I landed in US in Oct 1998 on H1-B visa and got married to a US citizen in Oct 2001. I pleaded guilty to a domestic violence assault in the third degree NY 120.00(1) in Mar 2004 for hitting my wife with a belt. She did not press charges, stood by me and I was conditionally discharged with no jail time, no probation, no community service - just a 4-month class which I completed.
A year later we made a child and got divorced in 2010. Plotting to setup her life , she tried to have me convicted of false abuse accusations (a misdemeanor and a felony) in 2008, I was arrested and acquitted of all charges at trial. If I apply for citizenship, will it be approved by USCIS or will they initiate my removal? Conditions on my GC removed in 2005 (after my NY conviction in 2004 - I mentioned it on form)
The domestic violence assault is a crime involving moral turpitude if it isn't necessarily an aggravated felony as defined by the INA. This makes you inadmissible. You'll need to prove your "good moral character" at the naturalization interview and the allegations of abuse must be explained even if the related charges were dismissed. More needs to be known about your background before any attorney can advise you if or how to proceed. You'll need an attorney regardless of whether you decide to apply for naturalization.
The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.
Don't file your N-400 until after you have met with an attorney ... with a copy of all your court/police files in-hand.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.
A conviction for domestic violence is a deportable crime. Don't submit an N-400 until you meet with an experienced immigration attorney.
(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
You said you were convicted of a domestic violence offense. Yes, that is actually a separate category of removability distinct from CIMT and aggravated felony. See INA 237(a)(2)(E)(i). If a crime of domestic violence appears on your record, filing an N-400 is simply a $680 ticket to a removal hearing.
I didn't earn any points for answering this question but I hate to see people file without proper advice, especially if you're in my neighborhood (my office is in Herndon.) Please let a lawyer look at your record to make sure it qualifies as a "crime of domestic violence" and above all, DO NOT FILE YOUR N-400 WITHOUT TALKING TO COUNSEL.
The above is general advice and no substitute for targeted advice given by a competent attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created by the provision of the above advice. The HMA Law Firm www.hmalegal.com 703.964.0245
I concur with Mr. Ahmad, including his citation to INA Section 237(a)(2)(E)(i). A conviction for a crime of domestic violence is a deportable offense. You will need to consult with an attorney who is experienced in the area of immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and let him see a certified copy of your NY state conviction, and copies of any and all court and police paperwork you have, related to that conviction to see if there is any possible hope for you with regard to your desire to file an N-400 Application for Naturalization. You mentioned in your e-mail that your ex-wife did not press charges against you, and that on the one hand, you pled guilty, but on the other hand, you were "conditionally discharged" and only had to take a 4-month class (presumably for anger management). Did the court defer its final adjudication until you completed this 4-month class, and once you did complete it, did the court dismiss the charge and enter a judgment of "not guilty"? Or on the contrary, was there an actual final judgment of "guilty" entered on your record as a conviction for a crime of domestic violence? The fact that you were able to adjust status to Permanent Residency in 2005, after your 2004 "conviction" (it that is what it actually was) suggest that there may be some hope. However, for you to file an N-400 Application at this point, without having an experience immigration attorney who practices regularly in this sub-specialized area of the law take a look at all of your paperwork and further examine and research this matter would be reckless and could potentially lead to your removal.
This information does not establish an attorney-client relationship or any responsibility or liability on the part of the attorney for actions taken by the recipient arising from having read this information. The recipient of the information is advised to contact an experienced attorney for a formal consultation regarding this matter.