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Citizenship denied, now what?

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  • Citizenship denied, now what?

    Hi all,

    I recently had my citizenship interview and at my interview the INS officer said my application was denied. I was told that my application was being denied because I do not meet the residency requirements. The BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services) in a letter states that I will now be eligible to apply for citizenship in September 2005. That means I have to satisfy my residency requirements of 2.5 years all over again.

    Is that a new law that once your application is denied your previous physical presence is nullified? At the time of my interview I believe the INS officer said I had just missed by a few days. Can somebody please explain.

    Thank you,


  • #2
    This is not a new law. If you ever have stayed out of U.S.A. more than 6 months that is considered a disruption in your residency. Residency means continued residency. Out of 5 years a person has to live in the United States atleast 30 months.
    Good luck.


    • #3

      I feel badly for you as a USC who is going through some immigration difficulties with my wife.

      But im just wondering, didnt you know that you were just a few days short? Why didnt you wait an extra month or so?

      Were you using a lawyer in this process?



      • #4
        How do they know how long you have been physically present in US? Do you have to show some embloyment records or tax forms when applying? Did you David just apply too early or have you been out of the country after you recived your CG?



        • #5
          Thanks all for your responses.

          I have never been outside of the US for more than 6 months. And no, I did not know I was missing a few days when I was applying. According to my calculation I had the required 2.5 years of physical presence. After my naturalization had been rejected I had shown my form to a lawyer and he was of the opinion that I satisfied all the requirements and I was wrongly rejected.

          In my previous post I meant to say that the INS officer thought I was missing a few days and she said that I'll get a detailed letter of denial. But in that letter they only state that I did not satisfy the residency requirement so I was denied. And they also state that I can now reapply in September 2005. Thats another 2.5 years, so basically they've nullified all my previous physical presence.

          Are they justified in doing so? Please help!!



          • #6
            I don't know there you get the 2,5 yrs. of requirement from;
            as far as I remember, you had to be an LPR 3 yrs. (if married to a U.S.C.) or 5 yrs. (if otherwise) respectively to be eligable on residency requirements. I believe (but would not trust on this) that you may put in your application 90 days before you actually fullfill this time period.

            In any way, I'm pretty sure that once you get denied - in writting - legitamatly by INS, you are ineligable to establish "good moral character" untill your full requirements for naturalizations are met again, dependant on where you base your eligibilty, 3 yrs. or 5 yrs. respectivelly). Good luck!


            • #7
              (hanabal - the 2.5 years is the amount of time you need to spend actually in the US during the 5 years as a green card holder in order to become a citizen)

              If it's been less than 30 days since you received your denial letter, you can file a form N-336 to request a hearing and appeal the decision.

              What did you list in the section on travel outside the US in the last 5 years?

              (Note: trips abroad of more than 6 months do not automatically push back one's naturalization date, if a person can prove that they maintained residency in the US - had a house, paid taxes, etc.)


              • #8
                I just want to let you know that I have a friend who was denied in 1996 for the same reason like yours and INS said he could apply again in 2000. At that time he thought it's way to long to wait and he appealed with a lawyer's help. Even today(7 YEARS LATER) the INS did not give him an answer at the appeal. Some of the lawyers will tell you that you have good chances just because they want your money, others are onest. IF I would be in your shoes I would wait and take that letter where it's says you can reapply in sept 2005 and you should be ok. All the best


                • #9
                  thanks for the advise on the 2,5 residency (that is something very new to me, and I could not find the legal interpretation of it.

                  If the INS hasn't sent you the form with which to appeal their decision, I would, too, think that your basis of gaining naturalization at this time would be rather slim.

                  If you have absolute prove that you fullfill all the requirements necessary and outlined by law, go for it anyway, if you're unfamiliar with the exact reasons why you're not eligable at this time, just wait and good luck!


                  • #10
                    guest, in the section about trips outside the US I have mentioned about 7-8 trips in the last five years outside the US but none of them were more than 6 months. And the accumulated days from these trips I have not counted towards my physical presence requirement.

                    guest1, thanks for sharing your friends experience. Maybe I will just wait till 2005.




                    • #11
                      Hi! I'm a spouse of a resident and actually waiting for him to become eligilbe for citizenship. Can you give more details why if you were never over 6 months out of the US they told you that you don't have the necessary residency requirements? Did you file too early for citizenship before you actually become eligible or what? Beacuse if you got denied for no reason and have to wait for more years what is the hope for us - the spouses and children of those resident waiting in line for so many years?...


                      • #12

                        Unfortunately I don't have any more info to give you. For one I don't know why my citizenship application was denied and second even though it was denied I don't know why I have to wait another 2.5 years to satisfy the physical presence requirements.

                        I'm thinking of meeting a lawyer soon. If I get any more info I'll post it here.

                        good luck,



                        • #13
                          the trips of 6 months or more have nothing to do with the "physical presence" requirement. There are two geographic standards a person must meet in order to become a citizen.

                          1. continuous residence - The US must be your primary home. Trips of more than 6 months need to be explained and a person will need to demonstrate that the US was still their primary home during that time. (ex. My mother in India was very ill. I kept my house, continued to pay taxes, only took a leave of absence from my job.) If a trip of 6 months - 1 year does not disturb a person's green card status (if the INS believes you and lets you back into the country on your green card), it's OK for Naturalization as well. Any trip of 1 year or more, even with a re-entry permit, and one has to wait 4 years and 1 day ( or 2 years and 1 day if 3 year requirement) to file an N-400.

                          2. Physical presence - One must spend a certain ammount of time (50%) actually in the US before filing for citizenship. This is where the 2.5 years becomes relevant. If those 7-8 trips mean that you were out of the US for more than 2.5 years total, then you aren't elligible right now, even though all of the trips lasted less than 6 months. If you were denied on those grounds, you will be elligible when you have spent at least half of the preceeding 5 years actually in the US.


                          • #14
                            no foreigner who has lived here for just 2-3 yrs. should have the privelege to naturalize! Other countries require a minimum of 7 yrs. or even more. We need to change these laws...


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