Skip to main content

Will these facts affect my naturalization process and chances of getting my citizenship and if so what should i do about it?

San Francisco, CA |

I am wanting to apply stamps but do not want to 'rock the boat'. I. Was previously arrested (over four years ago)for cultivation of marijuana (felony) with no charges ever having pressed against me and I have since.gotten my greencard renewed problem (for.another 10 years.) I also had a misdemeanor for petty theft that I got seven years ago in the state of WA that was erased off my record and I never did any jail time for. First off, I wanted to mention these facts and see how these may influence my naturalization process as I am wanting to apply in the near future there is anything I can do to increase my.chances of being approved. ( I have.lived in the US for 17 years).
Second, I am thinking.if applying that ok?
Thank you very much!

Attorney Answers 5


You will have to report your arrests and convictions. How they affect your application depends on the totality of the circumstances. The last 5 years are looked at most closely. Legal residents will not have their immigration status impacted by receiving food stamps. Receiving food stamps does not affect your application for citizenship.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.

Mark as helpful

1 comment



Thank you! What do you mean by the 'totality if circumstances'? Do you think it is ok to apply without an attorney?


You most definitely should consult with an experienced immigration attorney in order to try to obtain the best chance of success. You need to explain everything related to your history of encounters with law enforcement and courts. You should also discuss your desire to apply for food stamps.

(734) 369-3131. This communication does not establish and attorney-client relationship with the Law Office of Michael Carlin PLLC or any individual member of the office. Confidential information should not be sent through this form.

Mark as helpful


The immigration consequences of convictions depend on the exact language of the statute under which the conviction took place.

You need to retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, including the court disposition and the charging documents, in order to advise you, and handle the case.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


Since you have had trouble with the law on more than one occasion, the burden will be on you to show you have turned over a new leaf. Consult with a competent immigration attorney to discuss facts pertaining to the arrests and to put together a good naturalization application on your behalf.

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.

Mark as helpful


The food stamps should not be an issue. However, please consult with a lawyer about your criminal record before applying for naturalization. Depending on the conviction record, not only could your application be denied, but DHS could legally try and take away your green card and put you into removal proceedings. Anyone with any criminal history should absolutely proceed with caution and use the help of a trustworthy and knowledgeable lawyer before applying for naturalization!
Feel free to call my office for help if you want.
Good luck,

Otis C. Landerholm, Esq.

Mark as helpful

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics