Criminal Sexual Conduct Conviction & Effects on Immigration

If you are applying for a U.S. visa or green card, the application process requires including information about your criminal record. If you were accused or found guilty of a criminal sexual conduct offense, it could result in your application being denied.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, during your application period, you must show that you are of good moral character (GMC). Typically, if you are applying for a visa or green card for yourself, the GMC period is 5 years before you begin the process. If you are petitioning for your spouse, the GMC is 3 years prior to the filing date. A conviction for criminal sexual conduct could prevent you or your spouse from obtaining a specific immigration status.

Convictions that Could Affect Visa or Green Card Application

Under U.S. immigration law, a conviction is a guilty judgment entered by the court, which either came about from a verdict by a judge or jury, or through your own plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

There are two types of criminal convictions that could affect your visa or green card application:

  • Aggravated felonies
  • Crimes of moral turpitude (CMT)

Aggravated felonies are crimes defined by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act that could bar a person from being eligible for U.S. citizenship.

Aggravated felonies include, but are not limited to:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Child pornography
  • Kidnapping

The list of aggravated felonies includes offenses defined by the federal government, and some crimes are considered aggravated felonies if they have a prison or jail sentence of 1 year or more. Because there might be some differences in state and federal definitions of offenses, a misdemeanor or non-violent crime could be considered an aggravated felony to an immigration officer. Offenses such as first-, second-, or third- criminal sexual conduct could fall under this definition.

A crime of moral turpitude is more broadly defined, and usually includes offenses that were committed with malicious intent, such as fraud or causing bodily harm to another person. Being found guilty of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct could be considered a CMT offense.

You could be deported for a CMT offense if:

  • You had 2 convictions after being admitted to the U.S. (unless the offenses were part of the same incident)
  • You were convicted of 1 offense (with a prison sentence of 1 year or more) within 5 years of being admitted to the U.S.

You could be deemed inadmissible to the U.S. if you had 1 CMT conviction.

Reach Out to Prain Law, PLLC for Effective Legal Counsel

If you are seeking a visa or green card and have been accused of a criminal sexual conduct offense, you could be looking at serious consequences. Our attorney is here to provide tenacious representation and fight the charges against you.

For the dedicated legal defense you need, call us at (248) 731-4543 or contact us online.

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