What Happens if You Are Arrested During the Immigration Process?

If you are arrested during the immigration process in the US, it can have serious consequences on your case. Some possible scenarios include:

  • If you are in the US on a valid visa and are arrested, it could lead to your visa being revoked or canceled. Depending on the nature of the arrest, you could also face deportation proceedings.


  • If you are in the US and have applied for an adjustment of status (green card), your arrest could impact your application. You may be required to disclose the arrest on your application, and USCIS may request additional documentation or conduct a background check. Depending on the severity of the arrest, your application could be denied.


  • If you are in deportation proceedings and are arrested, it could lead to your deportation being expedited. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may place you in detention while your case is being reviewed, and a judge may order your deportation if you are found to be ineligible for relief.


  • If you are in the US and are arrested for a crime, but are not in immigration proceedings, it could still impact your immigration status. Some crimes, such as certain felonies, can make you ineligible for immigration benefits or lead to deportation proceedings.


It is important to consult with an immigration attorney if you are arrested during the immigration process. An attorney can advise you on your legal rights and help you navigate the complex immigration system.


What Happens if you are a Green Card Holder and get Arrested?


When a green card holder is arrested, the consequences can be severe and may depend on the nature of the crime and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Here are some possible outcomes:


  • Detention and deportation: If the crime committed is a deportable offense, such as a crime involving moral turpitude, drug trafficking, or certain violent crimes, the green card holder may be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and placed in deportation proceedings. The green card holder may then be ordered to appear before an immigration judge who will determine whether he or she should be deported.


  • Inadmissibility: Even if the crime is not a deportable offense, it may still render the green card holder inadmissible to the United States. Inadmissibility means that the green card holder may be barred from re-entering the United States after leaving, or from adjusting his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident.


  • Criminal penalties: The green card holder may also face criminal penalties for the crime committed, including fines, probation, or imprisonment. If the crime is a felony, it may have additional consequences for the green card holder's immigration status.


  • Loss of status: In some cases, a green card holder who is arrested and convicted of a crime may lose his or her status as a lawful permanent resident. This may happen if the crime committed is considered an aggravated felony or if the green card holder is sentenced to a significant amount of time in prison.


It is important for green card holders who are arrested to consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to understand their rights and options.


What Happens if You Were Arrested During the Immigration Process, but the Case Is Dismissed?


If you were arrested during the immigration process but the case against you is dismissed, it means that the charges brought against you were dropped, and you are no longer considered to be involved in any criminal activities related to that particular case. This dismissal could have occurred due to various reasons, such as lack of evidence, procedural errors, or the determination that you were wrongfully accused.


In terms of your immigration status, the dismissal of the criminal case may have different implications depending on the specific circumstances and the stage of your immigration process. If you were already in the United States and were detained by immigration authorities after the arrest, the dismissal of the case could potentially strengthen your position during immigration proceedings. It may help demonstrate that you are not a threat to public safety and that the allegations against you were unfounded.


However, it's important to note that immigration and criminal law are separate areas, and the outcome of a criminal case does not automatically guarantee any particular outcome in the immigration process. Immigration authorities will consider various factors, including your criminal history, if any, when evaluating your case.


It is crucial to consult with an immigration attorney who can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation. They will be able to guide you through the immigration process and help you understand the potential impact of the dismissed criminal case on your immigration status.


What's the best way to go about filling out your criminal questions on the I-485, or the N-400?

When filling out the criminal history questions on the I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or the N-400 (Application for Naturalization), it is essential to provide accurate and complete information. Here are some tips to help you navigate these sections:


  • Read the instructions: Start by carefully reading the instructions provided with the application form. These instructions will outline the specific requirements and guidelines for answering the criminal history questions.


  • Disclose all required information: Be honest and disclose all required information about your criminal history. Failing to disclose information or providing false information can have serious consequences for your immigration application.


  • Understand the question: Pay close attention to the wording of each question. Some questions may ask for specific types of offenses or convictions, while others may require information on all types of criminal incidents, including arrests without convictions.


  • Provide detailed information: For each criminal incident, provide as much detail as possible, including the date, location, charges, and final disposition. If you have multiple incidents, list them separately and provide accurate information for each one.


  • Obtain official documents: Gather official documents related to your criminal history, such as court dispositions, arrest records, and police reports. These documents can help you provide accurate and specific information about each incident.


  • Seek legal advice if necessary: If you have a complicated criminal history or are unsure about how to answer certain questions, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney. They can review your case, provide guidance on how to answer the questions accurately and help you understand the potential impact on your immigration application.


Remember, providing false or misleading information on immigration forms can lead to severe consequences, including denial of your application and potential immigration fraud charges. It's crucial to be truthful and thorough when disclosing your criminal history.