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Will my N400 petition for naturalization be approved or will USCIS initiate action for my removal/deportation after my petition?

Herndon, VA |

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)

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Attorney answers 5


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 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.



We hit each other but I got arrested because the police scared her into admitting to what happened and I did not want her to go to jail because of her serious health issues (500 LBS, 2 gastric bypass surgeries, no credit/career, etc). I pleaded guilty to hitting my ex in Mar 2004, I was conditionally discharged, completed 4-month anger management class and Sentence & Commitment was entered as Misdemeanor Assault 3 by Plea with 0 term and conditional discharge in Aug 2004. There was a protection order until 2007 (not stay away - we stayed together until 2008). NY incident occurred after I became LPR with conditions which were removed in 2005. The INS person asked me if I was arrested, etc and I informed him about the incident and conditions were removed on my GC which is valid until 2016. My NY attorney said NY conviction cannot be expunged. I feel terrible to this day for the meltdown I had that day. The marriage went only downhill thereafter due to her addictive lifestyle - after idling for 5 years losing her health insurance for busting bands placed on her stomach, failing surgeries and abusing the system (that was costing me $990/month for her alone), she took up 14 jobs in 16 months, lost 8 jobs in as little as 1-8 days, moved us 4 states in 4 months and 2 states in 3 days - it was a disaster. Plotting to take advantage of my record in NY and setup her addictive lifestyle (with divorce trial at her terms while I would be in prison, she maliciously tried to have me convicted of false abuse accusations (a misdemeanor and a felony at the same time) in 2008, I was arrested, was in pre-trial detention for 96 days on a $100 bond with no one to bail me out (she knew I was vulnerable as I don't have any family/friends - 15 hearings on criminal trial alone due to her malicious prosecution) but all her plans got busted when I was acquitted at trial on both cases and filed a counter-petition to her divorce. She made me homeless, job less, bankrupt, helpless and I ended up at a shelter with food stamps after I was acquitted working at a gas station for minimum wages even though I am a programmer that made over 100K/year. She has a history of pulling off such stunts in her previous marriage where she scared her first Indian husband from attending divorce trial and had it at her terms and got granted 5K/month in child support and 5K/month in alimony (even if she got remarried). She called police on me several times in our 7 year marriage and 3 years after divorce (to ruin my timesharing with my child) (total 16 times) and I was never arrested except for the above 2 incidents of which I was acquitted of charges in FL. The police made her to leave my apartment on one of her fake calls in 2003. During a hearing after divorce, 4 police officers testified against her fake calls. Her attempts to get injunction against me got denied. She even mentioned in one of her motions I cannot see my child because I am not a citizen. To this day, she got nowhere and has only gotten worse with her addictions, health issues, unstable employment history, no wealth, no savings, no promising future, lost complete custody of her first child (from her first marriage) - with no contact and no visitation - to her first husband recently for child abuse/neglect/trauma/parental alienation/etc for a decade and not getting a treatment for all his terrible mental problems even after having received $485K from her ex - she is working the system. A few doctors have already said she is not going to live to see her children graduate. She has a documented decade's history of alienating her own children from their own fathers for money - her first child did not see his father for a decade, my 7 year-old child did not see me for half of his life. I went to Court for 87 times on 37 hearings just for my child (no property, no nothing) with volumes of pleadings, contempt motions, etc because she harassed and still violates Court Orders and shared-parental responsibilities even though I literally and solely raised him for 3 years when he was born - due to her

Michael Alexander Mcvicker

Michael Alexander Mcvicker


Thank you for the additional information. There may be some hope for you, but you should not proceed without an immigration lawyer who practices regularly in the area of immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Two lawyers I know of who have experience in this area are Tom Elliot, in Washington, DC, at (202) 429-1725 and Federico Serrano, in Falls Church, Virginia, at (703) 379-5303. I recommend that you make an appointment with one of them for a consultation, or even that you meet with each of them, so that after you get an initial opinion you also get a second opinion, and bring copies of all of your court paperwork. They can then advise you as to whether there is a solution, and whether it is, or is not, ultimately safe for you to file an N-400 Application in terms of your overall risk of removal. Best regards, Michael A. McVicker



Thank you very much Michael, Esq. My earlier comment got snipped by avvo. Here it is: I lived in the US for over 14 years and I have a child who is born here. My son is my only family and the meaning and love of my life. I'm just a loving father and don't want him to end up in a foster home facing hardships if my ex-wife eats to death some day. As it is, she is unable to raise him without my support with her meager income. I did not have any employment issues as the NY 2004 conviction did not affect my background checks in anyway. I heard that crimes with a possibility of more than a year jail/prison time and actual conviction in jail/prison of more than 6 months are grounds for citizenship ineligibility. Will my conviction be considered as a petty offense exception as I was not sent to jail and it was my first crime. I don't have any criminal record prior to NY/2004 and was acquitted of the 2 false accusation charges at trial in FL/2008. There are 2 more issues: 1. I had to start for a position in Saudi Arabia within 15 days while in India in 1997 and hired an agent to process my passport. While furnishing my info to him, I mentioned my uncle's 7-year old daughter under "Spouse" - my English was not good and I assumed it meant the "beneficiary" if anything happened to me in the US (I did not have any other family to make beneficiary - that little girl is in Australia now and got married last month). I did a course in spoken English later in the US and my English improved even further due to my ex who was a citizen. I asked the staffing agency who was sending me on job visa to help me fix it but they said it was no big deal and I could have it fixed in the future. I never went back ever since I left India and I traveled straight to US from Saudi. The passport was renewed in 2006 and I mentioned it to Indian Embassy (US) about the error, about my marital status, a child, etc - they informed me I need to visit India to have it fixed. It was an honest mistake and as advised by someone, I have her birth certificate showing she was a 7 year-old kid when I left India in 1997 and she got married just last month. 2. While applying for my GC through marriage, I gave info to my attorney in NY/2003 and they made another error by putting my then "step-son" as our child in the I-751 petition (my child was born in 2005). Landed in US: 1998 Married to a citizen: 2001 Conditional Greencard issued: 2003 Arrest/Misdemeanor 3rd degree conviction: 2004 (over 6 years after admission) - no jail, no probation, no community service - just a class Made a child: 2005 Conditions on GC removed: 2005 GC valid until: 2016 Arrested/acquitted on false abuse charges (simple battery/child abuse felony): 2008 Divorced: 2010 (prolonged from 2008 by her) I need an immigration and criminal attorney who would represent me and be with me during the interview. Since my GC is valid until 2016, I guess I'm in no hurry. I can even wait until next year if that helps to show 10 years of good moral character since my NY/2004 conviction. Can you refer me to an experienced attorney in Chantilly, Herndon, Reston areas? DC, Falls Church are too far away and my tight work schedule does not allow me to travel far in NoVA's crazy traffic. If you don't know anyone in this area, I can manage to go to DC. Thank you!

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