Applying for citizenship can already put an individual under a lot of pressure. Preparing paperwork, doing interviews, court appearances and taking tests is just a sampling of components that can bring stress upon an applicant. If you hope to call America your home, you can understand this pressure and the perseverance the process requires. And if you’ve gone through an arrest before seeking green card approval, you may feel even more uneasy.
Do I need to disclose my arrest?
According to the Immigration Defense Project, it’s essential to be upfront about one’s arrests instead of attempting to hide them. Honesty may prove to be the best policy, especially when there’s been a dismissal of charges. If you’re in this position, it’ll be crucial to have proof of the dismissal of your charges, like court documents or police reports, ready to provide in an application or to share in court. Doing this will help ensure that your citizen application is free of gaps.
Will revealing my arrest deter me from gaining citizenship?
A criminal charge clearly dismissed in a court of law shouldn’t keep an immigration candidate up at night. While displaying good morals is a critical key to naturalization, individuals who’ve had their criminal charges stick should be more worried.
What should I do in the meantime?
Amidst the process, it’s important to remember that upstanding behavior looks best to the decision-makers assigned to your case. It’s necessary to understand there are plenty of offenses that can lead to deportation, so abiding by all U.S. and state laws before and after gaining citizenship is vital.
It can also be helpful to have the support of an experienced attorney. That way, you can have a point person when delving into the citizenship process, an advocator of your rights and someone to rely on when the waiting game gets long or lonely.