Citizenship With A Criminal Record
Becoming a U.S. citizen requires undergoing a thorough review of your background. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will apply a high level of scrutiny in determining whether you meet the legal criteria for naturalization. One important requirement is that you possess “good moral character.”
How Will Crimes Affect My Eligibility To Become A U.S. Citizen?
As part of the application process, you must disclose all arrests, prosecutions and criminal convictions, both in the United States and abroad. Even offenses that were expunged or sealed can come back to haunt you.
A criminal history might jeopardize your ability to demonstrate good moral character. In fact, certain serious crimes will prevent you from ever becoming a U.S. citizen — and may result in deportation. These crimes include:
- Aggravated felonies
Immigration law defines “aggravated felony” differently than most state and federal courts. Aggravated felonies encompass a wide range of crimes such as sex offenses, drug trafficking and certain theft offenses. You could even ineligible for citizenship as a result of certain misdemeanors.
Other serious crimes can temporarily prohibit you from obtaining citizenship. This ban typically lasts three or five years.
Don’t Risk Making A Bad Situation Worse
Pursuing citizenship with a criminal record is like playing with fire. If handled improperly, you could lose out on important rights or even face deportation. You should never attempt to handle these complexities on your own.
At the Law Offices of George Giosmas, we can help you develop a sensible course of action. Our attorney handles citizenship issues for clients across the country. With more than 30 years of immigration experience, lawyer George Giosmas has seen it all — citizenship with a DUI, citizenship with a theft conviction and more. His knowledge of how crimes impact immigration is so extensive that criminal defense lawyers across the country turn to Mr. Giosmas for advice.
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