In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick addresses a very important topic, what can you do if your N-400 application for naturalization has been denied?
To help you navigate this situation, in this video we discuss all the options you should consider moving forward. If you would like to know more about this important topic, please keep on watching.
Did you know? Over the last few months, more and more N-400 naturalization applicants have been wrongfully denied following the N-400 naturalization interview. It is important to understand the common pitfalls of N-400 naturalization applicants so you can avoid them in the future and ensure your success.
What are some common reasons for N-400 denials?
There are numerous different reasons why N-400 applications for naturalization may be denied.
Some denials occur simply because the applicant provided incomplete or deficient information requested on the N-400 application for naturalization. For instance, the Form N-400 requires applicants to provide detailed information about all places of residence, work, and school history, during the last 5 years.
Failure to provide complete and accurate information in these sections can be a cause for denial following the N-400 interview.
As an example, John Doe came to our office seeking consultation after the denial of his N-400 application. Upon closer review of his denial notice, we discovered that John failed to provide his complete residential history during the past 5 years. The immigration officer that interviewed John knew about the deficiencies in John’s residential history, because residential addresses that he previously provided to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on his green card applications did not appear on his N-400 application. Rather than give John the opportunity to cure these deficiencies, the immigration officer denied the N-400 application and applied immigration bars for fraud and misrepresentation. The N-400 was denied based on John’s failure to establish good moral character (a requirement of the N-400 application) due to the omissions in his application.
Other denials may occur based on an immigration officer’s review of the applicant’s past immigration and criminal history, leading to a denial.
For instance, Frank Smith went through removal proceedings many years ago, but was ultimately cleared by an immigration judge in court appearances. Frank successfully obtained his green card and applied for naturalization once he was eligible. The immigration officer interviewing Frank went through his immigration records and discovered documentation relating to his prior removal proceedings. This led the officer to question Frank about the removal proceedings. Ultimately, the officer deemed Frank inadmissible, and ineligible for citizenship denying his N-400 application as a result.
In yet another case, Jane Doe had a past conviction from a criminal case that occurred more than 30 years and had been vacated. A search by the immigration officer revealed the prior criminal conviction and led to the denial of her N-400 application for failure to establish good moral character.
Denials like these are unfortunately very common at USCIS offices nationwide. They occur during the applicant’s in-person interview where the applicant is often questioned about these issues, and the immigration officer makes assumptions about the applicant leading to their denial.
What should applicants do if they are denied?
When an N-400 application for naturalization is denied, the applicant can appeal the decision by filing what is called the Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, to request a hearing before another immigration officer regarding the denial of the N-400, Application for Naturalization.
The applicant can attend the hearing along with their immigration attorney to clarify and provide further explanation regarding the cause for the denial. For instance, in the case of John Doe, if he intended to include his complete residential history on the N-400, Application for Naturalization, but simply could not remember a past address or was not aware that he was required to include his complete residential history of five years, he can take the opportunity to explain this further. The goal of the hearing is to allow the applicant and his or her attorney to resolve the situation, leading to the approval of the N-400 application.
In Frank Smith’s case, he could easily demonstrate the termination of his immigration proceedings by bringing photocopies of court documentation proving their termination, to show that he is in fact eligible for naturalization and should not have been denied.
Likewise, Jane Doe could bring court records and other documentation evidencing the vacatur of the criminal case and establishing her good moral character.
What happens if the appeal is not favorable after filing Form N-336?
In cases where you have appealed the denial of your N-400 application for naturalization by filing the N-336, Request for a Hearing, and your N-400 application is still denied after attending the hearing, the next step is to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision.
Filing a lawsuit in federal court is effective for two main reasons. First, it gives you the opportunity to take your case outside of the immigration system. Second, it gives you the opportunity to provide documentation to an independent judge to decide in favor of the approval of your application.
Many of these cases can be resolved in federal court, especially where the applicant has strong evidence countering the cause for denial and merits a favorable decision. The main thing to consider is that while the litigation process is intimidating, it is an effective tool that can ultimately lead to the approval of your application for naturalization.
If your N-400 has been denied, do not be discouraged. Speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can analyze the facts of your case, evaluate the cause of the denial, and counsel you accordingly. The bottom line is that there are steps you can take to rectify the denial of your N-400 application. This process begins with appealing the decision using Form N-336 and requesting a hearing. If your appeal is not favorable, then you may consider engaging in litigation and taking your case to federal court.
Contact Us. If you would like to know more about your options, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204 to schedule a consultation
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