When a naturalization application isn’t granted

One of the big parts of the process of applying for U.S. citizenship is the naturalization interview and the tests connected to it. After the interview and the tests are completed, a significant moment comes about. That moment is the government issuing a decision on the individual’s naturalization application.

Now, naturally, an applicant’s hope is that their application will be granted, thus putting them on the path of completing the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen. However, sometimes, an applicant will receive a decision other than this hoped-for one.

Getting U.S. citizenship is something naturalization applicants generally care about greatly and have worked hard towards. So, not getting one’s application granted following the naturalization interview can naturally be a very disappointing thing for an applicant. However, an important thing to note is that not having one’s application granted after the interview does not have to mean an end to one’s quest to become a U.S. citizen.

Now, what options a naturalization applicant has after receiving a non-grant decision on their application depends on which specific decision they received. The two types of non-grant decisions are a continue and a denial.

When an applicant receives a continue decision, their application has not been rejected, but rather has been put on hold for a particular reason. Document issues or the applicant having failed an interview test on the first try are two common continue decision reasons. When a continue decision is issued, the government will generally instruct the applicant to do certain things, such as provide certain documents or come in for another interview. Depending on what happens in these next steps, an applicant who received a continue decision may eventually have their application granted.

The other type of non-grant decision is an application denial. Now, receiving a denial does not mean a naturalization applicant has no further options. There are appeal steps an applicant may be able to take to challenge a denial.

So, what an applicant does after receiving a non-grant decision matters. Immigration lawyers can help naturalization applicants who have received such a decision with questions they have regarding what the decision means for them and what steps can be taken in response to the decision.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “What Should I Expect From the Naturalization Process?,” Accessed April 14, 2016