A criminal conviction after November 29, 1990 for what is defined as an aggravated felony is a permanent bar to becoming a naturalized American citizen. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Law some crimes under State and other federal laws would be considered misdemeanors are considered aggravated felonies for naturalization purposes. Examples of crimes that are considered aggravated felonies are crimes involving theft, where an individual is sentenced to one year in jail, drug trafficking and various other crimes. Some crimes which are not aggravated felonies also may prevent you from becoming a naturalized American citizen. The law involving becoming a naturalized American citizen requires that you provide documentation that for a period of five (5) years you have shown a good moral character. In some instances spouses of United States citizens only have to prove they have had a good character for three (3) years.
Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude
There is a category of crimes involving moral turpitude that can be a bar to becoming a naturalized American citizen. Examples of these types of crimes are drug offenses, multiple gambling offenses, crimes where a judge has sentenced you to five (5) years imprisonment or more and any crime for which you have been confined to a prison for a period of six (6) months. A list of other crimes which are considered crimes of moral turpitude involve sexual offenses, robbery, receiving stolen goods, prostitution, counterfeiting, larceny, murder, burglary, writing bad checks, blackmail, bribery, rape and prostitution.
Citizens Application From Being Deported
If you apply to become a naturalized American citizen and you have been convicted of a crime involving more than five (5) years imprisonment or under certain circumstances three (3) years imprisonment, you can as a result of applying to become a naturalized American citizen be deported for your criminal act. Your case can be referred to an immigration Court for deportation action.
Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates are criminal lawyers who are not only experienced in representing clients with regard to criminal problems but are knowledgeable with regard to the immigration impact criminal convictions can have.