Disclosing Crime Details During The Naturalization Process

April 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

Form N-400, the citizenship application asks for information about the applicants criminal record. It is mandatory for applicants to report their entire criminal record to the USCIS. The application might be rejected should any applicant fail to do so. Applicants who are not sure if they are eligible for naturalization because of their criminal record should ensure they consult an immigration attorney who can properly advise

Conviction of murder or any other aggravated felony may make one permanently ineligible to file  the application for citizenship immaterial of how long ago the crime was committed. There are few other types of crimes that would result in temporary bars to citizenship. The details of the conviction are very important in making this determination. Quite common one is a DUI incident and that also have to be reported and it also depends in part on how long ago the offense was committed, whether the applicant has ever committed any other crimes, and whether there are any other factors which may lead USCIS to conclude an absence of “good moral character.”

Applicants should always be honest with USCIS about all arrests (even if they were not charged or convicted), convictions (even if their record was cleared or expunged), crimes they committed for which they were not arrested or convicted; and any countervailing evidence, or evidence in their favor concerning the circumstances of the arrests, and/or convictions or offenses that the applicant would want the USCIS to consider.

Even if it was a minor crime, you have to bring it to the notice of the USCIS official, else it may result in the denial of your case. Unless a traffic incident was alcohol or drug related, applicants need not submit documentation for traffic fines and incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than $500 and/or points found on the applicant’s driver’s license.

Per immigration laws, applicants should make sure to enter the complete details of any incident that is branded a crime(including the verdict). The USCIS will always do a background check for all applicants with the FBI. So in the best interest of the applicant, it is strongly advised to put down the details transparently. Being transparent in all disclosures will make the naturalization process easier. Simple traffic violations are mostly not considered as crime, but there are some exceptions. To know more about them, one can get in touch with nearest USCIS office or the contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.

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