How an Arrest & Dismissal Affects your Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship?

Every time a legal permanent resident faces U.S. law enforcement, it affects his or her eligibility for U.S. citizenship and makes him/her deportable from the U.S.

Thankfully, a court dismissal may lessen the risk of facing conflict with immigration because there is no reason to pursue the matter any further. However, this does not conclude the end of your investigation.

The Key to Obtaining U.S. Citizenship After an Arrest and Dismissal

Proving to immigration officers that you are not a criminal is your objective. You must provide strong evidence of good moral character.

In doing so you must submit positive details to support that you have a consistent work history, an indisputable home life and a record of volunteering or assisting in charitable ministries or membership to a church.

USCIS has a five year stipulation in which gives them time to decide if you are of good moral character. If you think that you need more time before you submit your Form N-400 for your U.S. citizenship, it is a safest bet to wait longer.

Needless to say USCIS will dig deeper to see if you have had any other arrests that may be more serious, simply to prove that you are of a notorious character.

Particular Crimes that are Detrimental

While most crimes may deem a foreigner deportable from the United States or unable to receive U.S. citizenship, the immigration law demands that a conviction must have been served, either by pleading guilty or being found guilty in a court of law. This may be right in some cases.

Denial for U.S. citizenship can be for the specific reasons:

  • Involvement in drug trafficking activities
  • Sex trade
  • Constant drunkenness
  • Drug Addictions
  • Drug Abuse

All Arrests Must be Reported

When applying for U.S. Citizenship, Form N-400 must be filled. The form will have a question that asks, “Have you ever been arrested, cited, or detained by any law enforcement officer, including any and all immigration officials or the U.S. Armed Forces for any reason?”

You will also see another question that asks, “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?”

Obviously, USCIS’s aim is to obtain every piece of information of your criminal history besides your court records. By asking all these questions USCIS office will find out if you are a person of good moral character.

If you refuse to reveal any old arrests or other arrests that were dismissed you will be in hot water.

You can choose to answer all questions accurately or endure the brunt of the U.S. immigration law. Needless to say everyone applying for U.S. Citizenship must go for a Biometrics Appointment. This background check is thorough and will reveal every past arrest.

Sometimes applicants forgetting pieces of a story and tell it differently than is on record, even though it is not your intention to misguide the USCIS officer, you will raise suspicions; this could damage your application and your interview.

Once the story you tell is not parallel to the information you submitted, you run the risk of losing your opportunity to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Seek advice from a seasoned immigration attorney and he will examine the importance of your arrest for immigration purposes and he will help you formulate a strategic plan for your U.S. Citizenship Application.

Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today for an office appointment at 847-443-9303. Our offices are located in Arizona and Illinois.