Schedule a Free Consultation diamond214-295-3014

Does a Criminal Record Impact Becoming a U.S. Citizen?

 Posted on November 09, 2023 in Immigration

TX immigration lawyerIn Texas, having a criminal record can indeed impact your journey toward obtaining U.S. citizenship. The seriousness of your past offenses plays a crucial role. Certain crimes, like murder, sexual assault, and drug trafficking, can create a permanent barrier to establishing good moral character for citizenship. Becoming a U.S. citizen is a challenging process, and it is important to take it seriously. Demonstrating good moral character is also vital, and this can be influenced by your past criminal convictions. If you have a criminal conviction you need a Texas immigration lawyer to help you understand how it can affect your application for U.S. citizenship. 

What Crimes Might Hurt My Road To Citizenship?

Some crimes, like murder, sexual assault, drug trafficking, and other serious offenses, can forever block you from establishing good moral character for U.S. citizenship. Acts such as genocide or torture also lead to a permanent bar.

How Do Conditional Bars Tie to Good Moral Character?

Some crimes may lead to conditional bars, depending on the time frame of your conviction and the nature of the offense. You should consider seeking legal counsel to help understand how your specific situation may affect your eligibility for citizenship in Texas.

Conditional bars may apply to offenses such as drug crimes except for small marijuana possession. They also apply to prostitution-related offenses, polygamy, human trafficking, multiple DUI convictions, and multiple convictions that led to at least five years in prison. Some exceptions exist for minor offenses.

Since the law does not define good moral character, it can be tough to know if your criminal history will disqualify you from citizenship. Each case is evaluated individually, considering factors like specific convictions and your overall life history. You can present evidence to show that you are not a threat to the nation.

Does It Matter How Long Ago the Crime Was Committed?

Certain crimes may create conditional bars to good moral character if the conviction occurred within a specific time frame, typically five years for most applicants and three years for some spouses of U.S. citizens. During this period, you must demonstrate good moral character.

 Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dallas Immigration Lawyer

Becoming a U.S. citizen offers numerous benefits, but the naturalization process involves complex eligibility requirements. If you are considering applying for citizenship and have concerns about your past arrests, convictions, or other issues, you need a Plano, Texas immigration attorney to help you explore your options. At Law Office of Jae Lee we can assist in compiling the necessary documentation to prove your good moral character. Call 214-295-3014 for free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top