When to Get Legal Help


If any of the following are true for your student, they should seek advice from a BIA Accredited organization or Immigration Attorney (click here to see a list of Citizenship Legal Service providers in MN) BEFORE applying for citizenship.

  • Moved from the U.S.: You have moved to another country since getting your green card.
  • Crimes: You have been arrested, convicted, or admitted to committing any crime, including but not limited to misdemeanors, any drug crime, drunken driving, robbery, bigamy, or prostitution.
  • Deportation: You have had a deportation or exclusion (also known as removal) order against you.
  • Taxes: You have not paid your taxes, or you have paid them as a non-resident.
  • Child support: You have chosen not to financially support your children under the age of 18, or have refused to make required child support payments.
  • Probation: You are on probation or parole due to a criminal conviction.
  • Travel for 6 months:  You have spent a 6 month period of time outside of the U.S. since getting your green card.
  • USCIS information: The information on your citizenship applicatoin is different from the information you gave to USCIS to get your green card, or you have made a false statement to immigration officials to get an immigration benefit such as your green card.
  • Illegal entry: You have helped someone, even your child, parent, or spouse, enter the U.S. illegally.
  • False documents: You have been accused of using false documents.
  • Domestic violence: You have been accursed of or charged with committing domestic violence, abuse, or neglect of a child, or have violated a protective order. 
  • Voting in the U.S.: You have registered to vote or have voted in a federal, state, or local election and are not a U.S. citizen.

All information listed above is from United States Citizenship Information Document (last updated in 2009), created by the Seattle Public Library. This information can be found in 14 other languages by visiting http://www.kcls.org/esl/citizenship.cfm.