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How does a criminal charge affect your immigration status?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2022 | Immigration

The process of applying for a visa needed to live and work in Texas is complex, and there can be various setbacks along the way. One of the biggest threats to your immigration case is a felony criminal charge or conviction. Either of these things can lead to a dismissal of your case and possible removal from the United States. This is something to take seriously, and you will find it beneficial to learn about all of the legal options available to you. 

A felony offense is a serious crime, and if convicted of this type offense, you could spend years behind bars. If you are in the process of applying for a green card or another type of visa, it can detrimental to your case. The specific ways a felony could affect your case depends on your current status, the type of visa you are seeking, the nature of the alleged crime and more. 

A felony conviction and immigration status 

Aggravated felonies carry particularly harsh penalties for those who are not citizens of the United States. These can sometimes include offenses that may otherwise be considered a misdemeanor offense or crimes of moral turpitude. Your current status will play a significant role in how an aggravated felony case affects your immigration status. Consider the following: 

  • Refugee status – You could face deportation due to a criminal conviction, or you may be unable to secure legal permanent resident status. 
  • Temporary lawful status – You could experience loss of your status and removal after conviction of two misdemeanors or one felony. 
  • Non-citizen without legal status – If you are an undocumented immigrant, you could face immediate deportation for a criminal offense.  
  • Legal permanent resident – You may be subject to deportation after a conviction. You could be detained, and you may spend extensive time behind bars if you return after your removal. 

Immigration law is complex, as is criminal law. If you find yourself in a position where you are facing both a threat to your immigration status as well as the possibility of time behind bars, it is in your interests to take immediate action to learn of the legal options available to you. You will want to pursue an option that allows you to protect your immigration status or continue seeking your immigration goals, as well as defend your personal freedom.