Consequences of Criminal Activity for Immigrants
A record of criminal activity in another country or in the United States can negatively affect your immigration status.
A Criminal Record Abroad
U.S. Immigration law is written specifically to deny visas to people from other countries whose criminal backgrounds include certain offenses or categories of offenses. For example, if you have been convicted of a crime in your home country, you will be deemed inadmissible to the U.S.
The immigration attorneys of May Law Group may be able to help you obtain a waiver of inadmissibility. Our law firm has obtained waivers of inadmissibility and U.S. visas for foreign nationals with criminal records in cases in which the person did not pose a danger to the safety or security of the United States. Each case must be evaluated individually and there is no guarantee of success.
Consequences of Criminal Activity for Immigrants in the U.S.
We also assist foreign nationals who are convicted of crimes in the U.S. An arrest for anything from shoplifting to drunk driving to homicide may result in the case being referred to immigration officials after the criminal case has been resolved. We advise these clients on the immigration consequences of their situation directly or through their criminal defense lawyers; however, May Law Group has successfully obtained many criminal waivers of inadmissibility.
Before accepting any type of plea agreement, it is extremely important to discuss your case with an attorney who understands the criminal consequences of immigration law. A plea agreement is an admission of guilt. While you may not spend a day in jail, accepting a plea agreement may ultimately result in revocation of your legal status or even deportation.
Conviction for a minor crime like shoplifting can end up being very costly. In addition to paying fines and serving a sentence, you may need to hire a criminal defense lawyer and an immigration attorney. You may lose your job, your temporary visa or green card, and your eligibility to apply for a green card or U.S. citizenship.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act refers to three broad categories of crimes that can make someone either inadmissible or deportable. These are:
- Crimes of moral turpitude, including crimes related to prostitution
- Aggravated felonies, including crimes against a person (murder, assault) and against property (theft, burglary, embezzlement)
- Crimes that prevent a finding of good moral character, including drug crimes, sex crimes, and immigration-related fraud (giving false information to gain a benefit under immigration law).
The attorneys of May Law Group, LLC, represent foreign nationals living abroad whose criminal records are preventing them from obtaining a visa. We also advise individuals and criminal defense attorneys on issues related to the immigration consequences of criminal activity in the U.S.
To learn more about the consequences of criminal activity for immigrants, please contact an immigration lawyer at our firm to arrange a free initial consultation. From offices in New York City, and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we represent clients from throughout the U.S. and around the world.