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2 possession charges 10 years ago. Chances for citizenship?

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  • 2 possession charges 10 years ago. Chances for citizenship?

    Hello all!

    As the title states, I very foolishly had two possession charges over 10 years ago. The 2nd offense was honestly not my fault but that's a different story. I had no offenses before that time, and not even as much as a parking ticket since that time. My situation is as follows:

    *I am a permanent resident
    *Moved here to US when I was 2 years old. I'm now 40.
    *Parents are both citizens now
    *Sister is natural born citizen
    *I am married to natural citizen for 7 years now
    *Have been gainfully employed, and have made zero trouble in the last 10 years
    *I have since then had the records sealed
    *Both were for only a few grams at most
    *Both happened within weeks of having my greencard for 5 years. Ive now had my greencard for 15 years.

    I am from a country who has traditionally not been in very good standing with the US, sadly. The passport from my native country will not allow for travel to many countries. My goal is to travel the world with my wife by obtaining citizenship and a US passport.

    How risky would it be to apply for citizenship? How risky to renew my greencard? Do you think that the immigration agents would take into account that I've learned my lesson and have been a good, hard working, tax paying, successful resident? Or will they most likely send me to jail right away? Lying about my arrests are not an option. Dishonesty and deceit are not part of my personality. I was, however, under the impression that completing deferred adjudication would dismiss those charges... However, it appears that immigration sees those as convictions.

    I appreciate any help! Best regards to all!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Almostmadeit View Post
    Hello all!

    As the title states, I very foolishly had two possession charges over 10 years ago. The 2nd offense was honestly not my fault but that's a different story. I had no offenses before that time, and not even as much as a parking ticket since that time. My situation is as follows:

    *I am a permanent resident
    *Moved here to US when I was 2 years old. I'm now 40.
    *Parents are both citizens now
    *Sister is natural born citizen
    *I am married to natural citizen for 7 years now
    *Have been gainfully employed, and have made zero trouble in the last 10 years
    *I have since then had the records sealed
    *Both were for only a few grams at most
    *Both happened within weeks of having my greencard for 5 years. Ive now had my greencard for 15 years.

    I am from a country who has traditionally not been in very good standing with the US, sadly. The passport from my native country will not allow for travel to many countries. My goal is to travel the world with my wife by obtaining citizenship and a US passport.

    How risky would it be to apply for citizenship? How risky to renew my greencard? Do you think that the immigration agents would take into account that I've learned my lesson and have been a good, hard working, tax paying, successful resident? Or will they most likely send me to jail right away? Lying about my arrests are not an option. Dishonesty and deceit are not part of my personality. I was, however, under the impression that completing deferred adjudication would dismiss those charges... However, it appears that immigration sees those as convictions.

    I appreciate any help! Best regards to all!
    The biggest danger is that the drug violations may make you deportable. I believe that any controlled substance violation, other than a single offense involving 30 grams or less of **** only, makes you deportable. Since you have two, that is a problem. Many upstanding people have been deported for drug convictions, including many veterans. You should consult an immigration lawyer who has experience with drug-based grounds of deportation.

    This is my personal opinion and is not to be construed as legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Almostmadeit View Post
      Hello all!

      As the title states, I very foolishly had two possession charges over 10 years ago. The 2nd offense was honestly not my fault but that's a different story. I had no offenses before that time, and not even as much as a parking ticket since that time. My situation is as follows:

      *I am a permanent resident
      *Moved here to US when I was 2 years old. I'm now 40.
      *Parents are both citizens now
      *Sister is natural born citizen
      *I am married to natural citizen for 7 years now
      *Have been gainfully employed, and have made zero trouble in the last 10 years
      *I have since then had the records sealed
      *Both were for only a few grams at most
      *Both happened within weeks of having my greencard for 5 years. Ive now had my greencard for 15 years.

      I am from a country who has traditionally not been in very good standing with the US, sadly. The passport from my native country will not allow for travel to many countries. My goal is to travel the world with my wife by obtaining citizenship and a US passport.

      How risky would it be to apply for citizenship? How risky to renew my greencard? Do you think that the immigration agents would take into account that I've learned my lesson and have been a good, hard working, tax paying, successful resident? Or will they most likely send me to jail right away? Lying about my arrests are not an option. Dishonesty and deceit are not part of my personality. I was, however, under the impression that completing deferred adjudication would dismiss those charges... However, it appears that immigration sees those as convictions.

      I appreciate any help! Best regards to all!
      I agree with above. The US government have a very low tolerance for drugs, as you can understand is not a bad thing. They want to ensure people who get GCs or naturalize are law abiding citizens, who aren't going to cause trouble and become a drain on the taxpayer. And as you mentioned, even if these charges are sealed, USCIS still requires that you declare them.

      You will want to speak with an experienced immigration attorney that has dealt with this kind of case before. They will be able to point you in the correct direction, hopefully be able to present your case using the positives as a highlight to shadow the negatives. But either way, you are going to have to address those charges.

