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Factors that could influence eligibility for U.S. citizenship

Citizenship is the ultimate goal for many who enter the country. Last month we wrote a post regarding why someone might want to become a citizen of the United States. In that post we pointed to several of the benefits that might prompt someone who is eligible to pursue this course of action, including but not limited to, the opportunity to participate in politics and receive federal financial assistance for things such as loans for college.

The process of becoming a U.S. citizen may be complicated. This is true even for individuals who believe they are eligible for the process and only have to complete and file an Application for Naturalization.

Requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen include being able to speak, write and read English. In addition, an applicant must have knowledge of history and government. Even if those requirements are met there are other matters that could arise that could make it difficult for someone to obtain citizenship. These include not paying federal income taxes or registering with the Selective Service System. Issues with paying child support could also be problematic.

A criminal record can also be a roadblock to citizenship. Being arrested for any crime, including drunk driving, could make it impossible for someone to secure citizenship.

While the matters mentioned above might make it more difficult to become a citizen of the U.S., they do not necessarily disqualify an applicant. It is possible that a lawyer who practices in the field of immigration could help an applicant work through the potential roadblocks to citizenship. For more information on the matter please see our citizenship web page.

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