Many permanent resident aliens are surprised to find that the application process for becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen involves a complete review of their entire record, including information predating their initial visa application. In these instances, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may initiate deportation proceedings, even due to honest errors committed by those attempting to navigate the process without an immigration attorney.
In general, naturalization applicants can be recommended for removal if USCIS agents determine they have provided false or fraudulent information, left the country for an extended period, or committed a crime in the past that would have made them ineligible for the visa.
3 Reasons When Naturalization Applicants May Be Deported
1. Providing False or Fraudulent Information
Most commonly, lawful permanent residents are removed due to willful misrepresentation of material facts on their initial application. Parents may apply on behalf of married children, claiming they are actually not married. Others may attempt to conceal criminal records that may disqualify them from a visa or failed to work for an employer who applied for an H-1B visa on their behalf.
2. Abandoning Residency
Permanent legal residents applying for citizenship must have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years and must have been physically present for at least half of that period. If the USCIS discovers that an applicant has left the country for an extended period, they may decide that you have abandoned your visa and recommend deportation. Resident aliens who intend to leave for prolonged periods should consult with an immigration attorney to avoid accidentally invalidating their visa.
3. Criminal Convictions
If USCIS discovers criminal convictions in your home country that would have resulted in a denial of your initial application, they may decide that you are ineligible for residency and may recommend deportation. If you have a criminal record in your country of origin, speak to an experienced immigration attorney before filing your naturalization application.
The NYC immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC, have helped applicants from all over the world navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system. Visit their website for more information about lawyer Patrick Klauss and their naturalization and citizenship services, call (212) 461-7152 to schedule your initial consultation, or follow their Facebook for regular immigration law updates.