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My brother has a warrant for traffic tickets he owes. Will this affect his citizenship application?

Jersey City, NJ |
Attorney answers 5


I would certainly clear up anything that may be an issue. I've seen open and timely matters get in the way of immigration applications so certainly delinquencies/suspensions/warrants can be an issue. I would also consult with an immigration lawyer...


Any warrants could present problems later. Clear them up.


He should absolutely deal with this as soon as possible. Though not a particularly serious charge, it could pose difficulties in the future. How many summonses and where are they? Generally, the bail posted can be applied to the fines that will be assessed later, if any.

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If your brother does not clear up his traffic tickets, Immigration will not give your brother his citizenship because they will require him to take care of this situation before they grant any benefit to him.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will run biometrics on your brother before his interview date for citizenship. This means they will fingerprint him, and run his information through all available background check systems they have access to, including local police databases.

Citizenship is a privilege, not a right. From USCIS's perspective, they wish to give citizenship to individuals who are of good character and who will be good citizens. Not responding to a traffic ticket is not indicative of someone with good character.

I suggest he immediately clear the ticket up, and be prepared to show USCIS proof that it was resolved.

Benjamin G Kelsen

Benjamin G Kelsen


Mr. Quirk is a VERY good attorney. You should absolutely follow his advice.


He should consult an immigration attorney. Be sure that the service will find open ticket warrants. These may not indicate the charge and certain offenses do have consequences. Clear them up ASAP.

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