Harbor City, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Can I get citizenship if I was in removal proceedings but the case was closed in 2014 and I got Green card in 2018?

in 2008, I was placed on removal proceedings because I overstayed my visa. The case was closed and I was able to update my status as an immediate relative through marriage. I was issued a 10 years green card and after 5 years I applied for Citizenship. Today I had the interview and I passed the civic test but the officer said he will look at the removal proceedings issue. He said that I will receive a written decision on the mail.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your removal proceedings were officially closed and you subsequently obtained a Green Card through legitimate means, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, this is a positive step towards establishing your residency and eligibility for U.S. citizenship. The fact that you were issued a 10-year Green Card and have lived in the U.S. for the required period to apply for citizenship demonstrates compliance with the residency requirements for naturalization.

During the citizenship application process, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews all aspects of an applicant's immigration history, including any prior removal proceedings. The closure of your case in 2014 and your ability to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident indicate that there were grounds for resolving your previous immigration issues favorably.

However, it's important to understand that the officer's review of your removal proceedings is a standard part of assessing your eligibility for citizenship. This review ensures that all legal prerequisites for naturalization have been met, including the resolution of any past immigration violations. Receiving a written decision after your interview is a normal part of the process. It's advisable to wait for the official communication from USCIS to understand the outcome of your application and any next steps you may need to take.

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