When you meet with your immigration attorney, you will be asked to provide certain information. Although some questions may seem intrusive and unnecessary, full disclosure of your criminal history and past immigration history is essential.
If you have a criminal background, have ever been fingerprinted by authorities, had a mugshot, or just taken to the police station for questioning, you need to tell your immigration lawyer. An arrest does not mean that you will be barred from becoming a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) or a United States Citizen, but it will still be considered by USCIS when making their determination.
The best way to head-off questions about your criminal history is to provide your attorney with the police report and the final court disposition, which you will be obligated to provide to USCIS. Biometrics (which includes fingerprinting) is performed for both the Green Card and the Naturalization process, and all arrests, even if dismissed, will be documented and provided to USCIS.
Some offenses called “crimes of moral turpitude” can permanently bar a person from becoming a United States Citizen. These are crimes which indicate that the perpetrator is not of good moral character. In some situations we may be able to apply for a waiver or “legal forgiveness” for a crime of moral turpitude, but it must be disclosed from the outset in order for this to happen.
Past Immigration History
We also need full disclosure of your past immigration history. You need to tell us if anyone has ever filed a petition on your behalf, either a spouse family member or employer, or if you were denied any petitions or applications, or if you have ever filed for asylum.
Going through the immigration process can be a scary and intimidating process. Winograd and Schwartz has the experience necessary to help you present your best case during your interview.