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Is it safe for me to apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Riverside, RI |

I've been a LPR since 95. Married US Citizen wife in 04, 2 kids, +1 on the way.

In 03, my license was suspended for not paying a ticket. In early 04, I was in an accident in a neighboring state. Didn't know my license was suspended. Never notified. I went to court in the neighboring state to pay a fine, SR22 insurance for a year, and paid the ticket in the original state. All is settled. Still shows on record.

In 1/07, I pushed my wife's father who we were living with and I was arrested for domestic violence. This was in RI. Although he didn't press charges, the city's attorney did and I plead no contest. I had to pay a fine and complete anger management classes. All is paid and done with. Case was expunged. Not on record.

Can I be deported if I apply? Or should I just renew green card?

I haven't been in any trouble since. I have gone to school, earned certification, and now have a full-time job. I will soon start school again part-time to earn a degree. My two kids are 8 years old, and 9 months old, with another on the way. I'm worried that I can be deported if I apply for citizenship since I have to notify them of the arrest. I don't want to lose my wife and kids over this, and for something stupid I did 6+ years ago.

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Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately, it does not matter if a record was sealed/expunged, you are still required to provide the relevant documentation for any criminal issues in immigration cases. You need certified copies of the arrest and booking report as well as a certified copy of the case disposition. If you already sealed/expunged the record, you need to do a serious search for your originals. You will definitely need the assistance of an immigration attorney for this application. Whether you should go ahead and apply for citizenship or renew your greencard now and consider citizenship later is heavily dependent on what occurred in the criminal case and what immigration-acceptable documents you have available to demonstrate that. It is highly unlikely anyone on here will be able to answer your question as it will require a good look at the crime-related documents and research based on that and the specific facts of your case. Consult with an immigration attorney (or two or three) with a good amount of experience with Naturalization.


Have the conviction paperwork reviewed by an immigration attorney. Ideally seek representation towards naturalization filing.

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.


Consult with a local attorney familiar with immigration issues to review the situation.

This observation is provided without warranty nor guarantee and for entertainment and informational purposes only. This answer is not legal advice. Not to be used as infant formula. No attorney client relationship is established as a result of these communications. The best legal advice you can get is to consult with an attorney licensed in your state or territory.

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