If you have applied for naturalization, but your application was denied by USCIS, you may appeal your denial. Since there are strict time constraints for you to appeal, it is advised that you speak to a Seattle immigration lawyer immediately. The process for appealing is summarized below.
If your application for naturalization is denied, you and your immigration attorney may administratively appeal this decision to an immigration officer, so long as the request for appeal is filed within 30 calendar days of the denial. This “administrative appeal” is the first step in appealing your naturalization denial. Certain requirements must be met in order to file your appeal. First and foremost, you must send a government filing fee of $650.00. This fee is not required if you are a member or veteran of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and your application for naturalization was submitted under INA §§ 328 or 329. Second, your request for appeal must include the denial notice issued by USCIS. Third, your request should include supporting documentation. If the request for appeal is granted, you will have a hearing before an immigration officer. In this hearing, you and your attorney may subpoena witnesses to testify on your behalf. During the hearing, the immigration officer (most likely a different one than interviewed you for your first naturalization interview) will ask you a series of questions relating to your background, and will go over the specific reasons for your denial. The review hearing must be scheduled within 180 days from the date of appeal.
Tips on handling yourself in the review hearing
It is important for you to be consistent with the facts you presented in your naturalization applicant and at your first naturalization interview. Of course, if there was miscommunication the first time around it is important for you to clarify the miscommunication at the review hearing and have proof to support your new contentions. Also, always maintain a professional composure. USCIS immigration officers are humans, just like you, and it is important to make a good impression on them. The goal of this is to garner as many positive factors for yourself as you possibly can. Your immigration attorney will be able to help you with additional strategies for a successful review hearing.
If your appeal to an immigration officer (see above) is not successful, you may appeal to a federal district court. This is known as judicial review. Your appeal for judicial review must be filed within 120 days of the administrative denial. In addition, a naturalization applicant may seek judicial review where USCIS fails to act within 120 days of a naturalization examination.
How can I get more information regarding the process to appeal a naturalization denial?
Contact us by telephone at (206) 535-2900 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.