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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
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Can I apply for naturalization right now despite my tax

Customer Question

Can I apply for naturalization right now despite my tax return status or should I wait?
I was granted asylum in April 2012 and received my green card (became resident) on February 22nd 2013. Unfortunately I did not know that I was supposed to file my tax returns since I was not working at the time. In 2013, I started working as an independent contractor for a few marketing companies but was making less than $3000/year so I didn't file that year either. I did file in 2014 and 2015 when I started working more and at a higher salary. I was planning to file for naturalization in January 2017 (since apparently I can technically start the procedure 90 days from residency approval) but I was wondering if this tax situation would be an issue.
Will I have to file my taxes correctly for 2 more years before I can apply? Is there any way I can explain the situation to immigration officers?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 8 months ago.

Hello! Thank you for using Just Answer. I am James, and I will be assisting you.

Please understand this is for informational purposes only. I've reviewed your question and my answers are below. Once you have received the information you need, please do not leave until you have given me a positive rating of 4 or 5 stars. This is how I am compensated for doing my job. So it is very important that you do this. Thank you.

ANSWER: At this point, you need to file the past tax returns that were not filed. Then you should have information from the IRS that explains that you are in the process of fixing this issue. Often, this is enough to overcome the deficiency. Otherwise, the safest way to do this, without risking losing the cost of the naturalization, is to wait until you have completed the filing of the back taxes and then file for naturalization. You do not have to wait the two years. Just file the back taxes and then file for naturalization.

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Expert:  Expert James replied 7 months ago.

Hi, I’m just checking in to see how things are going.

I see you have reviewed my answer but I did not get credit for answering your question yet. Do you need more help or need me to explain anything else?

Please let me know either way.

Thank you!

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