When you are seeking a green card to allow you to remain in the United States, it is critical that you speak with an experienced immigration lawyer if you have a criminal record, because they can help you determine your options and the likelihood of your completing a successful application. At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez in the San Fernando Valley, California, we are here to help explain your choices, help you submit a successful petition, as well as help you avoid criminal deportation.
How A Criminal Record Affects Green Card Applications
Not all criminal convictions are treated equally when it comes to immigration issues. “Crimes involving moral turpitude” (CIMT) are viewed much more critically by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when it comes to granting an application for a green card or citizenship. Some of these types of criminal convictions include:
- Petty theft
- White collar crimes
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Drug offenses
CIMT convictions on both the state and federal level will be evaluated when an immigration petition is being considered. Often, the USCIS will look at the federal equivalent of the state charge when analyzing your record, which may be a more severe charge. If you have been convicted of more than two “crimes involving moral turpitude,” we can help you apply for a waiver that will allow you to apply for a green card. We will also help you by mounting an aggressive removal defense if you are facing criminal deportation proceedings, if your application for a green card triggered this type of action by the USCIS.
How Your Criminal Record Will Affect Your Application For Naturalization
If you are convicted of a CIMT after we have helped you obtain a green card, your eligibility for attaining citizenship will be affected. In fact, any crime you commit, whether it is deemed CIMT or not, will be considered when your petition is being processed. More importantly, any offense committed after your green card has been granted may be grounds for criminal deportation and may permanently bar you from applying for citizenship. We are here to counsel you about your chances of a successful citizenship petition, to help you with the process and to prevent criminal deportation if it is based on unfair grounds.
Call our office or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation to speak with us about your criminal deportation and immigration petition concerns if you have a criminal record. We are available to answer your questions, and we return phone calls as quickly as possible. Our office in Van Nuys is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
We speak Spanish, Sinhala, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi and Urdu.
Se habla español.