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Can a person apply for citizenship with a misdemeanor on record ? how long would they have to wait in order to apply ?

Jacksonville, FL |
Attorney answers 5


It depends on the exact language of the statute under which you were convicted and whether or not you on probation.

You need to retain an experienced immigration lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues, to review all the facts, 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.


Maybe, we will need more info: type of case, statute, dates

Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.


It will depend on the statute under which you were convicted. Depending on the conviction, you need to wait 5 years to ensure good moral character. I recommend you consult an attorney who can review the conviction.


When a person applies for Citizenship, USCIS will look at whether that person is "admissible" and/or "deportable." They will also look at the last five years to determine whether the applicant has "good moral character." A criminal conviction, even a withhold of adjudication, can have significant consequences in the naturalization process. No matter how minor the conviction, nor how long ago it happened, you should consult with an attorney that is experienced in both immigration law and criminal law to determine 1) whether you are eligible to naturalize, 2) whether the prior record is a bar to "good moral character", and 3) whether USCIS would be able to issue a Notice to Appear to start a deportation proceeding based on the prior conviction. That attorney should also be able to determine whether it is in your best interests to go back and attack the criminal conviction. If you were not advised of the immigration consequences at the time of your plea, you may be able to challenge the conviction.


Whether the misdemeanor will effect your ability to naturalize depends on the charge, the conviction and the date of the conviction. I strongly suggest you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who also knows criminal defense BEFORE you file for your NATZ.

Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire
4110 Southpoint Boulevard, Suite 101
Jacksonville, Florida 32216

(904) 296-7702