Can a legal resident (noncitizen) file for bankruptcy?

Legal residents may file for bankruptcy. But check with an immigration attorney first -- it could affect your citizenship application.

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If you are a legal resident (but not a U.S. citizen), you are eligible to file for bankruptcy relief. But under certain circumstances, a bankruptcy filing might affect your citizenship application.

To learn more about how bankruptcy works and other eligibility rules, see our topic area on Bankruptcy Basics.

Legal Residents Are Eligible to File for Bankruptcy

There is no requirement that you must be a U.S. citizen to file for bankruptcy. In general, you can file for bankruptcy if you reside, have a domicile, or own a business or other property in the United States (or a municipality). This means that if you are a legal resident, you are eligible to file for bankruptcy relief.

(If you are an unauthorized immigrant, see Can an undocumented immigrant file for bankruptcy?)

Caution: Talk to an Immigration Attorney

If you are applying to become a U.S. citizen, filing for bankruptcy could potentially have a negative impact on your application. Immigration decisions are made on a case by case basis. Whether filing for bankruptcy will affect your citizenship application will depend on your individual circumstances. For this reason, consider talking to a knowledgeable immigration attorney before filing your case.

To learn about other bankruptcy eligibility rules, see Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Are You Eligible for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

by: , Attorney

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