Should I apply for citizenship? I have a felony that I think was Overlooked or not noted at the time I applied for green card. This is a felony (shoplifting) from 25 years ago at age 17., I've been a resident for 20 years and want to become a citizen. I'm afraid I will be. Denied and deported if this felony now appears even though it did not surfaced when applied for green card. I'm a good moral individual with a graduate degree and a profession,
Given that shoplifting occurred 25 years ago, when you were still underage, and the conviction most likely long since expunged, you might have a good chance of being able to obtain US citizenship. Seek to obtain the "final case disposition" certificate from the court you were convicted at and bring it to a reputable immigration attorney to analyze.
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The conviction and failing to disclose it may be very serious. Do not file without speaking to an attorney. You may not be eligible for citizenship and, in the worst case scenario, the government may try to take your residence away.
Please note that this response is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Even though it happened several years ago, you should still consult with an attorney about your criminal record and how it may affect your citizenship case. It is highly likely your case would still be approved, but you should still personally speak with an attorney and show him/her your court documents, just to make sure. good luck!
I recommend that you review your complete immigration and criminal history with an experienced immigration attorney. When you apply for citizenship, the Immigration Service generally reviews your complete immigration history and your criminal history. The Service will review your history to confirm that you are eligible for citizenship and will also review your history to see if you might be deportable from the United States. Depending on your age at the time of the conviction, and the proximity of the conviction to your admission to the United States, it could make you deportable, but it also might not.
If the conviction was when you are were under age 18, it may not be considered a criminal "conviction under the immigration law.
The Immigration Service may flag the fact that this crime was not disclosed on your application for lawful permanent residence, if in fact, you failed to disclose the crime.
You should also be careful about international travel, as the crime could potentially make you inadmissible to the United States after travel abroad.
The bottom line is, you should carefully review these issues with an experienced attorney before you apply for citizenship.
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