Do criminal convictions hinder legalization?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2012

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Do criminal convictions hinder legalization?

My fiancee entered the country illegally and I know that he had previously been arrested due to traffic violations (DUI). Would these convictions hinder his chance to become a legal resident after we are married? I realize he may be barred from the country for a certain time, but would it be worth attempting to go through the legal proceedings to formally make him a resident of the US even if he has a background in the US?

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Immigration Law, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is good that you are inquiring now. Unfortunately, with immigration coming down harder on applicants, yes it most likely will hinder and even prevent him from entering the U.S. or becoming a legal resident or citizen here. Your best bet is if you are seriously considering marrying him is to consult with an immigration attorney who a) has a great amount of experience with applications from his home country and b) with applicants who have criminal backgrounds.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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