Raleigh | Smithfield | Charlotte | Orlando | Goldsboro

Will a Criminal Conviction Make Me Ineligible for Immigration?

 Posted on March 09, 2023 in Immigration

orange county immigration lawyerWhen applying for a visa, Green Card, or citizenship in the United States, criminal convictions can play a significant role in a person's case. It is important to be aware of the potential consequences of a criminal conviction. While the laws surrounding immigration in the U.S. can be complicated, a skilled attorney can provide guidance on how to address issues related to criminal convictions. They can help an immigrant determine whether certain convictions may make them inadmissible or deportable, and they can also assist with applying for waivers of inadmissibility or other forms of relief.

Background Checks by U.S. Immigration Officials

When an individual applies for any type of immigration status in the United States—including a visa, Green Card, or citizenship—it is standard practice for U.S. immigration officials to conduct a background check on the applicant. This background check will include an examination of the applicant’s criminal history, if applicable. Depending on the severity of the offense and other factors, such as whether a crime was committed within a certain time frame, a conviction could lead to the denial of an application based on grounds of inadmissibility for entry into the United States, deportability, or ineligibility for adjustment of status.

When Can a Conviction Make Me Ineligible for a Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship?

The most common scenarios in which a criminal conviction would make an immigrant ineligible for admission into the United States or cause them to lose their legal status include:

  • Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs) – These offenses include crimes such as murder, rape, theft, fraud, etc. In general, any conviction of a CIMT will result in a person being deemed inadmissible by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A CIMT with a sentence of at least one year committed within five years after a person entered the United States will cause them to be considered deportable, and two or more separate convictions committed at any time may also result in deportation.

  • Aggravated felonies – These include serious offenses such as murder, sexual assault, or sexual abuse of a minor. Convictions for aggravated felonies could lead to deportation from the U.S., regardless of how much time has passed since the conviction occurred. It is important to note that someone who is convicted of an aggravated felony may not be eligible for any type of relief from deportation or exclusion from re-entry into the U.S. Notably, some states define certain crimes as felonies even though other states may classify those same offenses as misdemeanors; if someone is convicted of a misdemeanor in one state that may be classified as a felony in another, they may still face immigration consequences. 

  • Controlled substance violations – Any type of offense related to substances that are classified as illegal drugs may have negative implications on someone’s immigration status. These include convictions related to drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute.

  • Convictions on multiple offenses - Two or more convictions that are related to each other may make a person inadmissible if the total sentence they receive is at least five years. These convictions may take place in a single trial, or they may involve separate cases that are part of the same course of conduct.

Contact Our Orlando Immigration Lawyer for Criminal Convictions

If you have any criminal convictions, you will need to understand how they could affect your immigration status and your ability to enter or remain in the United States. To make sure these issues will be addressed correctly, it is important to work with an immigration lawyer who can help you understand your options. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our Orange County immigration attorneys can provide representation during your case, helping you determine your options and advising you on the exceptions or forms of relief that may be available. To get help with these or other immigration issues, contact us at 407-955-5000 and arrange a free consultation.





Share this post:
des aila aila
Back to Top