How a Felony Could Impact Your Immigration Status

Committing a felony is never good in any country, especially if you are in the U.S. on a green card or travel visa. The immigration officials might downgrade your status or deport you, because you allegedly committed a felony, regardless whether you’re guilty or not. The specific consequences would significantly depend on your current visa status, the alleged offense, and the particular circumstances of your case. It’s best to consult an immigration attorney in any county in Utah.

An Aggravated Felony

Aggravated felony is an umbrella term for offenses the state and federal courts consider misdemeanors or sometimes conduct that’s not considered criminal. It’s a category specific only to immigration law that encompasses a broad range of acts that Congress considers removable offenses. The US Congress enacted aggravated felony in 1988. Back then it was limited to severe crimes including murder, illegal firearms trafficking (including incendiary devices), as well as federal drug trafficking. However, aggravated felony now includes the following:

1. Theft
2. Simple battery
3. Failing to show up in court
4. Tax fraud
5. Consensual intercourse between a 16-year-old and 17-year-old

According to a prominent immigration attorney in Utah County, even if Congress added a certain offense under the aggravated felony category following the conviction of a foreign national, he or she would instantly be deemed deportable, unless otherwise stated by the US Congress.

A Crime of Moral Turpitude

This refers to offenses that courts consider to be in violation of a community’s accepted moral standards. While there’s no definitive list of crimes that involve moral turpitude, the following are some examples:

1. Tax evasion
2. Perjury
3. Carrying concealed weapons
4. Child abuse
5. Wire fraud

The Bottom Line

Put simply, a criminal conviction for an aggravated felony or those that involve moral turpitude carry severe consequences for foreign nationals. In general, you are not eligible for deportation relief and would be prohibited from re-entering the country in the future. If you’re looking to become a citizen or are worried about your status due to a felony conviction, it’s important that seek legal help to determine the best option for you.