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Am I eligible for Citizenship?

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  • Am I eligible for Citizenship?

    I am a permanent resident via marriage to a US Citizen. I am eligible to apply for citizenship. But something in the past is stopping me from applying. About 9 years ago, I pleaded no contest to a petty theft infraction at the advice of my attorney, for shoplifting. I paid $50 fine and that was it. I was originally charged with a felony.

    I wasn't in trouble with the law before and since then. INS asked me about this at my GC interview and I provided court documents and explained. They issued me a GC. I hear that INS is more strict when it comes to applications for naturalization. I read on the web also that some people who were here for a long time were put in deportation proceedings for stealing $25 worth goods. Obviously I don't want to apply for citizenship if INS might put me deportation proceedings. I also read the following article recently, whcih sounds relevant to me.

    http://www.visalaw.com/02aug3/10aug302.html

    Any danger of being deported if I were to apply for citizenship? Thanks.

  • #2
    I am a permanent resident via marriage to a US Citizen. I am eligible to apply for citizenship. But something in the past is stopping me from applying. About 9 years ago, I pleaded no contest to a petty theft infraction at the advice of my attorney, for shoplifting. I paid $50 fine and that was it. I was originally charged with a felony.

    I wasn't in trouble with the law before and since then. INS asked me about this at my GC interview and I provided court documents and explained. They issued me a GC. I hear that INS is more strict when it comes to applications for naturalization. I read on the web also that some people who were here for a long time were put in deportation proceedings for stealing $25 worth goods. Obviously I don't want to apply for citizenship if INS might put me deportation proceedings. I also read the following article recently, whcih sounds relevant to me.

    http://www.visalaw.com/02aug3/10aug302.html

    Any danger of being deported if I were to apply for citizenship? Thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've heard stories about this before too but I also know that at least 9 outta 10 similar cases are approved. There is always a risk of being denied or even deported even with a 'clean' record.

      I applaus you for not lying about it on your interview, most denials occur when they lie about it in fear of being denied or deported.

      Because lying is considered fraud.

      In my opinion you'll be fine but have you talked it over yet with a lawyer?

      Anyways, good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, this might be a problem -- if you plead guily
        to a theft misdemeanor then it is considered a conviction for a "crime of moral turpitude" -- however given the fact that more than five years have already passed you may be granted citizenship.

        Comment


        • #5
          theft in itself is considered "immoral" but a single such offense (as long as it isn't a felony!) is not a deportable offense or a hinderance to establish "good moral character" for naturaluzation purposes.

          When exactly did you adjust to permanent resident? Was that before or after the law changes IRAIRA 1996?. Usually, if you're permanently not eligable for naturalization, INS doesn't adjust your status. Since they did that, I would think that you would be eligable for naturalization now. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            <<When exactly did you adjust to permanent resident? Was that before or after the law changes IRAIRA 1996?. >>

            I adjusted in 1998 and after the law chnages. I was told that if I had no issues during the statutory period, i.e. since the adjustment till now, I should be OK. But I have seen different opinions on this.

            Comment


            • #7
              You are okay - apply!

              Comment


              • #8
                with my limited and not profesional background on immigration issues, I would say that you're O.K. Talk to an immigration attorney if it makes you feel absolutly sure, but I really feel that you're eligable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What got me worried was reading this web site.

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

                  There are a bunch more. I will post the links when I find them. Thanks.

                  Comment

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