You owe it to yourself to contact an immigration lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Also, please be sure to read my disclaimer below. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
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You need to speak to an immigration attorney. Try Harlan York profiled on AVVO. He is in Newark. The expungement will not hide the conviction from Immigration. But I do not know if it changes your status.
Benjamin G. Kelsen
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Expungement will not help you in Immigration matters most of the times. A review of the court disposition and all your facts is necessary to determine if you could naturalize.
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
In applying for citizenship, you have the burden of proving you are a person of "good moral character." Some convictions, particularly drug convictions, will bar you from being able to show this. Not to scare you, but certain convictions could even trigger deportation if the officer looking at your citizenship application decides to send your file over to the deportation office. Generally, immigration will look into the past 5 years preceding your application but they may look further. Expunged records make no difference for immigration purposes. People with NO criminal history may be able to handle a citizenship application on their own but with a situation like yours, I highly recommend you contact an attorney. Our office handles BOTH immigration and criminal defense Feel free to contact us for an evaluation.