Criminal Convictions and loss of Permanent Residency

Criminal Convictions & Permanent Residency

If you currently maintain permanent residency it is important to know that if you are charged with a crime and receive an adjudication, withhold of adjudication, or a pre-trial diversion sentence that results in a dismissal of the charges it will still be viewed as a conviction in the eyes of the USCIS.In addition, the length of your residency will also have a factor. If you have had permanent residency less than five years you may be subject to more stringent restrictions than those who had the residency longer than five years in terms of eligibility for relief. It can be quite confusing as an alien may not be removable for certain criminal offenses, but if they leave the US and attempt re-entry they can be deemed inadmissible.

It is extremely important that you bring your immigration status to the attention of any criminal defense attorney you may retain. It would be advisible for him to consult with an immigration attorney prior to accepting any plea offer to see if that will subsequently affect your immigration status.

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Fiancee and K Visas

I have a number of clients that have met and fallen in love with women they have met over the internet. I always tell them to first check them out with a local private investigator in the country they are residing. The internet dating game needs to be played cautiously as there are a number of scammers that work the internet dating websites and are only interested in taking your money. Also, stay away from marriage brokers as you will also be subjected to heightened security. If your international love interest checks out, then I recommend a trip to their country to meet them in person. The USCIS will want to know that you have both met in person prior to filing for the K or Fiancee visa. Make sure you take plenty of pictures together and save your cards and emails to present you have a bona fide good faith basis to get married within 90 days of your fiance arriving in the USA.

If all goes well upon your return you can file a petition for a fiancee visa. The petition will be processed in the U.S., then if approved, will be forwarded to the embassy in your fiancee’s country of residence. This takes about six months. From there, an approval notice will be sent to your fiancee within ninety days advising of the additional documentation and requirements for the interview. I also advise to also fly in to attend the interview with your fiance. If all goes well a 90 day visa will be approved for entry into the USA. You must get married within 90 days or if things dont go well then have your ex-fiance return to their country of residence.