Immigration Corner | Can I get a green card?

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I am being filed for to go and live in the United States but I have a criminal record. I was charged with assault causing actual harm and possession of an offensive weapon. Would I be able to get my green card?

Thanks in advance.

- A.B.

Dear A.B.,

Having a criminal charge and or conviction does not disqualify everyone from obtaining United States residency. It depends on the charge or charges, the sentence received and served and what the relationship is between you and the US person filing the petition.

Almost every criminal conviction makes a person inadmissible to the United States, but some are able to overcome the inadmissibility if there is a qualifying waiver. Likewise, a waiver would be available if you have the right relative to meet the requirements to file the waiver. If all of that is in place, your qualifying relative would have to show the US Government that they are experiencing extreme hardship in the United States that would go away if you, the intending immigrant, were allowed to migrate to the United States. You did not indicate who is actually filing for your immigrant petition.

Criminal convictions that are considered aggravated felonies under US immigration laws have no immigrant waivers. In your situation, you would need to consult with a US immigration attorney who would review your criminal record and analyse it against the US immigration laws to advise you of your position.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq. is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal, international and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. info@walkerhuntington.com


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