The naturalization process in the United States involves lengthy procedures, including admission or adjustment to becoming a lawful permanent resident. It is an essential step that involves thoroughly assessing your criminal record.
Certain crimes might make you inadmissible, which means you cannot enter or stay in the country, hindering your naturalization. These offenses include the following:
- Drug-related violations, including trafficking
- Money laundering
- Human trafficking
- Sexual offenses
- Multiple criminal verdicts
- Crimes that involve moral turpitude
- Severe religious freedom violations
- Serious criminal offenses resulting in immunity from prosecution
The government could also consider you inadmissible due to security threats, such as involvement in unlawful terrorist activities, espionage or going against the country’s export laws.
Noncriminal grounds for inadmissibility
Your criminal history is not the only deciding factor for inadmissibility. Other factors include:
- Health-related grounds, such as having communicable illnesses and lack of required vaccinations
- Becoming dependent on the government for basic support
- Lack of labor certification if you entered the country for employment
Other actions – such as misrepresentation and failing to attend legal proceedings – might also make you inadmissible.
You could address inadmissibility by filing an application for waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. However, you must meet specific qualifications to use this form, which might only apply based on the circumstances.
Improve your chances of naturalization
Avoiding involvement in illegal activities would help you get through your criminal record assessment. Otherwise, you need to wait out the designated period for your crime and fulfill all your legal obligations before applying for a waiver.
Additionally, you could spend time preparing for other steps in the naturalization process, including the required tests.