Atlanta’s Best Immigration Attorneys

Atlanta’s Best Immigration Attorneys

Can a criminal charge affect my permanent residency status?

A significant milestone for immigrants is earning permanent residency, often called getting a green card. It grants stability, security and a path to citizenship. However, criminal charges can cast a shadow on this achievement of yours.

What can happen to your green card after a criminal charge?

Permanent residency does not guarantee immunity from deportation. Certain crimes can trigger proceedings to revoke your green card and remove you from the country. These generally fall into two categories:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude (CIMTs): CIMTs are offenses that involve intentional dishonesty, violence, or a breach of trust, such as fraud, domestic violence or drug trafficking.
  • Aggravated felonies: Aggravated felonies are particularly serious crimes like murder, drug trafficking involving large quantities or firearms offenses.

A conviction for any of these may lead to deportation, even if they happened before you obtained your green card.

Beyond these categories, any criminal activity can raise a red flag with immigration authorities. Even if they do not result in convictions, multiple arrests might raise concerns about your character and suitability to remain in the United States.

Protecting your status

Understanding the potential consequences and taking proactive steps can significantly improve your chances of getting through this successfully. If you face criminal charges, you may want to seek skilled legal counsel. They can analyze your situation, assess the potential impact on your permanent residency and explore defense options.

The path to permanent residency is often long and tough. It is a journey build on hopes and dreams for a brighter future. A criminal charge can feel like setback, but it does not have to define your story. With the proper legal guidance, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome and possibly continue your life towards becoming a full-fledged citizen.