If you are a non-citizen who is currently residing in the United States, you must make a conscious effort to abide by federal and New Jersey state laws. This is because a criminal charge on your permanent record may threaten your opportunity to remain in the country. Read on to discover how a criminal history can affect your visa status in the United States and how a seasoned Morristown criminal defense lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can protect you from potential consequences.
Can a criminal history affect my visa status in the United States?
If you are applying for a United States visa with a criminal history, it may be more challenging to obtain the approval of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is because you have to disclose your criminal history in your application, which should include any legal transgression that you have been found guilty of or have pled guilty to. With that, a USCIS officer may see your criminal history as an indication that you may present a potential security risk while staying on United States territory.
In contrast, if you already have some sort of visa in the United States, your criminal history may threaten your status. That is, you may be ordered to undergo removal proceedings if there is evidence that you are guilty of having committed a crime. This may ultimately lead to your deportation from the United States.
What types of crimes may affect my visa status?
More specifically, the USCIS may consider deporting you from the United States if you committed a “crime of moral turpitude” or an aggravated felony. Examples of both are as follows:
- Crimes of moral turpitude:
- Fraud, larceny, and/or crimes demonstrating an intent to harm a person.
- Crimes involving dishonesty and theft.
- Assault with the intent to rob or kill, spousal abuse, and driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- Aggravated felonies:
- Money laundering, fraud, or tax evasion involving more than $10,000.
- Theft or violent crime with a sentence of at least one year.
- Perjury with a sentence of at least one year.
What else can a criminal history impact?
You may believe that your citizenship or otherwise visa status in the United States is secure. However, there are other facets of your life that a criminal history may impact. For one, you may have limited opportunities to obtain gainful employment. What’s more, you may have difficulties in being approved for loans, credit cards, or even certain rental units. This is not to mention the negative effect on your child custody orders.
With all that being said, you should not have to defend against your criminal charges alone. Instead, you should seek the assistance of a competent Morristown criminal defense lawyer from Graves Andrews, LLC. Contact our firm today.