citizenship.” And in fact, we had a recent client ask for his money back. He was so mad that we were telling him that he had to wait until he had five years of good moral character and he wanted to go off and file on his own. I think that case will probably be denied.

On his case, he had been on probation for a DUI just a year ago and his probation ended a year and he thought he could apply right now. And I thought that was just setting himself up for a quick denial of the new case. So I think you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re having too many denials, so you really need to think through when to reapply. I think there’s something to be said for letting the dust settle and making sure that a long period of time has passed, maybe even more than five years, before you reapply. Because citizenship according to the USCIS is not a right, it’s a privilege and it’s something that they use their discretion on in giving. So if you’ve been denied, maybe for flunking the test or for something that’s fixable, like you didn’t submit the right evidence, then you can go ahead and reapply right away.

But every case is going to be a little bit different and you’re going to need to analyze when the best time to go is and you need to see what the basis of the denial is. Because that’s what’s going to determine, more than anything, when you can apply again or when you should apply. You can always apply. The question is, am I going to lose my money? Am I going to get denied again if I apply too soon?

So if you have questions about wanting to reapply for citizenship, give us a call, 314- 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. If you like this video, please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow me on LinkedIn so you get updates whenever I make videos just like this one. And be sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home, and we’d love to have you in there. We update it with new immigration news of the day whenever we can. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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