Can Immigration See Expunged Records
Immigrants have the chance to stay in the United States temporarily or for good. But what if they have an expunged criminal record? How will this affect their chances? Here is what you need to know about immigration proceedings and how an immigration lawyer can help.
What Is Expungement?
Expungement is a legal process that involves removing an individual’s criminal record. It is an option for those who have been convicted of a crime but have completed all the requirements of their sentence and have not been involved in any further criminal activity. Expungement is intended to help individuals overcome their past mistakes and make finding employment, housing, and other opportunities easier.
What Immigration Authorities Can Do
Immigration authorities in the United States can review an individual’s criminal record as part of the immigration process. It includes expunged records, which have been sealed or destroyed by a court order. While expungement is meant to give individuals a second chance by allowing them to move on from their past mistakes, it does not necessarily mean that these records are completely erased. In fact, immigration authorities can still access and use them to deny an individual’s immigration application or deport them from the country.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that “an expungement order does not necessarily mean that the agency will not consider the arrest or conviction as part of its determination on an immigration application or petition.”
It means that even if an individual has had their criminal record expunged, immigration authorities can still access and consider them when deciding about their immigration status. Depending on the nature of the crime, an expunged record could be grounds for denying an immigration application or deporting an individual already in the United States.
Factors Affecting An Immigration Petition
There are several factors that immigration authorities consider when reviewing an individual’s criminal record, including the nature of the crime, the age at the time of the offense, and the rehabilitation since the offense. Additionally, immigration authorities will consider whether the individual threatens public safety or national security.
When Authorities Find Expunged Records
If an individual has an expunged record that immigration authorities may consider, it is important to be honest and upfront about it. Lying or withholding information about a criminal record can have serious consequences, including denial of an immigration application or deportation.
If you are concerned about how an expunged record may affect your immigration status, speak with an immigration attorney. They can help you understand the potential consequences of expunged records and advise on the best course of action.
Other Options Available
In some cases, it may be possible to have an expunged record sealed or destroyed through a process known as “vacating” the conviction. It involves having a court order set aside and the case dismissed. This can be a complex process, but it may be worth pursuing if an individual’s expunged record is causing problems with their immigration status.
Consult With An Immigration Attorney
If you’re worried about expunged records affecting your application, it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer. A lawyer can assist you in navigating through the different methods and options to protect your stay in the United States. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law has immigration attorneys ready to help and walk with you every step of the way.
Immigration authorities in the United States can review an individual’s criminal record, including expunged records, as part of the immigration process. While expungement is intended to give individuals a second chance by allowing them to move on from their past mistakes, it does not necessarily mean that these records are completely erased from the public. If you are concerned about how an expunged record may affect your immigration status, seek help from an immigration attorney.