The Pathway to Citizenship

Citizenship in the United States is addressed in the fourth amendment of the Constitution. It states that all born or naturalized persons in the United States are citizens of the United States and the State in which they reside. An astounding number of foreign nationals apply for citizenship each year to start a new life. They have a desire for family reunification, are fleeing from persecution in their homeland if they are in a protected class, or are working towards financial prosperity through the vast number of opportunities in the United States. 

The process to achieve citizenship, also called naturalization, is complicated, as an applicant must meet strict eligibility guidelines. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is the governing federal agency that oversees immigration by determining eligibility and processing applications. Applications for citizenship can either be granted, continued, or denied. Due to heightened political issues and ongoing debates, there are frequent changes in the procedures and laws on the path to citizenship.

What if my Application is Denied?

There are many reasons why citizenship applications are denied. Examples are fraudulent green cards, lying on the application, failure to pay taxes or child support, failure to renew a green card or a lack of submitted documentation. A poor result on the USCIS interview or civics test, or a criminal record, even for a minor offense, can delay or deny citizenship. Physical or mental disorders with associated behaviors that threaten the applicant or others can be grounds for denial. In some instances, an applicant can reapply to move forward in the process, or a waiver of inadmissibility can be requested.

Criminal Convictions and Citizenship

The intertwining of criminal law and immigration law is complicated and requires the experience and knowledge of a seasoned immigration attorney. Denial of citizenship due to the presence of a criminal conviction or self-disclosure of a criminal history requires a much more intense process. If the applicant is criminally inadmissible, this is a severe matter that can result in forcible removal from the country. A waiver of inadmissibility can be granted under some circumstances. Or, the applicant can choose to appeal the decision through a hearing with an administrative judge. If necessary, a second appeal can be heard in a federal district court. 

Efficient and Competent Representation for all Citizenship Matters

Representation by an experienced and dedicated immigration attorney can ensure procedural protections are followed, and your rights are protected for the most favorable outcome. Each case is unique, and each year many applications and appeals are denied. The Law Office of Ilia Garrity Lopez, PLLC, provides compassionate representation and holds an impressive track record for all services related to immigration and citizenship. Ilia represents clients every step of the way, through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and appropriate state and federal entities, to courtroom litigation and appeals.

Contact the Law Office of Ilia Garrity Lopez, PLLC to speak with a caring, knowledgeable, and aggressive attorney who can navigate the complex process of citizenship and immigration. Our office is located in Orlando, Florida, and we are available for phone or video conferencing appointments at 407-777-7106.