      I wish you good luck, as it seems, based on your story, that you've changed your ways, not to mention your significant ties to the US at this point through your family.
      Marriage AOS - 2018

      4-10: Sent to Chicago Lockbox
      4-12: Arrived in Chicago
      4-14: Picked up by USCIS
      4-19: Email & text notifications received
      4-23: I-797 Receipts received
      4-27: Biometrics notice received
      5-10: Courtesy letter for I-693
      5-11: Biometrics completed
      6-04: Interview scheduled
      6-09: Received interview letter
      7-10: Interview complete & approved, status change to New Card being Produced
      7-13: Card was Mailed
      7-18: Green Card in Hand

      Comment


      • #4
        I very much appreciate the kindness in replying to my dilemma. If it's not too much trouble, may I ask if you would risk applying for a greencard renewal? Is the renewal under the same scrutiny as naturalization? Or would you still recommend hiring a lawyer as a safety blanket? Cheers and blessings...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Almostmadeit View Post
          I very much appreciate the kindness in replying to my dilemma. If it's not too much trouble, may I ask if you would risk applying for a greencard renewal? Is the renewal under the same scrutiny as naturalization? Or would you still recommend hiring a lawyer as a safety blanket? Cheers and blessings...
          my advice is speak to an attorney before you do ANYTHING. this is a very serious situation and doing anything on your own and making a mistake in the way you do it could easily and almost definitely would result in deportation like both of the members above said unless you some how found favor in the eyes of the immigration officials. Err on the side of caution and get advice from a legal professional before you go and try to renew your GC or apply for citizenship. best of luck
          Last edited by krypton9591; 05-14-2018, 07:34 PM.
          This is strictly an opinion and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. The use of this information is strictly at your own risk.

          -Krypton9591

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you all, I am currently in talks with a lawyer. Most say that getting my greencard renewed should not pose a problem, but that citizenship is an entirely different animal. Would you agree with that stance? Either way, I am seeking counsel. "an ounce of prevention"... I wish I had taken that advice to heart those ten years ago. What a shame.

            To anyone thinking its all fun and games to have a joint on you and be in pending immigration status... It's not worth it. It's just not. I've been a tax paying, honest, hard working and open hearted person all my life, have helped those in need from the bottom of my heart even when I couldn't truly afford it, have been a loving and loyal husband and son, and I always had faith that the universe would provide. Perhaps I'm being tested. Either way, I'm not sure I deserve this treatment. To those seeking citizenship, please think twice.

            I'm now in a state of limbo... even if I do get my greencard renewed, I may not be able to gain citizenship. This means that I'll be in the USA forever. I can forget about travelling, especially since having only a passport from my native country which no one will issue a Visa for... not this decade anyway. Here's hope that the world will change for the better and that petty crimes like having a joint on you will be forgiven.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Almostmadeit View Post
              Thank you all, I am currently in talks with a lawyer. Most say that getting my greencard renewed should not pose a problem, but that citizenship is an entirely different animal. Would you agree with that stance?
              I don't know. It is true that the green card renewal form (I-90) doesn't ask for you to disclose any convictions (whereas N-400 does). But as to whether they do any other background checks as part of the renewal process, and discover the convictions, I don't know.

              Originally posted by Almostmadeit View Post
              I'm now in a state of limbo... even if I do get my greencard renewed, I may not be able to gain citizenship. This means that I'll be in the USA forever. I can forget about travelling, especially since having only a passport from my native country which no one will issue a Visa for... not this decade anyway. Here's hope that the world will change for the better and that petty crimes like having a joint on you will be forgiven.
              Well as a US permanent resident, you can travel to Canada, Mexico, and several Central American countries without a visa. Also if you don't want to use your passport, as a permanent resident, it is possible to get a Re-entry Permit, and use that in lieu of a passport, and some countries will accept that and put a visa on it, though I suspect that the visa treatment of a Re-entry Permit would be harder than whatever passport you have.

              But there is also a risk in traveling abroad, as drug convictions would also make you inadmissible. (In fact, the set of inadmissible crimes is wider than deportable crimes.)
              Last edited by newacct; 05-17-2018, 07:51 PM.

              This is my personal opinion and is not to be construed as legal advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Don?t lose hope

                Hi Almostmadeit,

                I submitted a long post to share with you about my experience but I the admin is not posting it for some reason. If you like, please send me a PM and I will be happy to share my story.

                Best of luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're case seems a little more complicated because of the convictions. You're not going to find the answer to your question here. You'll need someone experienced to make the journey with you.
                  Marriage based AOS concurre
                  Feb 2017 - Date received
                  Feb 2017 - RFE received
                  March 2017 - Biometrics completed
                  April 2017 - RFE response received case no longer on hold
                  April 2017 - Case is being scheduled for interview
                  May 2017 - AP/EAD received:
                  March 2018 - AP/EAD forms sent for renewal
                  Sept 2018 - AOS interview scheduled.
                  Oct 2018 - AOS interview
                  Nov 2018 - Green card in hand

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by newacct View Post
                    Well as a US permanent resident, you can travel to Canada, Mexico, and several Central American countries without a visa.
                    Criminal aliens can not avail themselves of the Canadian or Mexican visa waiver arrangements, they will have to apply for a tourist visa. That said, 10 years will help OP meet Deemed Rehabilitated requirements under IRPA

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Originally posted by newacct View Post
                    But there is also a risk in traveling abroad, as drug convictions would also make you inadmissible. (In fact, the set of inadmissible crimes is wider than deportable crimes.)
                    OP should assume that if his admissibility is evaluated, he'll be denied entry. That being the case, he should keep absences shorter than 6 months so as to not trigger an admissibility evaluation upon his return

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      would you still recommend hiring a lawyer as a safety blanket? Cheers and blessings...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Did you got you GC renewed? Also, did you got your citizenship? Can you please let me know ?

                        Comment

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