Can You Obtain a Green Card with a Criminal Record?

Can You Obtain a Green Card with a Criminal Record?

Each year, many people from other countries come into the United States looking to obtain a green card to ultimately gain citizenship. However, this is a process that can be difficult, to say the least, especially if the individual coming

into the country has a criminal record. For the majority of foreign nationals who want to gain entry into the US and obtain a green card, it might be impossible. Individuals who have a conviction for lower level crimes can still have the opportunity to get their green card.

They include the following:

  • 1 The name and definition given to and of the case, as well as the specific facts of the case
  • 2 Your age when the crime was committed
  • 3 The number of convictions you have on your record
  • 4The prison sentence length and maximum penalty you received for the crime

All of this information is then looked into and compared with the immigration laws in place that address criminal convictions to determine whether or not you can obtain a green card.

What Kind of Crimes Prevent Foreign Nations from Obtaining a Green Card?

Certain crimes will render a person ineligible for obtaining a green card. They include the following:

Crimes involving controlled substance violations and moral turpitude: If the individual has a violation for controlled substances, specifically, possession of marijuana, cocaine or heroin, they are ineligible for a green card. The same stands for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), which involves a crime of evil content, such as fraud, theft, violence and murder. In this type of situation, a criminal and immigration lawyer is required to determine whether the crime in question is one of moral turpitude. There are a few exceptions, such as being under 18 at the time of the crime and five years since the commission of the crime. Additionally, if the individual received a penalty of a maximum of no more than one year and a prison term of no more than six months or the offense is considered “petty,” they can be excepted from these rules.

Other crimes: There are other crimes that can render a person inadmissible for a green card, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Those crimes include kidnapping, drug or human trafficking, prostitution or profiting financially from a family member’s human trafficking and money laundering. In addition, if a person has been convicted of an aggravated felony as a result of crimes like theft and money laundering, rape, sexual abuse of a minor or murder, they are not eligible for a green card.

Does the Crime Still Count if it Was Removed from a Record?

A criminal immigration attorney Pasadena based may be able to determine what may happen in the event that the crime is removed from the person’s record. One of the ways this is possible is through expungement of the court record after the person’s conviction. This essentially seals the record as the conviction is eliminated. Another option takes place before a judge makes a final order that the individual serve probation or partake in a rehabilitation program. This is usually reserved for people who have committed a first-time drug offense after which the person receives counseling and serves probation or community service

Unfortunately, even after a foreign national has had crimes removed from their record, they may still be unable to obtain a green card. For the sake of immigration law, a criminal conviction cannot be removed from one’s record.

If the conviction occurred outside of the US, it makes the process of getting a green card even more difficult. This is due to foreign criminal laws being so different from those of the US. It involves a comparison between the conviction and federal US law to determine which law closely matches with the conviction. In this situation, it’s wise to have the best immigration lawyer Pasadena has to offer to ensure that the individual’s rights are protected

Some Crimes Can Be Excused

Some crimes can actually be forgiven or waived. Speaking with an experienced criminal immigration attorney is advised. The nature of the crime and rehabilitation the individual received afterward may play a part in their ability to get a green card, as can having family members who are US citizens or permanent residents

If you are a foreign national trying to get a green card but have a criminal history, you may have a difficult journey. The best thing to do is get in touch with the top criminal immigration attorney Pasadena based to determine your options. The top immigration lawyer Pasadena has to offer will look into the situation and fight for your rights every step of the way.