Violating immigration law may lead to serious consequences, like deportation or a permanent bar to a green card or United States citizenship. If you are facing criminal charges for any reason, this can lead to major complications if you’re an immigrant. An immigration lawyer can help protect your legal status.
Common Types of Immigration Violations
Common violations of U.S. immigration law include:
- Illegal entry into the United States
- Overstaying a visa expiration date
- Unauthorized employment
- Failure to disclose information about employment or other required details on a USCIS application
What Could Happen if You Violate Federal or State Law
Depending on your transgression, you could face any or all of the following consequences:
- Arrest and deportation
- Ineligibility to extend your visa
- Revocation of your current visa
- Inadmissibility to re-enter the U.S. for years and possibly for a lifetime
- Loss of the right to adjust your legal status
Some transgressions of immigration law are unintentional and happen because immigrants fail to understand procedural requirements or aren’t aware their actions are illegal.
For example, employment without a work permit for 180 or more days within five years violates immigration law. But when listing employers on a green card application, immigrants may inadvertently overlook temporary employment or omit weekends or sick days from the 180-day threshold.
Immigration and Criminal Law
If you’re an immigrant, a criminal conviction (even completely unrelated to immigration law, per se) could lead to repercussions beyond fines and jail time. The potential impact of a conviction on your immigration status hinges on whether the offense counts as a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT).
Offenses falling under this definition are usually serious, such as:
- Murder and manslaughter
- Sexual assault
- Domestic abuse
- Aggravated assault
- Theft and robber
- Fraud and money laundering
Any aggravated felony conviction will likely lead to deportation. Additionally, you may lose admissibility to the U.S. for a period ranging from a couple of years to decades or even a lifetime. However, the latter usually applies to repeat offenders.
One possible defense against deportation on the grounds of CIMT is proving the crime was a “petty offense,” meaning that the maximum penalty would involve under one year in jail.
When To Contact an Immigration Attorney
Many immigrants experience devastating and often irreversible consequences because they aren’t familiar enough with U.S. law or don’t know their rights. When your future is on the line, you need help from a competent, experienced immigration lawyer. Contact an immigration attorney when you find yourself in legal trouble, or even if you only suspect you may have trespassed the law.
An immigration lawyer can:
- Evaluate your case and explain the possible outcomes
- Make sure you are aware of your rights and all your legal options
- Defend you in front of immigration courts and protect you against deportation
- Correctly handle all legal paperwork, like USCIS applications
- Use all available legal options to help you qualify for permanent residency or U.S. citizenship
The Law Offices of James A. Welcome: Helping You Overcome Immigration Hurdles
Have you run into complications with U.S. immigration law? Are you facing criminal charges and wondering how this may impact your legal status as an immigrant? Contact us at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome for a case evaluation and reliable assistance with deportation defense, green card applications, naturalization, and other immigration-related issues.
Call 203-753-7300 or contact us online to consult an immigration lawyer in CT.