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U.S. immigration laws are complex and in constant flux. They can be different from one month to the next, and navigating the immigration system without guidance can be difficult and overwhelming.

Criminal convictions make this process more difficult. Any conviction can have a serious effect on a person’s immigration status. This applies to all non-citizens, including permanent residents who have lived in the United States for many years. It’s important to have a lawyer that specializes in both immigration and criminal cases, so they can take appropriate measures to intervene on their client’s behalf.

There are two primary ways that criminal convictions can impact immigration status:

  • Inadmissibility
  • Deportability

Let’s examine each of these in more detail to learn what they mean and what individuals facing either one should do.

Inadmissibility
A criminal conviction can prevent an individual from gaining admission to the United States. Any person currently outside the U.S. who applies for entry may be subject to inadmissibility based on prior criminal activity.

If a person is already in the United States, a criminal conviction (even from years ago) could make them ineligible to receive a green card or apply for a change of resident status. A criminal conviction will also affect those who leave the U.S. and later try to return. Even if a person already holds a green card, they may find themselves barred from re-entry. This is true even if they have a petition in good standing through a qualifying relationship with an employer or family member.

Deportability
In addition to inadmissibility, a criminal conviction can impact an individual’s immigration status by making them deportable. This means that a person could be forced to leave the United States despite their desire to stay. Deportability due to a criminal conviction applies to any non-citizen already in the U.S. whose immigration status is currently lawful. Deportability also affects any person who was lawfully admitted to the United States but has since fallen out of legal status.

Criminal Convictions And Families
In some cases, a criminal conviction will have a broad impact on the accused person’s family. This is true when the individual’s family immigration status is dependent upon his/her status. For example, if a family is in the United States as a derivative of a single person’s H1B visa and that person commits a criminal act that violates their immigration status, their family’s status may also be affected.

Time To Take Action
It’s critical that individuals whose immigration status is compromised due to a criminal conviction take action immediately. FIDE Law is prepared to help. We understand that a criminal conviction can have a crucial impact on immigration status, applications, and potential benefits. The relationship between criminal law and immigration is complex and should be handled by a qualified attorney with a proven track record. At FIDE Law, we provide expert criminal defense coupled with extensive knowledge of immigration law. Let us review your case today. Call us at 540-371-4500, or visit us online at FredericksburgImmigration.com. Our team will provide competent legal assistance to ensure you receive all due consideration under the law.

Como precaución COVID-19, nuestra oficina está cerrada para reuniones en persona/público, pero estamos disponibles para consultas telefónicas y de video. Llame al 540-371-4500