Citizenship FAQs: Does Being Unemployed Prevent Me From Becoming a U.S. Citizen?
Debt, unemployment, bankruptcy and other financial troubles do not prevent a green card holder from becoming a U.S. citizen. In fact, you can apply for U.S. citizenship while dealing with financial hardships like these. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers an application process to help certain people who meet certain criteria in their naturalization applications despite having a poor credit or economic history. Applicants are evaluated on their individual circumstances, and all economic hardships are carefully considered.
If you are a green card holder who is dealing with financial hardship, it’s important to know that your application for naturalization will not be denied solely based on your economic history. USCIS considers the facts and circumstances surrounding an applicant’s background to determine their eligibility for naturalization. Additionally, USCIS may also offer fee waivers to those who are not able to pay the application and biometrics fees associated with their applications.
However, if your financial hardships are due to criminal behavior on your part, you may not qualify for citizenship under the “good moral character” requirements.
What Is Good Moral Character When Becoming A U.S. Citizen?
Good moral character is a requirement for citizenship and is considered by immigration officers for a green card and other immigration applications. USCIS assumes that anyone under the age of 14 has good moral character. For anyone 14 years of age and over, good moral character is a non-negotiable requirement. Certain crimes that are considered inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act and that may make a person deportable could be considered as something that would cause a person considered not to have good moral character. In addition, USCIS in some instances has gone as far as considering multiple violations of the traffic laws as proof of a lack of good moral character.
Established examples of a lack of good moral character are:
- Lying during the naturalization interview
- Drunk driving
- Illegal gambling
- Lying to get immigration benefits
- Marijuana use and convictions, even in legalized states
- Failure to pay taxes
Benefits Of Naturalization
Naturalization can bring many rights and privileges, such as voting in elections and become eligible for certain government jobs. There are also financial benefits associated with becoming a United States citizen. Understanding all the rights and responsibilities associated with becoming a United States citizen is important before applying for naturalization.
Download Our Free Guide: 10 Benefits Of Becoming A U.S. Citizen: Free Guide
Do You Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Talk To A Citizenship Lawyer
The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322.
We help clients in all 50 states.