What happens to my Green Card if my Citizenship Application is denied?

Presently, the average naturalization (citizenship) process can take 12 to 15 months; some USCIS field offices take even longer, depending on volume and staffing levels.

In the last few years, there has been a significant spike in the number of people applying for naturalization. We often hear what will happen to their Green Card if their citizenship application is denied.

Why did my citizenship application get denied, and what does that mean for my green card?

Below are some of the common reasons behind why a citizenship application may get denied:

  • Error or mistruth in the citizenship application
  • Negligence towards tax payment
  • Below average performs in the citizenship interview
  • Failure in the Civic test
  • Poor command in the English Language
  • Expired green card
  • Negligence towards paying child support
  • Having a criminal record
  • The applicant does not fit the edibility criteria.

Not all of these cases will mean that you will lose your green card or your permanent residency, and many applicants get second chances. For example, failing the English proficiency test will not place your Green Card at risk. However, other more severe reasons related to citizenship denial can threaten your permanent resident status. For example, maybe you have an infectious disease that you did not mention while applying. In this case, one was involved in significant criminal activity or acquired permanent residency through fraudulent activity.

Therefore, we can’t stress enough how important it is for the applicant to be honest while filling out their application forms because USCIS will review your file to look for information inconsistent with your immigration file. If USCIS finds any such information about you, then your citizenship application may be denied, and your green card along with lawful permanent residency status can be at risk.

What can I do to minimize the risk of my naturalization application getting denied?

To avoid denial of the application, citizenship applicants need to carry out research. If you are worried about potential inconsistencies, get in front of the issue through consultation with an experienced attorney. After applying (Form N-400), start taking the necessary steps to prepare for the interview. An interviewer will be looking for your ability to comprehend and communicate in English. If you are older than 55 years and have resided in the United States for more than 15 years, you are not subject to the English proficiency requirement. If you think your English requires some improvement, take an English language learning class before the interview. Do not be nervous and stay calm during the interview. Be truthful and ensure your responses in the interview match the written responses in the N-400 form!