How Crimes Can Impact Your Stay in The United States

If you are attempting to stay in United States or receive citizenship in the United States, it is important to understand things that may potentially block you from being able to achieve this. Whether a crime has been committed overseas or in the United States, a crime on your record can have significant implications on your ability to successfully immigrate to the U.S. If you are already in the country, this could also impact your deportation if you have a green card or non-immigrant visa and damage your ability to become a U.S. citizen.

Crimes That Make a Green Card or Visa Applicant Inadmissible

In the event that you are applying for lawful permanent residence or a U.S. visa, government officials take multiple steps in order to verify that you are admissible into the United States. If you are classified as inadmissible, you will be denied your visa or green card, unless the law gives you another opportunity to pursue a waiver for legal forgiveness. Crimes tend to present major issues for many immigrants. However, not every crime on your record will make you inadmissible in the United States. There are several different crimes that make you inadmissible in the United States. These include;

  • Violations of U.S. law
  • Conviction of crimes involving any moral turpitude.
  • Having criminal convictions in the past ten years or after coming to the United States.
  • Conviction of or participation in controlled crimes for which the prison sentences reached at least 5 years.
  • Commission of a crime against a government official
  • Attempted procurement or procurement of importation of contraband from prosecutorial action after committing a major criminal offense in the United States, you were able to leave the United States, but had not submitted fully to the U.S. and hoped to return.
  • Attempting to enter the U.S. to engage is criminal offenses.

If you have questions about your individual situation, you need the insight of a lawyer sooner rather than later.

Crimes That Make an Immigrant Eligible for Deportation from U.S. Soil in The Event That They Violate Immigration Laws

The most common reason for individuals to be placed into the deportation process is as a result of commission of a crime. Read on to learn more about what criminal convictions can impact you in this situation.

Moral turpitude crimes are a gray area in U.S. immigration law as they are not often clearly defined. However, the state department has given guidance about these by listing that they usually involve intent to harm individuals, fraud or larceny.

Assault with the intent to rob or kill, aggravated driving under the influence or spousal abuse may also apply. This is determined specifically based on the wording of the statute that you allegedly violated unless you are eligible to exercise an exception in the event that it is a petty offense associated with moral turpitude. This crime may not carry a penalty of longer than one year in prison and if anytime that you did serve in prison was less than six months. Some examples include any damage to a persons or property and shop lifting. However, there are two situations under you which you may be deported under this category that did not arise out of one single scheme of criminal misconduct.

There are some crimes that can lead you to be deported from the United States. These include things like espionage, human trafficking, drug crimes, neglect or child abuse and terrorist activity. Understanding how your criminal record can potentially your future is important for any individual who wants to enter the United States or for someone who has been in the United States and is concerned about being deported. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney as well as a criminal defense attorney should be your first stop.

Crimes That May Prevent You from Receiving Official U.S. Citizenship

If you are currently holding a green card for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, you will be asked during this procedure whether or not you have ever been arrested for, charged with or convicted of any crime. Not every crime will bar you from receiving U.S citizenship and it is a good idea to meet with your immigration attorney first to have your record reviewed in full and to determine what it means in terms of immigration] crimes that permanently bar individuals from ever receiving citizenship and these include aggravated felony for convictions meaning that if they discover any history of these in your record, you will be ineligible to receive U.S. citizenship. Although this is not a comprehensive listing, here are some of the crimes that may make you ineligible for citizenship:

  • Spending 180 days or longer in prison or jail for any crime
  • Having been convicted of 2 or more crimes with a prison sentence
  • Operating a commercial vice enterprise
  • Receiving the majority of your income from illegal activities

The good news is that you may be not be automatically barred from citizenship. However, it is still a good idea to set up a meeting with an experienced immigration lawyer.

The United States makes it difficult for any individual with a criminal record to cross the border. You could be barred from entering for a wide range of criminal offenses even if those were considered minor at the time that you were charged. Some crimes may make you inadmissible to the United States and others will not prevent your entry into the United States. However, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible after you find yourself in this situation. A criminal background can have an impact on your ability to stay inside the United States as well as affecting ongoing and current immigration proceedings.




