What Happens if Your Naturalization Application is Denied: Next Steps and Appeals Process

Learn the next steps if your naturalization application is denied. Get expert advice on appealing and understanding the denial reasons.
Manji Law, P.C.Manji Law, P.C.
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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: December 12, 2019, Last Updated on: December 26, 2019.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Navigating the path to US citizenship through Naturalization is a journey filled with hope and, often, intricate legalities. It’s a significant step for immigrants who wish to secure the rights and privileges of being an American citizen. Understanding the meticulousness of the application for Naturalization is crucial, as even minor errors or misunderstandings can lead to a denial from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Although a denial can be disheartening, it’s essential to know that it’s not the end of the road. There are measures in place that can be taken upon receiving a denial, and knowledge is power when facing such challenges.

At Manji Law, P.C., we understand the deep desire and perseverance that drives individuals to seek citizenship in the United States. As passionate advocates for the immigrant community in Atlanta, we stand ready to support and guide our clients through the often complex web of immigration law. Facing the federal government can seem daunting, and a denial of your naturalization application might feel like an insurmountable hurdle. But with us, you’re not alone.

With our extensive experience in immigration law, including Naturalization, family immigration, business immigration, and even providing criminal defense for immigrants, we are committed to illuminating the path forward.

Understanding the Reasons for Denial

The reasons for denial vary but usually fall within a few common categories. First and foremost, failing to meet the eligibility requirements is a central reason for citizenship denial, including insufficient permanent residency time, lack of good moral character, or failing the English or civics tests. Here are other reasons your application may be denied:

Discrepancies in Application

Another significant reason for denial is discrepancies in the application. If the information we provide on our application needs to be completed or accurate, it may lead to our application being denied. Additionally, applications can only be allowed if we provide the requested evidence or show up for the interview without rescheduling it.

Criminal History

Criminal history plays a crucial role in the evaluation and citizenship application process. A record of certain crimes may render an applicant ineligible for Naturalization. On the other hand, failing to disclose our criminal history can result in a denial due to falsification or fraud.

Failure to Register for Selective Service

Not registering for Selective Service can also be a potential reason for denial for male applicants aged between 18, five years, and 26.

In any of these cases, it is essential to understand why your application was denied. We could successfully appeal the decision if the denial were due to severe concerns or a lack of evidence that could later be provided. Understanding the reason for denial is the first step in determining your course of action, which might involve filing a new application or requesting a hearing.

Immediate Steps After Denial

When facing denial following an application for Naturalization, taking immediate action is crucial. First and foremost, review the details of the denial notice carefully. Understanding the reasons for the denial will inform your next steps and strategies. It’s wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can help clarify the reasons for denial and advise on the possibility of success on appeal.

You have a limited window to request a hearing on the decision before an immigration officer, typically 30 days from receiving the decision. This is a critical deadline for immigration lawyers; failing to act within this timeframe can limit your options significantly.

If you appeal or deny the decision, you must file Form N-336, officially called Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings. This process allows you to contest the denial and present additional evidence or clarification that could overturn the original decision.

In cases where a hearing may not be the best course of action or if the hearing does not yield the desired result, there is also the possibility of a Novo Review by a federal district court. This administrative review is a more formal avenue where the court independently examines all evidence anew. We can guide you through this process and help prepare a strong petition for the court to consider.

The legal grounds for appealing a denied citizenship application must be solid, typically involving errors in the original application process or a misunderstanding of your background and qualifications for Naturalization. As your advocates, we can identify legal errors and craft a compelling argument for your appeal.

Time is of the essence in these cases. Act promptly, and ensure you have the proper legal representation to navigate the intricacies of immigration law and to fight for your chance at Naturalization.

Alternative Paths to Citizenship

If your naturalization application is denied, it’s important to remember that all is preserved. There are alternative paths to citizenship that may be available to you. At Manji Law, we guide our clients through these options with dedication and experience.

Maintaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status

First and foremost, it is crucial to maintain your permanent resident status. As long as you remain a lawful permanent resident, you can pursue Naturalization in the future. Keeping your status also allows you to live, work, and study in the United States indefinitely. Ensure that you comply with all your residency requirements to avoid complications.

  • Reapplying for Naturalization: Another course of action is to reapply for Naturalization. Before doing so, it’s essential to review the reasons for the initial denial and address any issues. We can determine the appropriate time to reapply and assist with preparing a more robust application.
  • Adjustment of Status Through Marriage: If you are married to a US citizen, you might have the option to adjust your status through marriage. This process can lead to permanent residency and eventually citizenship, provided all other eligibility requirements are met.

In each of these paths, our firm stands by you as a passionate advocate, ensuring you understand your options and the process ahead. We are here to provide the support and legal advice you need to navigate this journey. Trust us to pursue every avenue to help you realize your goal of becoming a US citizen.

How Manji Law, P.C. Can Help

When facing the denial of a naturalization application, the journey does not have to end there. At Manji Law, P.C., we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the complexities of the immigration court system, particularly when they’re up against the federal government.

Our approach is personalized, caring, and aimed at ensuring you still have a fighting chance at achieving your American dream. Here’s how we can help you:

  • Preparing for a Successful Appeal: We understand the nuances of immigration law, and our team is ready to assist you in filing a strategic appeal. This involves meticulous evidence gathering, comprehensive preparation for hearings, and a rigorous check to ensure that all legal criteria for your appeal are met precisely.
  • Navigating Complex Immigration Issues: Our experience extends to more complicated immigration matters affecting your Naturalization, including DUI charges. We are experienced in mitigating the consequences these charges may have on your immigration status, advocating for your rights every step of the way.
  • Alternative Citizenship Paths: If Naturalization remains an insurmountable hurdle, we diligently explore alternative paths to citizenship with you. Our knowledgeable attorneys are versed in all facets of immigration law, ensuring no stone is left unturned regarding your status in the US.

Take the Next Step with Manji Law, P.C.

We’re not just attorneys but relentless advocates who care deeply about our clients. Whether you’re seeking to appeal a decision or need a helping hand in understanding your options after a denial, Manji Law, P.C. is here for you. Our personalized customer service sets us apart, ensuring you feel heard, understood, and supported. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the next step toward your American dream.