What Happens to Your Green Card If Your Citizenship Application Is Denied?

An immigrant can apply for a green card if they wish to work and live in the US as permanent residents. They, however, continue to be the citizens of the country to which they originally belong. There is a huge difference in the responsibilities, rights, and privileges of a green card holder and that of a US citizen.

US citizenship is the highest status that is accorded to an applicant under the US immigration law. It allows them the right to live permanently with family and friends in the country. But what happens when a green card holder is denied citizenship? Let’s find out.

But first… 

What is the Difference Between a Greencard and US Citizenship?

Green card holders can avail of the social security benefits in the states. They can apply for visas for their spouses and children and can travel outside of the United States but for a limited period as this can negatively affect their residential status. They always stand a risk of losing their status and being deported to their homeland if they are charged and convicted of serious crimes. In general, you can become a green card holder through family (a US citizen) and employer sponsorships, or via the more difficult government-sponsored program, the US Green Card Lottery.

A US citizen, on the other hand, is eligible to vote in US elections. They have a right to sponsor their spouses, married and unmarried children, and other relatives to live in the US. They can freely travel outside the US without fearing that their citizenship may get revoked. Getting a Green Card is the first step toward citizenship. You must demonstrate reasonable proficiency in the English language and must possess knowledge of and respect for US history and its Constitution. 

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Reasons For USCIS Rejecting Your Application for US Citizenship 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may deny your application for US citizenship on the following grounds -

  • If the Green Card was obtained fraudulently
  • Serious crimes committed by the applicant
  • Lying on the Citizenship Application
  • Defaulting on US taxes
  • Failing the English proficiency test
  • Voting in a US election
  • Green Card renewal failure
  • Failing American history exam 

What Happens to Your Green Card? 

In most cases, your green card remains unaffected even after your US Citizenship Application is denied. Failing the US English and History exam, inability to prove that you have been a continuous resident in the US for the requisite number of years, or applying prematurely will not affect your Green Card. You are granted a second chance to pass the US Citizenship tests and interview.

However, you may be placed in removal proceedings if USCIS discovers that you were never eligible for the Green Card in the first place, and/or resorted to fraudulent means of acquiring it. You may also be placed in removal proceedings if you were suspected of abandoning your US residency while you were a Green Card holder, and/or committed serious crimes in the interim.  

Final Thoughts 

Immigration, green card, and citizenship matters are serious and warrant the help of legal professionals who can efficiently guide you through the entire process seamlessly. Therefore, consider hiring the best green card attorneys in Houston if you need help with green card issues.

At Salinas Law Firm, we have the most competent green card lawyers in Houston who can help you legally and efficiently deal with green card and US citizenship matters.

Need immediate assistance? Call 713.518.1711 to talk to our top immigration lawyers in Houston today!