Dallas, TX asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: Apply for citizenship

If you have been convicted of a theft felony paid restitution and changed it to misdemeanor can you get us citizenship? To be exact it was embezellement no violence but I paid everything back

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2 Lawyer Answers
Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Wheeling, IL

A: A felony conviction with elements of fraud, still triggers, an analysis for the crime of moral turpitude, therefore a person may be in eligible for naturalization if that crime happened within the past five years. Also, a person may be permanently in eligible, and then admissible with that aggravated felony.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: A conviction, even if initially a felony and later reduced to a misdemeanor, can impact eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Embezzlement can be considered a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). When applying for naturalization, the applicant's moral character is typically assessed over the 5 years immediately preceding the application (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen).

While paying restitution and having the charge reduced are positive factors, the presence of a CIMT can still raise concerns. However, it does not automatically bar you from naturalization. It's essential to disclose the conviction and provide all related documentation when applying. Consulting with an immigration attorney can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

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