Non-citizens who are charged or convicted of a crime have serious immigration consequences. Non-citizens – including Green Card holders – who have criminal convictions also can have serious immigration penalties – including denial of citizenship, immigration status or even deportation. An immigrant’s criminal history – even if they are charged and not convicted – can impact their ability to become a United States citizen.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently expanded existing guidance on the “unlawful acts” that can block an immigrant’s path to citizenship because they do not have “good moral character.”
Good moral character is a requirement for citizenship and is considered by immigration officers for a green card and other immigration applications. USCIS assumes that anyone under the age of 14 has good moral character. For anyone 14 years of age and over, good moral character is a non-negotiable requirement. Any crimes that are considered inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act and that may make a person deportable could be considered as something that would cause a person considered not to have good moral character.
Eligibility to apply for US citizenship requires that applicants must demonstrate good moral character during the good moral character period (generally the past 3-5 years).
Denial of status for criminal charges can include misdemeanor crimes such as marijuana use or a DUI. If you have such an arrest or conviction then we can help you determine what your legal options are.
Often called crimmigration, if you are an immigrant who is charged with a crime, it is important to hire an attorney who understands the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
If you or a loved one are an immigrant charged or convicted of a crime, call an attorney experienced in both criminal and immigration law. Our Illinois crimmigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office practice criminal defense and immigration law, and may be able to help you overcome the immigration consequences of criminal history. Call our crimmigration lawyers at 630-912-0322.