When Naturalization Application Leads to Removal

In certain situations, an application for naturalization could cause a lawful permanent resident to face removal proceedings because of immigration problems they have in their recent or distant past. Such immigration problems arise from certain acts or omissions committed by the lawful permanent resident which may cause them to become “deportable aliens.” Upon discovery of these problems during the naturalization process, the USCIS may refer the lawful permanent resident to the removal process. If you have any issue in your recent or distant past, contact us for an analysis of your situation. We have had many clients who thought that the USCIS will not discover their issues, to their chagrin. You must realize that the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS”) and the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) are becoming increasingly vigilant of such issues. A lawful permanent resident may face removal proceedings during the naturalization process because of fraud or a willful misrepresentation of a material fact he committed in the distant past in the procurement of entry or visa to the US; removal proceedings could also be initiated against permanent residents because of a claim that they had abandoned their residence due to a prolonged absence. Finally, the permanent resident may have been convicted of an offense which may render him removable from the US. If you believe you face some of these issues, contact us to discuss your options with one of our competent immigration lawyers.

It is important to understand that when a lawful permanent resident applies for naturalization, he or she will be inviting the USCIS to review, one more time, their entire record. Recently the USCIS is making a concerted effort to consolidate foreign nationals’ files and conducting a thorough review of documents and information previously submitted in the context of nonimmigrant visa applications or otherwise while reviewing the recently filed Naturalization application. Hence, great care should be expended in assuring that conflicting or incriminating information is not submitted to the USCIS which may compromise the permanent resident’s status in the US. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you if you have such issues and you contemplate to file an application for naturalization. Our lawyers are experienced have the knowledge to handle difficult and complex immigration and naturalization cases.

Fraud or Willful misrepresentation of a Material Fact:

Some of the common scenarios which may cause a concern for foreign nationals applying for naturalization include committing fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact anytime in the past, even before acquiring permanent residence. Upon discovery of such fraud or willful misrepresentation, the USCIS will take the position that the lawful permanent resident was inadmissible at the time of his or her entry in the US and on that basis will seek to initiate removal proceedings. If you have committed fraud or willful misrepresentation, even in the distant past, contact us to discuss your case. The following is non-exhaustive list of common fraudulent scenarios that may become an issue during the naturalization process:

  1. Whether the foreign national misrepresented on the consular application when he applied for the initial visa stating that they were not married when in fact they were;
  2. Whether a parent applied an immigrant visa petition for an unmarried son or daughter when in fact they were married;
  3. Whether the foreign national divorced a wife in his home country, entered the US on a visitor’s visa, thereafter obtained permanent residence through marriage to a US Citizen, then divorced the US Citizen and subsequently re-married his previously divorced foreign national spouse; this scenario might cause a great deal of concern as to whether there was a scheme or a pattern to defraud the US government.
  4. Entering the US using an alias or a fraudulent passport.
  5. Whether there was a conviction in the home country which would have rendered the foreign national inadmissible and such conviction was concealed at the time of the initial visa application before the US consulate.
  6. Whether the foreign national had been in proceedings previously.
  7. Whether the foreign national committed fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact in any previous employment based immigration process such as applying for permanent residence through an employer but never showed up to work for such employer.
  8. Whether the foreign national committed fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact in a prior Amnesty application.

If you have a similar concern and you plan to file your Naturalization application, you should discuss your matter with one of our competent immigration lawyers. Contact us for a consultation.

Physical Presence vs. Continuity of Residence

In order to qualify for naturalization, the permanent resident must had continuously resided in the US for Five years (three years if the green card was acquired through marriage to a US Citizen) and must have been physically present in the US half of that time. If the permanent resident disrupted her continuous presence by a prolonged absence, she could face a charge by the USCIS that she abandoned her permanent residence. Note that even if the disruption of permanent residence occurred in the distant past and if it is discovered by the USCIS, the permanent resident may still be placed in removal during the naturalization process. If you have a discontinuity in your permanent residence, contact us for a consultation.

Criminal Behavior That Can Cause Naturalization Applicants to be Placed in Removal Proceedings

If you had a criminal conviction or committed a crime that could be of a concern in your upcoming Naturalization application process, you must work very closely with a competent immigration lawyer who is capable of understanding the issues and risks involved. The first step our competent immigration attorneys will undertake in your process is to request that you complete a comprehensive questionnaire that will enable our firm to fully grasp all of the facts and circumstances that may be relevant in your case and conduct a comprehensive review of all applicable laws. It is only after such thorough analyses of the past history will your attorney be able to advise you about effective strategies in your case. It is crucial to remember two things when dealing with your immigration lawyer: first, you must be truthful and candid about all the facts, history, and circumstances of your prior criminal history (even if they occurred in a different country); and secondly, anything you tell your immigration lawyer regarding past occurrences and past criminal conduct or convictions is a secret and may not be discovered by any governmental authorities under the attorney client privilege.

How to Contact us

Contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA if you desire to file your naturalization application. Our lawyers have reached an esteemed level of competence, notoriety and respect in the community. We handle all types of immigration cases including family visas, green cards, naturalization, and removal as well as employment based cases including H-1B, PERM, L-1 intracopmay transferee and more. Contact us by email or phone for a consultation.

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