Chapter 3: Evidence and the Record

A. Applicant Testimony​

Issues relevant to the GMC requirement may arise at any time during the naturalization interview. The officer’s questions during the interview should elicit a complete record of any criminal, unlawful, or questionable activity in which the applicant has ever engaged regardless of whether that information eventually proves to be material to the GMC determination.​

The officer should take into consideration the education level of the applicant and his or her knowledge of the English language. The officer may rephrase questions and supplement the inquiry with additional questions ​to better ensure​ that the applicant understands the proceedings.​ [1] See Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing [12 USCIS-PM E.2], for guidance on rephrasing questions.

The officer must take a sworn statement from an applicant when the applicant admits committing an offense for which the applicant has never been formally charged, indicted, ​arrested​ or convicted.​ [2] See 8 CFR 316.10(b)(2)(iv). See Chapter 2, Adjudicative Factors, Section E, Admission of Certain Criminal Acts [12 USCIS-PM F.2(E)].

B. Court Dispositions​

In general, an officer has the authority to request the applicant to provide a court disposition for any criminal offense committed in the United States or abroad to properly determine whether the applicant meets the GMC requirement. USCIS requires applicants to provide court dispositions certified by the pertinent jurisdiction for any offense committed during the statutory period. In addition, USCIS may request any additional evidence that may affect a determination regarding the applicant’s GMC. The burden is on the applicant to show that an offense does not prevent him or her from establishing GMC. ​

An a​pplicant is required to provide ​a certified court disposition ​for ​any arrest involving the​ following​ offenses and circumstances, regardless of whether the arrest resulted in a conviction:​

Arrest for c​riminal act committed during the statutory period;​

Arrest​that occurred on or after November 29, 1990, that may be ​an ​aggravated felon​y​;​ [3] See INA 101(a)(43). See Chapter 4, Permanent Bars to GMC, Section B, Aggravated Felony [12 USCIS-PM F.4(B)].

Arrest for m​urder;​

A​rrest for a​ny ​offense ​that would render the ​applicant​removable​;​

Arrest​for ​offenses ​outside the statutory period​,​ if​ when combined ​with other ​offenses inside the statutory period, the offense ​would preclude the applicant from establishing ​GMC​;​ and​

Arrest for crime where the applicant would still be on probation at the time of adjudication of the naturalization application or ​may have been incarcerated​ for 180 days during the statutory period.​

These procedures ​are not intended​ to limit the discretion of any officer in requesting documentation that the officer needs to properly assess an applicant’s GMC.​

In cases where a court disposition or police record is not available, the applicant must provide original or certified confirmation that the record is not available from the applicable law enforcement agency or court.​

C. Failure to Respond to Request for Evidence​

In cases where the initial naturalization examination ​has already been conducted​, the officer should adjudicate the naturalization application on the merits​where the applicant fails to respond to a request for additional evidence.​ [4] See Part B, Naturalization Examination, Chapter 4, Results of the Naturalization Examination [12 USCIS-PM B.4], for guidance on decisions on the application, to include cases where the applicant fails to respond. The officer should not deny the application for lack of prosecution after the initial naturalization examination.​ [5] See INA 335(e). See 8 CFR 335.7.