Can my bankruptcy filing affect my immigration status? This is a question periodically asked by my clients. The answer to that question actually depends on the particular circumstances of each case, but here are some of the issues that may be relevant.
There is no immigration law, statute, or regulation that specifically forbids individuals who have filed for bankruptcy from applying for naturalization. Additionally, there is no specific question on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, related to bankruptcy. However, the debtor’s immigration status can be affected if he has not filed the required tax returns or if he owes money to the IRS.
While reviewing immigration-related applications, the INS is usually checking to see if individual seeking naturalization has evidence of “poor moral character” which could be grounds to deny an application. The filing of a bankruptcy petition as a consequence of financial hardship clearly does not rise to the level of “poor moral character.”
However, if you are facing any type of immigration issue and are about to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you should disclose that fact to your bankruptcy lawyer at your initial consultation as well as discuss your potential bankruptcy filing with your immigration attorney.
If you contemplating filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, New York, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a Rochester, NY, bankruptcy lawyer.