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Eligible for Citizenship?

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  • Eligible for Citizenship?

    I pleaded no contest a petty theft infraction about 10 years ago. I was ordered to pay a $50 fine. That was it. No probation, no jail. I tried to get the record expunged but was told that in California, an infraction is below a misdemeanor and can't be expunged. The conviction has to be at least a misdemeanor to be considered for expungment. Since that time, I had applied for and gotten green card. I am eligible to apply for citizenship but am concerned that INS will start removal proceedings against me. I have read some web sites that specifically advise that one should not file for citizenship, even with very minor convitions. Any opinions? Thanks.

  • #2
    I pleaded no contest a petty theft infraction about 10 years ago. I was ordered to pay a $50 fine. That was it. No probation, no jail. I tried to get the record expunged but was told that in California, an infraction is below a misdemeanor and can't be expunged. The conviction has to be at least a misdemeanor to be considered for expungment. Since that time, I had applied for and gotten green card. I am eligible to apply for citizenship but am concerned that INS will start removal proceedings against me. I have read some web sites that specifically advise that one should not file for citizenship, even with very minor convitions. Any opinions? Thanks.

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    • #3
      Assuming that you had to report your theft conviction during your adjustment procedures (to greencard holder), it should be minor enough that it wouldn't support a removal order. And considering the amount of time that has passed since (hopefully with no further legal problems), you should be able easily to establish our good moral character requirement.

      Good luck

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      • #4
        You should get CERTIFICATE OF DISPOSITION from the Court where your case was finalized. You should send copy of that Certificate with your N-400. There should be no problem for you in getting Citizenship.
        Good luck.

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        • #5
          I did give the certificate of disposition at the green card interview. I will submit the same with N-400. But web sites like below make me scared to apply.

          http://www.newamericans.com/citizen/applying/arrest.htm

          I haven't been in trouble with law before and after this screw up over 10 years ago. I talked to an immigration attorney and he says, that as long as I am clean during the statutory period, (after green card and before applying for the citizenship), I should be fine. But I have doubts after reading the web site above and also of other cases.

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          • #6
            I don't think you will have any problem. Your crime was minor and was committed before 5 years( 5 years+ clean record is enough to get Citizenship In case of minor crime OR upto two misdemeanor).
            Also the crime should not be rate more then 6 months Terms.
            You are fine.

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