Application for Naturalization
Q: When I applied for Naturalization six years ago, I was afraid to admit the truth when the Officer asked me who the father of my child had been. They denied my application and told me I had to wait 5 more years to apply. Is it safe to apply again now? And if I do, must I tell them that I made a misrepresentation in my earlier interview?
A: You definitely will need to answer honestly, i.e., “yes.” Making another misrepresentation, especially under these circumstances, would be very bad and would also be very obvious. But you should provide an attachment with a brief explanation of what happened.
The facts surrounding your statement to the officer six years ago are critically important. The description that you provide of those facts will be equally critical. That is why you need good legal counsel from an immigration attorney with experience in these specific matters.
The immigration officer will be evaluating this incident for two purposes: to determine whether you are a person “of good moral character” and also to determine whether you committed fraud or misrepresentation during your first interview.
A person who made a knowing misrepresentation of a “material” fact to an immigration official, in order to gain an immigration benefit, is “inadmissible” and could end up having problems returning to the U.S. following a trip abroad. But not all ‘misrepresentations’ are equally serious. Sometimes people say things to “cheat” and get an immigration benefit. Other times, a person may say the same thing, but purely out of embarrassment or some other reason. The legal distinctions can be very subtle, but with profoundly different consequences.
That is why having the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney is extremely important in your situation. The attorney, if properly experienced, will understand how the USCIS officials think and how they will view your story. A good immigration attorney should be able to help you evaluate what actually happened and give a good analysis of how serious the consequences are. And the attorney can skillfully guide you in preparing the best explanation of the incident, as well as preparing additional evidence showing your good moral character.
Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C. – Attorney Mark Egan
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400-1532
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Re-Published from: AVVO Legal Questions and Answers
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