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MadamEsq, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 33
Experience:  Owner of Solo Law Practice dealing with Immigration, Tax, Disability, and Family Law Issues
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Will marrying a US citizen, Make you a citizen even if you

Customer Question

Will marrying a US citizen, Make you a citizen even if you have a criminal background?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  MadamEsq replied 8 years ago.
Marrying a US citizen does not automatically make you a citizen. If you marry a US citizen for the purpose of migrating to or remaining in the US, this is considered fraud. If you have a legitimate marriage, your spouse can file for you to receive an immigrant visa or obtain a permanent resident card. You will have to wait 5 years after you receive your permanent resident card before you can apply to become a US citizen.

Generally, if you have a criminal background, then you cannot apply for citizenship. But, there are exceptions available. The exceptions are:

- if the crime was committed both before the alien was 18 years old and more than 5 years before the applicaton date, then the alien can apply.


-if the maximum penalty for the crime was less than one year imprisonment and if convicted, the alien served no more than 6 months in prison, then the alien can apply.

If any of these exceptions apply to you, then you can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility before applying for citizenship.

I hope this answers your question. If you need clarification, please let me know. Otherwise, please remember to click the 'Accept' button so that I may receive credit for helping you.
MadamEsq and 6 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My boyfriend has been living in the us for ten years and is not a citizen. he applied for his citizenship but has the crimminal background in which he is still on probation. what are the chances of him being deported? and marrying me (us citizen) would not help him get his citizenship?
Expert:  MadamEsq replied 8 years ago.
HelloCustomer I need a little information. What is his current status since you say that he is not a citizen? Is he a permanent resident? When did he apply for naturalization? What crime did he commit? Was it a misdemeanor or a felony? What was the length of the sentence? Please provide me with as much information as you can so that I can give you a detailed answer.
MadamEsq and 6 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
he is a perminant resident, he has a green card. He applied about 2 months ago. The crime was stealing money, im not sure what the whole story is, but it was considered a felony and this happend about 3 yrs ago. He's been on probation almost 3 yrs and is suppose to be off probation in december. Last time we talked, he told me that he got a lawyer, im not sure if he applied for his citizenship before or after getting a lawyer. He also told me that he might be moving back to ukraine, (im guessing he meant being deported) but wouldnt tell me any details. Thats when i started researching myself. He refuses to talk to me about this. But this is everything i know. Thats why i was wondering if marrying me would bumb his chances in to getting that citizenship.
Expert:  MadamEsq replied 8 years ago.
The minimum penalty for a felony is more than one year imprisonment. This means that he will be excluded from becoming a citizen because he does not meet the exception. Marrying you to get his citizenship will not help him. It can actually hurt his situation and he can be accused of fraud. It is possible that he is facing removal proceedings and that is why he has hired a lawyer. The lawyer may have warned him that there is a possibility that he could be deported back to Ukraine. If he is removed or deported from the country, then he may be permanently barred from obtaining another visa to return if he has an aggravated felony.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I just found out that he has not applied for his citizenship, but siad that he is still planning on it. Is it better for him to just not apply for one at all?
Expert:  MadamEsq replied 8 years ago.
Because I do not know all of the circumstances, it is difficult to give a definite answer. If he has hired an immigration attorney, then they will be able to advise him before he makes that decision. But, if he decides not to apply for citizenship, he still has to maintain his permanent residence card. He will have to renew the card eventually and they will have access to his criminal records.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
which means either way they might deport him? whether or not he applies for the citizenship?
Expert:  MadamEsq replied 8 years ago.
Yes, that is a possibility.

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