Unlawful Activities and Their Impact on Naturalization

The prospective citizen must have good moral character and attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. An alien is considered to have failed to meet this requirement in the following circumstances:

  • involvement in prostitution, alien smuggling, and most criminal activities, particularly those that involve imprisonment for six months or more;
  • aliens who have committed adultery in a notorious and open manner, as in a case where the adultery has led to the destruction of the marriage;
  • failure to properly comply with IRS laws regarding taxes;
  • failure to register with the Selective Service when the alien is required to do so;
  • aliens who have committed and have been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude;
  • aliens who have committed and have been convicted of 2 or more offenses for which the total sentence imposed was 5 years or more;
  • aliens who have committed and have been convicted of violation of any controlled substance law, except for the single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana;
  • aliens who have been confined to a penal institution during the statutory period, as a result of a criminal conviction, for an aggregate period of 180 days or more;
  • aliens who have committed and have been convicted of two or more gambling offenses;
  • aliens who have earned their principal income from illegal gambling;
  • aliens who have been habitual drunkards;
  • aliens who have practiced polygamy;
  • aliens who have willfully failed or refused to support dependents;
  • aliens who have given false testimony, under oath, in order to receive a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and
  • failure to pay child support.

If any of the above circumstances apply to you and you are seeking naturalization, you should consult with an experienced attorney.

For more information about Naturalization, please click here.

After obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization, an alien will have all the rights of a U.S.-born citizen. The unlawful activities listed above will in most circumstances no longer result in deportation or revocation of citizenship for naturalized citizens. However, unlike a U.S.-born citizen, a naturalized citizen will have his/her citizenship revoked if he/she commits espionage.

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