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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105123
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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This is what my son did .Call him naive , if you want , but

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This is what my son did .Call him naive , if you want , but this is what he did without seeking my advice or cosult an immigration attorney He had an expunged case of unarmed robbery with two of his friends (he was 19 then ) which was sealed in 2009 . He finished probation and paid all the money that he owed the court.He filled the form by himself and applied for N-400 a few months ago but he did not mention anything about his expunged case .He naively thought that it was completely sealed and fingerprints returned and nobody knows about it .But during his interview the officer showed him the details of his expunged case wherehe spent 48 days in jail and then 3 months in BOOT CAMP for youths ( he was 19 years old then ) . He lied under oath . He did ,however , pass The English Language Test and The Civics Test . He came out from the N-400 interview devastated and very disappointed .
He is very confused now .He has been a legal permanent resident for 15 years.
Last week he received the decision of USCIS . They denied his N-400 because he failed to demonstrate good moral character . It stated that he was ineligible for naturalization AT THIS TIME . He did not get any threats or notice to appear in court for lying under oath, or any other punishment that could have been given to him . He was also told he could appeal the denial decision within 30 days .
Now he has come seeking my help and advice to correct his tragic mistake and his blunder .
These are my questions to you now :
Should he appeal the N-400 denial decision ??
What does ( ineligible AT THIS TIME ) mean ?? Can he re-apply this year ? Next year ? Or does he have to wait the statutory period of five more years ??
Is he allowed to write a brief letter to the field director of USCIS to ask when he can legally re-apply for citizenship ??
Will somebody who knows Immigration Law very well tell me what he should do now ?? Nothing ?? . Re-apply again now ?? Or better wait five more years ???
Thank you very much for any help and correct advice I get from you .
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for two things: 1) Before you sign off, please remember to rate me positively as that is the only way that I am paid and your question does not close after you rate me so I can still answer additional questions without additional charge if you have follow-ups even weeks or months later; and, 2) IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger. When you rate me, it is my service to you that you rate, not whether the news is good or bad. I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Just to be clear, he lied to the immigration officer at the N-400 interview or he had lied under oath in court proceeding where he was convicted of the robbery? Also, what was the date that he finished his probation and closed his criminal case?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He lied at the N-400 interview only . He answer NO to all the questions about the expunged case .


He finished his probation March 2009 .That is when his case was


sealed and fingerprints returned to the court .


He then thought USCIS does not know about his expunged case .

Well, at the very least, he should not apply for U.S. Citizenship until a full five years have passed since the close of his case including time on probation. So apart from "lying", he applied too early. The earliest he should apply is after March 2014. During that time, he should do volunteer work at a church or temple, local community organization like the Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Club, Lion's Club, etc. The idea is to start building good moral character references. He should then get his friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, members or leaders of those community organizations and any other prominent and respected people of the community to write up good moral character letters for him that state who they are, how they know him, how long they have known him, that they believe he has good moral character and to state the reasons why they believe he has good moral character. He does not have to tell them about his criminal issue. The more letters he has, the better it is.

And IF he can get it, he should get a letter from the attorney that did his expungement stating that the attorney did not warn him that it was ok to deny the charge to any private parties or organizations, but not ok to deny existance of the charges to any government entity. The attorney probably wouldn't give him that, but he can try.

Also, no, I would not appeal the denial. It would be a waste of money, I believe.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You mean he can apply after one year . He does not have to wait five more years ??


How about writing to the USCIS field director to ask when he can legally re-apply for citzenship ?? Can he write a letter to USCIS ?


Is the N-400 denial letter the only thing he will get ? I mean there are no other punishments for him other than this N-400 denial ??


Thank you for your answers .

He would probably stand the BEST chance if he applied 5 years or more from his denial, but I don't think he has an unreasonable chance if he applies after March 2009 which would be 5 years after the close of his criminal case (probation).

Writing a letter to the director is not going to solve anything. He can apply whenever he wants. It's just that I think he should wait until at least March 2014 or later.

And yes, the denial letter should be the only thing. I don't think they are going to waste time and money to prosecute him for something that he could easily state he thought he could deny anything in regards XXXXX XXXXX conviction that was expunged. It is very common, even though it is also commonly incorrect.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.
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