Criminal Charges, Convictions & Your US Citizenship Goals

Criminal Charges, Convictions & Your US Citizenship Goals

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a delicate process that can sometimes derail due to a mistake in your past. Yes, criminal charges and convictions can directly impact your US citizenship application.

How Do Charges or Convictions Affect My US Citizenship Application?

To become a US citizen, you must meet certain criteria, including being a permanent resident, being 18 years of age, speaking English and more. You’re also required to demonstrate good moral character in the years before you began the citizenship process. If not, you may be exempt from citizenship or may be at risk for citizenship delay.

Criminal Charges, Convictions & Your US Citizenship Goals
972-445-7577– Criminal charges and convictions can impact your US citizenship goals. To learn more about becoming a citizen, visit us today.

What Does Good Moral Character Mean?

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, “an applicant for naturalization must show that he or she has been, and continues to be, a person of good moral character.” You must show good moral character for five years prior to your application. 

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the following factors to assess your moral character:

  • Family ties and background
  • Absence or presence of criminal history
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • Financial obligations
  • Community involvement
  • Credibility
  • Compliance with probation
  • Length of time in the United States

Criminal Charges & Convictions

Even a minor crime may impact your citizenship application, especially if your current lifestyle or activities don’t show the required moral character. 

Some crimes will make you temporarily ineligible for citizenship, according to the law. These crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Conviction of two or more gambling crimes
  • Participation in illegal prostitution
  • Illegal drug-related crimes
  • Incarceration for a period of 180 days or more
  • False testimony under oath
  • Polygamy

Other crimes will leave you permanently ineligible for citizenship. These crimes include:

  • Murder
  • Money laundering
  • Violent crimes 
  • Aggravated felonies

If you have a criminal record of any kind, it’s critical that you speak with an immigration attorney prior to completing your citizenship application. Each situation is unique, full of details that require experienced legal counsel. Plus, each conviction or crime may be interpreted differently on both a state and federal level.

Reach Out to Mark E. Jacobs Today

Don’t attempt to go through the US citizenship process on your own, especially if you have any form of criminal record. Instead, call an experienced immigration attorney who can help you navigate the process from start to finish. To learn more about our services or for answers to your questions, give us a call at 972-445-7577 or send us a message.

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  • January 21, 2020
    Barbara R.
    Exceptional customer service! Everyone here is awesome. From Daisy ( at the front desk) to Christy (legal assistant) to Mark. I highly recommend them!!
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    Beatriz B.
    I have been getting all my legal service with the office of Mark E Jacobs for over 7 years now. They are on top of everything and have made a difficult journey a lot easier, taking some of the weight of my shoulders. They have gotten us the results we wanted in a timely process, even when immigration overall is taking months and months. I appreciate all the hard work they did for my family and me.
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    Great customer service
  • December 17, 2019
    Mohammad A.
    Me and my wife are very much thankful to Mr Mark E Jacob, Miss Chriestie and their staff for working very efficiently and diligently for our naturalization process. Today we passed our test thanks to mr Mark for occumpanying us during the interview He commands a lot of respect from everybody in USCIS We pray for his practice flourish more.
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