When you decided to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you were likely nervous about a lot of things. It's understandable, seeing how complex U.S. immigration law is and how many obstacles can arise to thwart your efforts and impede the process. Whether you reside in Kentucky or plan to move to another state eventually, there are several issues you'll want to keep in mind if you hope to expedite your application and avoid complications.
First and foremost, you likely already know that to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you must possess a valid green card. If you do not, then the first part of your own process may involve learning more about green cards and what, exactly, makes a person eligible to obtain one.
Once a green card is secured, these issues may require your attention
Let's assume everything is a go with your green card status. There are still many reasons your application for citizenship may be denied. Keeping the following in mind and knowing where to turn for help if a problem arises puts you one step ahead of the game:
- You want to make sure you're in good standing as far as taxes are concerned. The U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services department pays close attention to such details, and anyone who owes back taxes may be denied the privilege of applying for citizenship.
- Owing taxes to the Internal Revenue Service doesn't automatically discount you from seeking citizenship, however. It's crucial to be able to show you are at least making a strong effort to pay what you owe.
- If you want to be a U.S. citizen, you must be willing to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. This means if you are male and between ages 18 and 25, you must register for selective service in the U.S. military before applying to become a citizen.
- If you are the parent of minor children who reside outside your own home, you must also prove that you provide financial support to them. If there is an existing court order requiring you to pay child support, you must fulfill the obligation; otherwise, your quest for citizenship will be denied.
- Good moral character is a high priority issue for any immigrant wishing to become a citizen. Some situations permanently bar you from applying. Other issues are considered temporary and may be appropriately rectified. The system typically draws upon your conduct for at least (and sometimes beyond) five years before filing a citizenship application.
U.S. immigration law is not set in stone; in fact, it frequently changes. This further complicates matters for people trying to navigate a particular process, such as applying to become a U.S. citizen. There are various options available that provide support for those facing similar challenges.
You can speak with other immigrants who have successfully obtained citizenship. You can also request a meeting with an experienced legal advocate who is well-versed in U.S. immigration law.