Naturalization denied because didn’t work for employer

Naturalization denied because didn’t work for employer

If a person did not work for their sponsoring employer after they obtained a green card (through PERM/labor certification), it could create risks and problems for them when they file for naturalization. It could result in the revocation of their green card and deportation/removal.

Every year, thousands of people obtain green cards for themselves and their spouse and minor children through employer-sponsored visas (PERM or labor certification).  In many cases, an employer-sponsored green card is faster than some family-based petitions.  For example, an employer-sponsored green card could take 2 ½ to 3 years, whereas certain family petitions could take up to 30 years!  (Married children of U.S. citizen or brother and sister of U.S. citizen).

One of the requirements for an employer-sponsored green card is that once the person receives the green card, they must actually work for the employer.  (Just like if a person gets a green card through a U.S. citizen spouse, it’s expected that they actually live with that spouse.  If they don’t, USCIS may suspect it is a fixed marriage.  Similarly, if a person does not work for the employer, it could look like a “fixed job.”)

Some people who obtained a green card through employment sponsorship offer various reasons or excuses, such as once they received their work permit (EAD), they found a better and higher paying job and began working there, and the petitioning employer didn’t mind.  The employer went out of business and they found a different employer without notifying USCIS.  They opened up their own business before their green card was approved, and couldn’t go back to working for another person, etc.

This could come back to haunt them.  In one particular case, a person obtained permanent resident status through PERM/labor certification in 2008.  After five years, he applied for naturalization (Form N-400), and appeared for interview.

Because he obtained a green card through employment, he was questioned extensively about his employment history with the petitioning employer, such as when did he start working, how long did he work there, how much was he paid, etc. The officer became suspicious on whether the person was qualified for the job and if he actually worked there.  A request for evidence (RFE) was served, asking for the person’s certified college transcripts (to confirm he did not submit fake transcripts when applying for his green card, and he actually had the required education), tax returns, W-2’s, and other documentation to establish that he actually worked for the employer.

It turned out he never worked for the employer.  His N-400 was denied because he obtained his permanent resident status (green card) unlawfully. In other words, the employment-sponsored green card was obtained through fraud because he did not work for the employer.

Not only was the application for naturalization denied, but USCIS was now considering revoking the green card and placing him in removal proceedings.

I know people are told by friends or relatives that it’s not necessary to work for the employer. That’s not true. If you obtained a green card through employment sponsorship, and are now thinking about naturalizing, I would suggest you consult with an attorney to review your case (even if you actually worked for the employer), because the Trump administration is going back and digging into all the details on how a person obtained a green card, and whether all the requirements were fully met, or if corners were cut. You want to make sure that before you file for naturalization, you fully met all the requirements for the green card, because now USCIS is not only denying applications for naturalization citizenship, but placing people in deportation/removal.


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