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Immigrants to the U.S. sometimes live under precarious circumstances, regardless of whether or not they are documented. Both documented and undocumented immigrants can file for bankruptcy, but it’s in their best interests to speak at length with a lawyer about the specifics of their circumstances. Legal residents who are in the process of applying for citizenship should know that filing for bankruptcy might affect their citizenship. There’s no cut-and-dry rule regarding whether bankruptcy will negatively impact citizenship—these immigration decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Undocumented immigrants also have the right to request bankruptcy relief, as does anyone who resides in the U.S., or owns a home or business within its borders. However, undocumented immigrants should only do so after considerable thought, as it can lead to severe consequences, including possible deportation. Bankruptcy proceedings are a matter of public record. Additionally, all bankruptcy filers must prove their identity to the court with a Social Security number or an ITIN (tax processing number).