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DUI Defense For Medical Professionals  | Chicago Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy

Citizenship FAQs: Can I Apply For Citizenship If I Have A DUI?

A DUI, or driving under the influence, does not automatically prevent you from becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, it can hurt your chances of being approved if you are found to lack “good moral character.”

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines good moral character as “a person who respects the law and order of the United States and who adheres to the principles of self-reliance and personal responsibility.” DUIs can be considered by an officer in his or her decision to grant you U.S. citizenship. 

If you have had DUI convictions, it is possible to still become a U.S. citizen by presenting positive evidence in other areas of your life. This evidence could include things like:

  • A clean criminal record aside from the DUI
  • A history of employment and financial stability
  • Strong community ties
  • Evidence of rehabilitation, such as completing a DUI education program or counseling

If you have two or more DUI convictions, it will be more difficult to become a U.S. citizen.  However, it is still possible with strong evidence of good moral character and rehabilitation.

If you are considering applying for citizenship with a DUI on your record, it is important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your individual case.

Consult A Crimmigration Attorney If You Have A DUI And Want to Apply For Citizenship

An attorney who has experience in both criminal defense and immigration law, called a crimmigration attorney, can help you understand the law and develop a strong application that will increase your chances of approval.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind if you have a DUI and are considering applying for citizenship:

  • The time period that USCIS will consider when evaluating your good moral character is typically the five years prior to your application date.
  • If you have a DUI conviction that falls outside of the five-year period, you will still need to disclose it on your application. However, it may not be as harmful to your chances of approval.
  • If you are convicted of a DUI after you have applied for citizenship, it could result in the denial of your application or the revocation of your citizenship.

If you have a DUI and are interested in applying for citizenship, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. With strong evidence of good moral character and the help of an experienced crimmigration attorney, you may be able to overcome the presumption of bad moral character and achieve your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Benefits Of Citizenship

If your citizenship application is denied, we can help you figure out the next steps. Naturalization to become a U.S. Citizen can bring many rights and privileges, such as voting in elections and becoming eligible for certain government jobs. There are also financial benefits associated with becoming a United States citizen. Understanding all the rights and responsibilities associated with becoming a United States citizen is important before applying for naturalization.

Download Our Free Guide: 10 Benefits Of Becoming A U.S. Citizen: Free Guide

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Do You Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Talk To A Citizenship Lawyer

The crimmigration and immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322. 

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