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.