By Brian in Citizenship & Naturalization | on 2023-12-01 17:36:13
Many lawful permanent residents (green holders) dream of becoming U.S. citizens one day. This is possible if one has been living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for the required period. However, becoming a U.S. citizen is not automatic simply because you have been living in the U.S. as a green card holder for the required time. There are U.S. citizenship eligibility requirements you must meet, and one of them is not having a conviction for certain crimes.
A common question we get at J. Sparks Law in the Austin area is whether a conviction for domestic violence is one of those crimes.
Being convicted of domestic violence can have serious consequences besides the possibility of spending time in prison. The consequences are doubly worse if you’re an immigrant. This is because a conviction for domestic violence can potentially lead to your immigration status being yanked and facing deportation even if you are a green card holder or prevent you from getting one if you are applying for it.
According to U.S. immigration laws, you cannot obtain a green card, and if you already have one, it can be taken away, and you are subject to deportation if you have been convicted of certain crimes, including aggravated felonies or “crimes involving moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude crimes are crimes that are vile in nature or insulting to one’s moral compass.
If your green card is taken and you are placed in removal or deportation proceedings, you will not be able to even apply for U.S. citizenship because one of the requirements you must satisfy is proving that you have a valid green card. If you have been convicted of domestic violence, it’s important that you talk to an experienced immigration attorney and find out what needs to be done to fend off your potential deportation or to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Under U.S. immigration laws, a domestic violence offense is any conduct that involves abuse or threats of abuse to one of the following persons:
“Abuse” is generally defined as:
If they have not been placed in removal or deportation proceedings already, a person applying for citizenship but has been convicted of domestic violence can have their application denied because of that conviction. A conviction for domestic violence can be found to be a crime involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony. Either classification can lead to one being deported or denied U.S. citizenship.
If you are an immigrant who has been convicted of domestic violence and are trying to become a U.S. citizen, contact us today to confidentially discuss your situation and how we can help you.