Legal Guide

How a DUI Can Affect Your Citizenship Application

A DUI conviction can affect your ability to become a citizen. The consequences of a DUI can be serious, not just for you but also for your family. Even if your DUI occurred many years ago, it could still affect your citizenship application. The process of becoming a citizen is long and complicated. A single mistake on your citizenship application can lead to delays and other complications. You should consult with a lawyer if you have been arrested for a DUI. A DUI lawyer can help you avoid the consequences and get your citizenship application back on track. Here are some ways that your DUI may affect your citizenship application.

Your DUI Could Lead to Barred Citizenship

You can expect to be possibly barred from applying for citizenship because of a DUI conviction. If you are not eligible for citizenship, you must apply for a waiver. Waivers require you have already been convicted of a crime and served a sentence imposed before applying for a waiver. The wait time for these waivers can be long and complicated, so it is important to hire an immigration lawyer in advance.

Your DUI Could Be Considered Conviction

A DUI conviction is a conviction on your criminal record. Your criminal record can make it difficult to get a job, travel outside of the country or obtain certain immigration benefits. It can also lead to deportation. It could also affect your ability to become a citizen. Immigration services will consider your DUI conviction as a "legal bar" for consideration for citizenship, which means that you cannot become a citizen unless the government finds an exception for you to be eligible. If you are considering applying for citizenship, contact an attorney as soon as possible so that we can advise you on how best to avoid these consequences and get your application back on track.

You May Be Found Ineligible for Citizenship

A DUI conviction may make you ineligible for citizenship. Immigration services can consider a person ineligible if "he or she has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which is defined as any crime involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit regarding government or financial institutions." It may also be difficult to obtain a waiver for your DUI conviction. A waiver will be granted if the DUI conviction does not disqualify you from becoming a citizen and it does not pose a threat to national security. However, this decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

Your DUI May Be Cited as Grounds for Denial

If the government finds out about the DUI, they may cite it as grounds for denial. As a result, your application could be denied without knowing about it. If this happens, you will not be able to become a U.S. citizen, and you will have to re-apply with all of your fees paid again. In addition to being cited as grounds for denial, a DUI conviction may cause a delay in the processing of your citizenship application because it takes time for the government to decide whether or not they will approve your application based on the information given. You must wait after six months before applying for citizenship if you are eligible and your criminal record is cleared. You should contact a lawyer before submitting any documents if you were arrested and charged with a DUI.

Ways to Avoid a DUI for Citizenship Application

Avoiding DUI charges is a difficult task. However, if you want to make your citizenship application as clean as possible, you should follow these steps to avoid getting a DUI:

  • Avoid drinking and driving while on the road.
  • Don't use other people's cars.
  • Don't get into any accidents.
  • Ask your friends and family for rides home if you can't drive yourself.
  • If you do get pulled over by police, don't panic. The officer will try to give you the best advice on what to do next without holding up traffic or causing further problems.

If you are applying for citizenship and you have a DUI on your record, it is important to know the potential consequences that could follow. Understanding how the law can apply in your particular case is also important.


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