Category Archives: immigration consequences of criminal convictions

What are the immigration consequences of a “Nolle Prosequi” criminal disposition?

Boston, MA Deportation Defense Attorney As an immigration lawyer, I frequently meet with people who have entered the United States without a visa or without being inspected by an immigration officer at an airport or border. Such people have sneaked their way into the United States and now they seek a green card or some other legal status. We immigration lawyers refer to this class of people as EWIs (entry without inspection). What immigration options are available to someone who has no proof of being properly admitted and inspected upon entry into the U.S.? READ MORE

Thinking of sealing or expunging your criminal record? A Boston immigration lawyer says think again

These days, it is not easy to get a job or housing benefits. And it is even tougher if you have a criminal record. To make things easier, criminal lawyers often recommend having your criminal record expunged or sealed. This can be great advice for people seeking work or housing benefits as you will effectively have no criminal record once your criminal record is expunged or sealed. Your Massachusetts CORI criminal history report will show "no adult criminal record," and you can honestly say you have no criminal record when applying for jobs and housing benefits. But sealing or expunging your criminal record does not free you from immigration consequences resulting from a criminal record. A conviction--even if it's been sealed or expunged--can still trigger your deportation. And USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) can deny your green card or citizenship application because of a sealed or expunged criminal record. READ MORE

Deportation and Juvenile Court Proceedings

Since I'm an immigration attorney, I'm often asked for my opinion on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and activities. Yesterday, a criminal defense attorney in Boston asked me whether, in Massachusetts, a non-citizen youth who breaks the law and who is found delinquent by a juvenile court could end up being deported as a result of the juvenile delinquency finding. The short answer is no. According to the Board of Immigration Appeals, a juvenile adjudication isn't considered a criminal conviction for immigration purposes. The logic behind this rule is that juvenile proceedings are not criminal. So a delinquency finding on a deportable offense will not cause a juvenile to be deported. READ MORE

Just got your Green Card? Some tips from a Boston immigration lawyer.

On behalf of the lawyers in my Boston immigration office, I say congratulations! You just got your green card and are now a lawful permanent resident of the United States! Below are some general tips to avoid future immigration problems and continue on a smooth path towards citizenship. I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residency--Get Ready! If you have a two-year green card (i.e., conditional residency based on marriage), remember that 90 days before the expiration of your green card, you and your spouse, together, will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residency. This petition is called an I-751. In order to get your I-751 petition approved, USCIS will expect you to submit extensive documentation to show that the underlying relationship between you and your spouse has been on-going since your I-485 was approved and that you continue to share your lives together. READ MORE