Helping Immigrants Achieve U.S. Citizenship
Salt Lake City, Utah Immigration and Naturalization Attorney
Trupiano Law is proud to say that it has helped many foreign-born clients achieve their dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. It’s not always easy. Kimberly J. Trupiano has had to use all her skills and knowledge as an immigration lawyer to overcome severe legal obstacles for some clients.
If you are ready to apply for citizenship, or need to address issues in your past that would prevent it, contact the attorneys at Trupiano Law. Contact Trupiano Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, for experienced legal counsel. Call 801-266-0166 for a telephone consultation or for an in-office meeting to go over your case. Spanish-, German, and Vietnamese-speaking staff is available to interpret when necessary. Her law practice represents permanent legal residents in Salt Lake City and surrounding counties of Utah. Se habla español.
Who Can Become a Citizen?
Children born in the U.S. or born overseas to U.S. citizen parents are automatically eligible. Adults can apply for citizenship if they have established legal permanent residency and lived in the U.S. (more or less continuously) for five years. Foreign-born spouses of U.S. citizens can apply after living in the U.S. for three years.
Addressing Potential Barriers
Criminal convictions or previous immigration troubles (unlawful entry, deportation) can prevent naturalization. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally looks back five years for evidence of good moral character, but the agency can go back farther. The best policy is to be completely honest about past mistakes and have your attorney address those issues through waivers, appeals and letters of recommendation from people who can attest that you would be a good candidate for citizenship.
Kim Trupiano performs a thorough search of your background and asks tough questions so that there are no false statements in your applications or surprise questions when it comes time for your citizenship interview with immigration agents.
She prepares clients for the interview and the citizenship test (which is more rigorous than it used to be). Ms. Trupiano attends the interview, but cannot speak for you. If she thinks the agent asked a confusing question, she can suggest a clarification afterward.
Here to Help
Don’t assume that you will be turned down for citizenship. Contact an attorney who is qualified to fix any problems that stand in your way of taking the oath as a legal U.S. citizen. Contact Trupiano Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, for experienced legal counsel. Call 801-266-0166 for a telephone consultation or for an in-office meeting to go over your case. Spanish-, German, and Vietnamese-speaking staff is available to interpret when necessary.
It is important to hire experienced and careful counsel to prepare your naturalization packets. Kimberly J. Trupiano highly discourages applying on your own for several reasons. For one thing, your application can trigger deportation proceedings if you have certain criminal convictions on your record. In some cases, it does not matter how old the conviction! Hence, you need an attorney who provides excellent criminal law and immigration defense solutions like at Trupiano Law to ensure your criminal record is satisfactory before applying.
For another thing, the burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate that he or she has good moral character for at least the last five years. See INA § 316.
Good moral character is reviewed for at least the last five years. That is, the USCIS examiner can look into acts prior to the 5 years if the acts may affect present moral character or that there as not been a reform of character. The period is three years for immediate relatives of United States citizens who have become lawful permanent residents.
Good moral character is statutorily prohibited if any of the following conditions arose during that applicable statutory period and sometimes longer. Thus, those negative factors can disqualify applicants from naturalization (much less possibly trigger deportation!). Part of that list is set forth as under 8 C.F.R. § 316.10:
- Applicant has been a habitual drunkard;
- Applicant solicited or committed prostitution within ten years of the date of application for visa, admission, or adjustment of status;
- Applicant has been incarcerated for more that a 180 days;
- Applicant has engaged in illegal gambling or other gambling-related issues;
- Applicant has given false testimonies;
- Applicant has committed aggravated felonies.
Other good moral character considerations:
An applicant will be found to be lacking good moral character if during the statutory period the applicant committed one or more of the following:
- Willfully failed to or refused to support dependants.
- Adultery/incest/prostitution/disregard of sexual morality prong
- Committed any unlawful acts that adversely reflect upon the applicant’s moral character, whether or not there was a conviction or imprisonment.
Certain criminal activities and/or convictions can cause denial of naturalization and possibly trigger removal proceedings. For example, conviction of murder and any convictions of an aggravated felony after November 29, 1990 as specified in INA §101(a)(43) are permanent bars to naturalization much less a finding of good moral character. Hence, aggressive immigration attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano will advise you if your criminal record or past could trigger your being put in deportation proceedings if you apply for naturalization. In addition, she prepares detailed and comprehensive naturalization packets meeting the burden of proof for good moral character and current legal status.