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These days many people who apply for citizenship are being denied because the government says they committed fraud when they applied for permanent residency. The alleged fraud could be as simple as failing to disclose something on any prior immigration form to outright omission of prior crimes or deportations. Instead of getting their citizenship, people are then placed in immigration court proceedings. Most often, the alleged fraud was committed decades ago.
The government uses the prior alleged fraud to state that because you were never a lawful permanent resident, you do not qualify for citizenship. Citizenship applicants are not qualified if they were not lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the law because permanent residency status was obtained by fraud, willful misrepresentation, or if the admission was otherwise not in compliance with the law.
USCIS issued a new policy alert on November 18, 2020 which states that people are ineligible for naturalization in cases where they did not obtain LPR status lawfully “including cases where the U.S. government was unaware of disqualifying material facts and had therefore previously granted adjustment of status to that of an LPR or admitted the applicant as an LPR”. This means the government will scrutinize cases even more. https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-updates-policy-guidance-on-naturalization-applicants-who-did-not-properly-obtain-lawful
Is there any hope? Yes there is. First not everything the government says is fraud is actually fraud. These are a few examples of ways persons can defend against fraud determinations in these cases. For example, the government can base the fraud finding on a document they believe is fake when in fact the document is perfectly legitimate. The government may state that a name or fingerprint matches those on another case when in fact they do not. The government may say you lied on a previous application (such as a tourist visa application or a green card application) and therefore you are guilty of fraud and/or misrepresentation. However the fraud may not be material. Material means if the fact had been disclosed during the prior application, then the immigration officer might have asked more questions that might have shown that you were not
eligible for the visa or green card. Not all omissions on immigration forms are material. Finally, if your case ends up in immigration court, the government must prove the fraud not you. If your citizenship is denied because of fraud, there’s still hope.
This is general information and is not meant to provide legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship in any case. Each case is unique.