My broher inlaw holds a 10 years permanent green card which wil expire in 2015. He was convicted of a felony in 2007

Asked almost 3 years ago - North Las Vegas, NV

Two years he had his record expunged . Can he apply for U.S. citizenship?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Carl Michael Shusterman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, an expungement is not recognized for immigration purposes. Second, depending on the offense for which he was convicted (and whether he has additional convictions), he may or may not be eligible for naturalization, and he may be deportable from the U.S.

    Please see

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration... more
  2. Peter Lunt Ashman

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Of course he can file. Immigration will cash that filing fee check with no problem. The question is can he become a citizen with his felony. My colleagues are correct to point out that an expungement has no effect for immigration purposes, even if then don't know about it or can't find out about it because the existence of the record may have been obliterated on state or federal databases. But the question cannot be answered completely because we need to know the exact conviction and sentence. If the crime is what immigration considers an aggravated felony, he could find himself in removal proceedings without a defense. If it is just a crime involving moral turpitude, he will still get denied because it is within five years. You need to see an attorney and let them delve into the specifics of the case. Good luck!

  3. C. C. Abbott

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not possible to provide a legal opinion as to whether he can qualify for naturalization without first examining his complete immigration and criminal history. He needs to collect all of his information concerning the 2007 felony and the expungement so that an experienced immigration attorney can examine his case and provide him with a legal opinion. Immigration law treats criminal adjudications differently than does criminal law. Good luck.

    Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to... more
  4. Lynne Rogers Feldman

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . There is no way to answer the question without revieiwing the underlying criminal record and determine its effect on your good moral character. An expungement alone doesn't mean USCIS cannot consider it in determining your good moral character.

    Lynne R. Feldman, Attorney at Law
    Concentrating in Immigration and Nationality Law
    2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 201
    San Diego, CA 92108
    phone: (619) 299-9600, facsimile: (619) 923-3277

    Formerly Adjunct Professor -- Immigration law
    University of Illinois College of Law

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