Crimes That Will Prevent You From Receiving U.S. Citizenship

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Crimes That Will Prevent You From Receiving U.S. Citizenship

A conviction in either of the following means you will be permanently denied U.S. citizenship:

  • Murder

  • An aggravated felony (if the conviction was after November 29, 1990)


What if my criminal record is from overseas?

This counts as well, unless it is an instance involving a refugee or asylee who was the victim of inappropriate government prosecution.

What is an “aggravated felony”?

Here’s the ones you’d probably expect:

  • Rape

  • Sexual abuse of a minor

  • Drug trafficking

  • Firearm trafficking

  • Racketeering

  • Running a prostitution business

  • Child pornography

  • Fraud of $10,000 or more

The rest, you may not expect:

  • Any crime of violence, theft or burglary that resulted in a prison term of one year or more.

  • Resisting arrest has been found to be a crime of violence.

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol is sometimes considered a crime of violence, particularly if it involved reckless or intentional behaviour.

  • Helping to smuggle an alien into the United States, unless it was a first offense to help a spouse, child or parent.