How Will a Felony Affect Your Immigration Status? There Are Consequences!

If you are in the United States on a visa or green card, committing a felony could impact your ability to remain in the country. The federal immigration laws leave very little leeway for felony offenders, and depending on the nature of the crime, you could face deportation. Some non-felony acts can also result in removal depending on the facts of the case, nature of the offense, and your current immigration status.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude — What are They?

A crime of moral turpitude could result in not only deportation, but a permanent ban from re-entering the United States. Under the immigration regulations, a crime of moral turpitude is not readily defined. However, case law characterizes it as an act that shocks the public and typically involves voluntary manslaughter, homicide, kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and more.

If you commit an aggravated felony, regardless of whether it is considered a crime of moral turpitude or not, you could be ineligible for waiver status, and you might be deported and barred from re-entry.

The Consequences of a Felony Based on Immigration Status

Your immigration status will significantly influence how the government handles your immigration. Some typical results of a felony conviction and status include:

  • Legal Permanent Resident: You may be subjected to deportation, and you could serve up to 20 years if you attempt to enter the country without official permission. If you are not deported, you may still be barred from becoming a naturalized citizen.
  • Refugee: A refugee may be deported if convicted of a felony offense, even if they are in grave danger in their native country. You may be unable to obtain legal permanent residency as a result.
  • Asylum: If you are an asylee, you can be deported for even a minor crime.
  • Non-Citizen with Temporary Status: If you have a non-immigrant visa or you are here on temporary protected status, you might lose that status and be deported.
  • Undocumented Immigrant: A felony offense, or any criminal act for that matter, will result in deportation because you have no legal basis for being in the country.

Note that a conviction is typically what results in a removal, but you might be deported even without a conviction. Therefore, the moment you are arrested or suspected of any criminal act, it is imperative you speak with an immigration attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How Will a Felony Affect Your Immigration Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.