If you are living in the U.S. as a permanent resident with a green card, you know that you have to renew it on a regular basis. If you are convicted of a crime, your chances of getting your green card renewed so that you can remain in this country legally may be jeopardized.
When a permanent resident files an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will run a criminal background check. USCIS uses the photograph and fingerprints that you're required to provide at your biometrics appointment to check law enforcement databases for any record of an immigration violation or crime.
Deportable crimes listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) have changed over the years, and vary by state. However, if you have any of these on your record, you should be concerned:
- Crime of moral turpitude
- Drug crime
- Sex crime
- Aggravated felony
- Firearms offense
- Domestic violence
- Fraud-related offense
It's important to note that a crime that may be considered a misdemeanor by the state could still qualify as an aggravated felony for purposes of deportation by the federal government. Further, even if a conviction has been vacated or expunged, it could still make a person eligible for deportation.
If you are a green card holder who's been charged with a crime, it's essential to understand what a conviction could mean for your right to remain in the U.S. Let your Connecticut criminal defense attorney know about your green card status as he or she plans the strategy to present your case.
Source: CitizenPath, "Renewing a Green Card after an Arrest," accessed Oct. 04, 2017