Should I apply for citizenship if I have a conviction? – TechCrunch


Here is another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to spreading the knowledge that enables people around the world to overcome borders and pursue their dreams,” he says. Sophie alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you work in personnel operations, are a founder, or are looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column. “

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Dear Sophie,

At Burning Man a few years ago, I was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for smoking marijuana in public (in my car) and driving under the influence of alcohol.

I currently have a green card and want to apply for US citizenship next year.

I can? If so, how should I handle my criminal record?

– Sorry for the Reefer

Dear regretful,

As you’ve discovered, you need to be extremely careful when you’re an immigrant – obviously you should never break the law, but as an immigrant, doing so can have serious and long-lasting consequences.

You should even be careful to avoid doing things that an immigration officer might consider to be outside the bounds of good moral character, even if they are not crimes. All immigrants should remember that while the limited use of marijuana for recreational and medical uses is legal in several states, it is illegal under federal law.

My legal partner, Anita Koumriqian, Recently podcast on how various crimes can affect the status of your green card and affect your ability to become a U.S. citizen. Listen and (always in this situation) consult an experienced immigration attorney. Tell your attorney about your DUI and marijuana charges, any subsequent use of marijuana, any other arrests or citations, and even things you might consider minor like speeding tickets, parking, or reckless crossing. An immigration attorney can determine whether to proceed with the application for US citizenship and, if so, when and how to do so.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background featuring a TechCrunch logo.

Image credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie alcorn (Opens in a new window)

What is good moral character?

As you know, you must be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least five years, or three years if you have a green card by marriage, to be eligible to apply. U.S. citizenship. In addition, you must demonstrate “good moral character” during the statutory period of five or three years.




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