Can Criminal Convictions Affect Your U.S. Immigration Status - Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

Whether you currently hold a U.S. green card or you’re working on obtaining citizenship through another method, you need to know that most crimes can negatively affect your immigration status.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the government will deport you from the country if you commit a minor crime, but it does mean that a criminal conviction can change the outcome of your immigration case.

What Crimes Can Affect Your U.S. Immigration Status?

Any criminal conviction, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, can result in a denial of your visa, denial of admission into the U.S., or even a denial of your naturalization petition.

Some crimes are considered “deal-breakers,” and you can be deported if you’re already in the U.S. and commit one of them.

Typically, aggravated felonies are those types of “deal-breakers.” However, even if the crime isn’t considered an aggravated felony here in Waukesha or Milwaukee, it can still be considered one for immigration purposes. (The U.S. Congress has a comprehensive list of what it considers aggravated felonies for immigration purposes, which you can find here.) Some of these offenses include:

  • Homicide
  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Trafficking of firearms, explosives, or destructive materials
  • Drug trafficking
  • Violent crimes that result in at least a 1-year term of imprisonment
  • Theft
  • Espionage
  • Tax evasion if the government’s loss is more than $10,000

This isn’t a comprehensive list. Your Wisconsin immigration lawyer can help you determine whether a conviction you’ve had is considered an aggravated felony that could affect your immigration status.

If you’ve been convicted of any crime, your lawyer will be able to give you case-specific legal advice and explain the process that’s about to take place. You may be facing removal proceedings, but there may be relief available.

Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer?

It’s nearly always a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer when you face conviction for a crime. Your attorney can answer your questions, build a legal defense if necessary, and help you through the aftermath of a conviction.

Call us at 414-383-6700. We’ll evaluate your case and give you the legal advice you need to move forward.

Carlos Gamino