Attorney Alex Mooradian has recently assisted numerous clients with renewals of their green cards. Often times, these clients have faced a situation where their green card has already expired. Immigration laws require that any green card holder carry this form of identification with them at all times. And from a practical standpoint, this document serves as a proof of lawful status for purposes of obtaining a driver's license or obtaining employment.
Some of Attorney Mooradian's clients have also faced more complex issues, such as where they have accrued criminal charges or convictions since the time of last renewing their green card. These situations must be carefully analyzed by comparing the Massachusetts criminal statue with the immigration laws. Sometimes, what is not considered a criminal conviction in Massachusetts (such as a CWOF followed by dismissal) will be considered a conviction for immigration purposes. Additionally, certain charges, such as charges involving sex crimes or drug crimes, even without a conviction, can trigger a ground of inadmissibility that can create risks for permanent residents.
While in some instances criminal history will not cause issues of inadmissibility or a risk of deportation, in other instances, the consequences can be harsh. Some cases may even require vacating or removing the conviction from one's record prior to going forward with an immigration process.
In any case, client's are well advised to consult with a qualified immigration attorney prior to renewal of their green card. An attorney can catch any potential for inadmissibility or deportability concerns that may seriously harm a client.