Criminal Offenses and Their Consequences on Immigration Status

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An individual's immigration status or ability to obtain status can be damaged by a criminal conviction. Criminal offenses and their affect on immigration status can be placed into one of three main categories:

  1. Deportability Grounds - An individual who is in the United States pursuant to a valid lawful status is subject to deportation.
  2. Inadmissability Grounds - An individual can be barred from extending their status, changing their status, applying for permanent residency or entering the United States if they are outside the United States. If an individual entered the United States without inspection, he or she will be deemed inadmissible and placed in removal proceedings.
  3. Aggravated Felonies - If an individual is convicted for an aggravated felony he or she can be deported. An aggravated felony conviction can also prevent an individual from changing status, becoming a resident or applying for relief from removal. In some instances misdemeanors are considered aggravated felonies.

Impact on immigration status is not limited to these three categories. Individuals convicted of a particularly serious crime may be barred from applying for asylum. An individual convicted of two misdemeanors or a felony can be barred from extending or applying for temporary protected status. In addition, criminal conduct can bar an individual from applying for citizenship because it requires a showing of good moral character within the five years proceeding the application. If you our someone you know has been charged with a crime that could effect immigration status contact Portner & Shure.

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