A Green Card sponsor is someone who assists an immigrant in receiving lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States. A sponsor commits to financially supporting those seeking a Green Card in New Jersey or elsewhere. Immigration statutes establish rules and requirements for sponsorship, and there could be instances where a criminal record creates problems for the sponsor and the immigrant.
Sponsorship and criminal records
U.S. immigration law will automatically ban a sponsor from bringing a relative to the United States if they are conviction of specific offenses against a minor, such as sexual crimes. The law states the sponsor must be convicted of the crime and not merely accused, however.
Other crimes could disqualify a sponsor from assisting an immigrant. However, a criminal conviction outside of offenses against a minor does not disqualify someone from becoming a sponsor. Immigration authorities may consider various factors, such as whether the crime was nonviolent or happened in the distant past.
Convictions and immigrants
Anyone seeking lawful permanent resident status may face hurdles when convicted of a crime. An effective criminal defense for immigrants may help someone deal with the hurdles that legal troubles bring. Someone convicted of an aggravated felony could experience tremendous challenges gaining approval for their Green Card application. Some might assume that a misdemeanor won’t prove problematic, but that might not be the case. A misdemeanor conviction may create a barrier to becoming an LPR.
Each immigrant’s situation is different. Some may find the case against them weak and raise credible, reasonable doubts. Others could point to violations of their rights, leading to evidence being suppressed and charges dismissed. Some may overcome a conviction on an appeal. Such things may help someone concerned about approvals for LPR status.