Asylum as an Option for Staying in The United States

One of the least well-understood aspects of receiving citizenship or being able to stay in the United States has to do with receiving asylum. Learn more about this by continuing to read this blog. U.S. immigration laws currently have very little opportunities for individuals to go from being illegal or an undocumented immigrant to a permanent resident in the United States holding a green card. Entering the United States without any approval is illegal to do so.

It is also true that it is prohibited to stay in the United States after your authorized stay or visa has expired. Even violating legal entry terms can make your entire stay illegal. There are several different options in order to stay within the country legally. One of these is known as asylum.

Basics of Asylum

You may be eligible to extend your right to stay in the United States if you are eligible for asylum. In order to achieve this even your authorized stay has expired you will need to demonstrate particular things in order to be considered for asylum. Current persecution in your home country based on your religion, political opinion, nationality, race or membership in a certain protected class. You may need to provide detailed information about your membership in such a group and any details about the persecution in order to apply for a green card one year after the approval and for U.S. citizenship four years after that. If you are denied for asylum, however, you may have to return to your home country. With such high stakes, it makes hiring the right lawyer all the more important.

Basic Grounds for Asylum

You can only be granted asylum if you are eligible to meet these conditions within your home country and some examples include threats of injury or death, imprisonment, torture or discrimination. This is also dependent on your participation in a particular social group, religion or race. You must submit the affirmative application for asylum. Your New Jersey immigration lawyer can help you initiate the process with the right forms. In addition to this form you need to submit evidence, affidavits.  In the event that you don’t have papers of your own, you can also include newspaper articles or human rights reports that back up your claim. This form will tell you what to do from the process standpoint.

However, as these issues can be extremely complicated and confusing for anyone, it is imperative to consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible after initiating the application.

What You Can Expect After Submitting an Application

Within 60 days of having received your official application for asylum, USCIS will initiate interview process to review the application and hear personal testimony from you. You need to be prepared for this process and remain calm. Speaking directly with your immigration attorney about how this interview will unfold may give you greater confidence about the situation so that you can approach it most effectively.

You will not receive a decision on the day of your asylum application interview, but you may be asked to return on a separate day to find out whether or not the asylum was approved. If your asylum is approved, you will receive ability to apply for a work permit and evidence of your approved status and then be able to apply for a green card within one year. If your case is not approved, however, you will be moved to deportation or removal proceedings that will initiate within a few weeks.

If you are seeking asylum status, it is strongly recommended that you seek help outside of your case from a lawyer who can help you prepare the materials most effectively. Putting together your evidence and preparing for the asylum interview can be an overwhelming process. Small mistakes that you make on your end could end up leading to unnecessary delays or frustration.

It is imperative to partner with somebody who understands the specifics of these processes and who can help you navigate road blocks. In the situation where your case has already been referred to immigration court, you’ll most certainly want an attorney’s help. Applying for immigration can be an overwhelming situation for you on your own. However, a lawyer who is more familiar with the process and the common challenges that individuals experience can help you move things along significantly.

If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible to apply for asylum and what you can expect in the event that you initiate an application, you need to consult with a lawyer. No matter where you find yourself in the asylum application process, it is critical to understand your responsibilities as well as your rights.

You should not count on any government agencies inside the United States to provide you with advocacy for your individual needs or clear understandings of what to expect. Only hiring a lawyer can help you get a clear perspective on what you are responsible for managing during this specific time and how you can benefit by submitting things properly and in a timely fashion the first time around. It is strongly recommended that you hire an immigration attorney at the outset of your asylum application.

However, it is still beneficial to bring someone in in the later stages of your asylum application, particularly if your request was denied. Having someone review the facts of your case can help you get around significant road blocks and obstacles in the process as well as give you peace of mind about the management of your claim.