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Will my dui affect my immigration application?

Bolingbrook, IL |

i got a dui back in feb of 2007 i want to apply for citizenship but i am affraid of what kind of affect the dui will have on my application. is it grounds for deportation or denial of citizenship? if i am denied citizenship what can i do? and what happens if i dont renew my green card on time? will that be grounds for deportaion?

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Attorney answers 2


Generally, a single DUI conviction does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude, does not show that the person lacks good moral character and is not evidence that a person is a habitual drunkard -- any of which would be problems for naturalization. It will be necessary to supply certified copies of all disposition documents relating to the DUI offense, including citation/accusation/indictment; plea; sentence; and proof that all penalties (fines, driving school, etc.) have been satisfied and the case has been closed.

If an applicant has additional blemishes on his/her record beyond a single DUI conviction, that may pose problems, and there really is no substitute for having an immigration attorney analyze the situation.

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, PC
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 *


I agree with the previous post. If you would like to apply for citizenship, I would recommend that you meet with an experienced immigration attorney to review the documents relating to your DUI to confirm that you are eligible. It is also helpful to have an immigration attorney with you when you go to your naturalization interview to make sure that the law is applied correctly in your case. When I represent clients that have been convicted of a crime, I usually bring evidence about my client's good character with me to the interview. This way the officer can see that even though my client did something wrong in the past, they have also done a lot of good things too (e.g. taken care of their family, worked hard at their job, helped their community, etc.).

In your question you also asked what happens if you do not renew your green card on time. You do not lose your legal permanent residency because your card expires. The card is just evidence of your status - not your status itself. However, legal permanent residents are required to have proof of their status. I noticed that you are from Bolingbrook - near Chicago. If you file for naturalization and bring the receipt to an INFOPASS appointment at the Chicago immigration office the officers will place a stamp in your passport that is proof of your permanent residency while your application for citizenship is pending. I've helped other clients do this in the past, and it has been helpful for them because you can use the stamp as proof of your ability to work and travel.


Elizabeth Rompf Bruen
Attorney at Law

Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-444-1940
Fax: 312-444-1950

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