U.S. citizenship applicants must demonstrate that they are persons of good moral character. The government reviews an applicant’s moral character history for the 3 or 5 years before filing a Naturalization application, and up until the Oath of Allegiance. Immigration Services determines whether an applicant has met the good moral character requirement on a case-by-case basis. Some types of criminal conduct and certain unlawful acts can prevent applicants from satisfying the good moral character requirement.
The government recently issued new policy guidance describing some unlawful acts that reflect poor moral character for citizenship. One such unlawful act is failure to pay taxes. An applicant who fails to file U.S. tax returns or has outstanding U.S. tax debt will face increased government scrutiny. USCIS officers are increasingly requesting evidence of tax filings and payments for the past 3 or 5 years during citizenship interviews. It is the applicant’s burden to demonstrate that s/he has appropriately filed and paid all local, state, and federal taxes.
Because of this increased scrutiny, Dayzad Law now offers detailed review and analysis of an applicant’s tax documents as a part of our interview representation services. We already offer an interview preparation session and attorney representation at the interview to our Naturalization clients. Reviewing these important tax documents helps ensure our clients are well-prepared and have the proper documentation to satisfy an officer’s inquiry. This review also allows us identify issues that require additional explanation.
Using our years of experience to track immigration trends, we help our clients stay informed and prepared. As immigration procedures become more complex and time-consuming (especially under the current administration), we hope to continue provide our clients with the best possible service and a thoughtful approach to each case.