Q: How will prior year taxes in repayment affect my spouse's naturalization interview outcome?
I am a U.S. citizen currently in a Ch 13 bankruptcy. My spouse is not included as a debtor. I am the primary listed on the joint returns. We have no unfiled returns. My spouse has a naturalization interview coming up, and we want to know how these taxes in repayment will affect the outcome of the interview if my spouse provides the necessary documentation. My spouse has no criminal history, is involved in the community, and has a strong moral character.
A: 11USC525 a says "a governmental unit may not deny, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license, permit, charter, franchise, or other similar grant to, condition such a grant to, discriminate with respect to such a grant against, deny employment to, terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, a person that is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or a debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, or another person with whom such bankrupt or debtor has been associated, solely because such bankrupt or debtor is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, has been insolvent before the commencement of the case under this title, or during the case but before the debtor is granted or denied a discharge, or has not paid a debt that is dischargeable in the case under this title or that was discharged under the Bankruptcy Act. " It does not address not paying taxes but if taxes are being paid under a ch 13 plan then you are in effect paying the taxes as you should. Bankruptcy is a right and protects the debtor and someone on the debt with them from employment license or grant discrimination. Wether this can be applied to immigration is another field and having this info should help n immigration lawyer know.
You should consult with an immigration attorney about this issue. A family or employment-based change of status petition includes a USCIS form I-864 Affidavit of Support from a sponsor or petitioner. The purpose of the form is to ensure the immigrant has adequate means of financial support and will not become a public charge. If the immigrant becomes a public charge, the sponsor must support that person at a certain level for a certain number of years (starting at 40 quarters or 10 years) While Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits discrimination in government licenses, permits, charters, franchises, or grants based solely on the bankruptcy filing, it allows for discrimination for other reasons, including financial ones in addition to the bankruptcy, or not related to the bankruptcy.
The question becomes whether USCIS may deny a change in status because your bankruptcy filing demonstrates an inadequate means of support for the immigrant or, phrased differently, whether you demonstrate adequate means of financial support for the immigrant. There would likely be many facts involved in that decision that you have not revealed, including your income, debts, assets and liabilities, other sources of support, and the immigrant's ability to support himself or herself.
Bankruptcy is only half the equation.
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