In December, the government suspended naturalization ceremonies and stopped officials approving new applications for citizenship after the system was hit with a glitch.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said he had learned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration had ordered officials not to approve any oath or naturalization cases in the Electronic Immigration System, The Washington Times reported.
The Times report said Daniel M. Renaud, the associate director at USCIS said the department was not confident that proper FBI name checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. He was unsure of the scope of the problem.
The FBI name checks are certainly a vital part of the application process. It allows USCIS officials to scrutinize potential criminal histories of applicants for citizenship or other national security warning signs that would make someone ineligible for citizenship.
This is not the first citizenship mistake to make headlines in recent months. In 2016, an error saw more than 850 people from countries with immigration fraud records being granted naturalization.
A report on NPR stated 858 of those who were granted citizenship had been ordered out of the United States. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security blamed flawed fingerprint records for the error.
The mistake was revealed during a probe into whether USCIS was using databases that contain personal information correctly for naturalization applications.
These stories are seized on by the opponents of immigration. However, it’s unclear how long naturalization ceremonies were halted for during the recent issue.
Naturalization can be a lengthy process and there are lots of hurdles you have to satisfy which we detail here.
If you are a green card holder, you will have to wait five years to apply for citizenship. If you are married to a U.S. citizen you can apply in three. That gives plenty of time for any serious issues to be uncovered.
Gaining citizenship can be very complicated and involves considerable costs. In the present climate of uncertainty for immigrants, it’s a sensible step to protect yourself and your family. It may become more difficult and onerous to become a U.S. citizen in the future.
Our Austin citizenship attorneys can help you with every phase of the process to become naturalized. Call us today for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.