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Naturalization petition denied due to material omission

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 23, 2023

Naturalization petition denied due to material omission

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 23, 2023

Where a man failed to disclose on an immigration application that he had four children, and that information was material and relevant to immigration authorities, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, did not err in denying his naturalization petition.


Abdulrahman Kanu filed a complaint appealing the denial of his naturalization petition. USCIS found that Kanu failed to show that he had no knowledge of his children at the time of his admission as a lawful permanent resident, and thus his omission of this information was disqualifying. Now before the court is defendants’ motion for summary judgment.


To qualify for naturalization, an applicant must establish, among other things, that he (1) was “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” and (2) “is a person of good moral character.” Defendants have moved for summary judgment on grounds that Kanu cannot meet his burden to demonstrate that he satisfies either of these requirements.

Kanu made a misrepresentation on his DS-230 application when he certified that all of his answers on his DS-230 application were “true and correct,” even though he had omitted his children from the DS-230 application. Had immigration officials been in possession of all of the facts of Kanu’s situation, they would have known not only that Kanu had at the time four children, but also that he had omitted his children from his eDV form and DS-230 application. Accordingly, knowledge of Kanu’s children and his affirmative omissions of those children from his applications would have had the natural tendency to influence immigration officials’ decision.

Kanu’s omission of his children would have also been material under the BIA standard because it shut off a line of inquiry that was relevant to Kanu’s eligibility. It is critical for those applying to adjust their status to list family members. If, for instance, an applicant lists children that are not from a current marriage — especially when they live in a different location — then the immigration official would likely inquire into whether the applicant’s current marriage is valid, whether the applicant has omitted a marriage or a spouse and whether the applicant has multiple simultaneous marriages, which would preclude admissibility. Kanu’s failure to list all of his children on his DS-230 application shut off this relevant line of inquiry.

Kanu has provided several explanations and versions of events throughout the course of his immigration proceedings as to why he omitted the children from his eDV form. Kanu’s multiple conflicting versions of events do not create a genuine issue of material fact precluding summary judgment here.

Defendants also argue as an independent basis for summary judgment that Kanu is ineligible for naturalization because he lacks good moral character. Because this court has concluded that Kanu has not satisfied his burden of establishing that he was lawfully admitted for permanent residence, which is fatal to his application for naturalization, the court need not address this issue.

Defendants’ motion for summary judgment granted.

Kanu v. Garland, Case No. 1:21-cv-1333, May 9, 2023. EDVA at Alexandria (Nachmanoff). VLW 023-3-248. 13 pp.

VLW 023-3-248

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