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Passports

Question: If I have been charged with a crime but the case was dismissed, must I admit that I was arrested on an N-400 Application of Naturalization under the question “Were you ever arrested?”

The answer to this question is Yes!. You should always tell the truth on immigration and naturalization forms. Under the law in the United States you are innocent until proven guilty. If the case was dismissed the arrest should have no immigration impact. However, under certain circumstances you can be denied citizenship if a naturalization examiner believes you have engaged in drug trafficking.

Question: If an individual has plead guilty to a crime and fulfills the sentencing requirement of community service and thereafter the conviction was discharged and the criminal record was sealed, does this impact on an application to become an American citizen?

Attorney Elliot Schlissel

To start with, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will take the position that you have been convicted of a crime. The Immigration and Naturalization Service can consider you have been convicted of a crime if you have admitted your guilt, there has been a finding that you are guilty or you pleaded no contest to the crime. In addition, if a judge has ordered you to commit community service, in theory, you have been punished for a crime. In cases where judges punish individuals for crimes, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will also take the position they have been found guilty even if the case was later dismissed.

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