Will taking unemployment benefits mess up your chances of getting approved if you filed an application for naturalization or an N-400? In other words, let’s assume that you want to become a US citizen. You have a green card. And maybe you’re getting ready to file an N-400. You’re thinking about filing an N-400. Or maybe you have already filed the N-400.
And then you lose your job and you’re thinking about taking unemployment benefits. Would the act of taking the unemployment benefits damage your chances of convincing a USCIS officer to approve your application for naturalization? That is the question I’m going to answer today.
How I can help you
In case you don’t know me, my name is Josh Goldstein, and I’m an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, California. I help people with all sorts of immigration cases, work permits, green cards, and citizenships. And I’m particularly known for helping people with delayed immigration cases.
I get up in the morning and file lawsuits against the USCIS and consulates. I do that all day long and then I go home. That’s my job, suing USCIS and consulates. And I do that to help people just like you, people who may have visas that are delayed, naturalization applications that are delayed, or green cards that are delayed.
The requirements for naturalization
But to answer the question on hand today, would unemployment benefits be a big problem for you when you go to your naturalization interview? The requirements for naturalization are pretty straightforward. And one of them is that you have to be a person of good moral character. Another one is you have to be 18 years old. And there is a whole series of residency requirements you have to meet.
And in conjunction with being a person of good moral character, you have to show that you don’t owe any money in child support or that you have filed all your tax returns that are required. You have to disclose all your criminal cases and they will look at your criminal cases.
Your employment history
And then there is a part of the application where you have to list your biographical information. And included in that, you have to list everywhere you’ve worked with the address for your employment and the dates of employment for the past five years.
But being employed or having a job is not a requirement for naturalization. So if you’re unemployed when you file your application for naturalization, then you’re unemployed. If you go to the interview and you lost your job and the officer says, “Where do you work?”, you could say, “I’m in between jobs right now. I’m looking for a job.”
What you shouldn’t worry about
The economy is in terrible shape. And there are a lot of people who have lost their jobs. There are also a lot of people who are worried about losing their jobs. One thing you shouldn’t worry about and you don’t have to worry about is whether or not the loss of a job would impact your chances of getting approved for naturalization.
If you’re unemployed and you say you’re unemployed, you’re perfectly eligible to be approved. And another aspect of this question is this: would the act of accepting or applying for unemployment insurance benefits damage your chances of being approved for naturalization?
Should you accept unemployment benefits?
Unemployment insurance benefits are not government assistance. They’re not cash welfare payments. Unemployment benefits are a private insurance program that’s regulated in each state. It’s set up for the private benefit of employers. And the employers are required to enroll in this.
The short answer is that accepting unemployment insurance benefits would have no impact whatsoever on an application for naturalization. It’s not something that you should worry about. If you lose your job and you’re eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, then you should go for it and you should apply for them.
And I encourage you to do that because this is money that you’re entitled to. And it won’t impact your application for naturalization. You don’t have anything to worry about in that regard. That’s my answer. I hope you found this helpful.
Do you have more questions?
If you’re reading this post on my blog, you could also watch the video on YouTube. If you do, I’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’m going to be creating new videos and blog posts for your benefit.
Share this video or this post with your friends if they have questions. If you have other questions or need help with an immigration issue, just let me know. I’m here for you. Don’t get discouraged. Keep fighting for your immigration dreams.