Court Martial Conviction and Ineligibility for US Citizenship

A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is defined as any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing the in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."  An LRP is ineligible for US citizenship for a conviction or admission of the following crimes:

  • Controlled Substance Offense (unless single offense of simple possession of 30g or less of marijuana)
  • Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (unless single CIMT and the offense is not punishable > 1 year (e.g., in New York, not a felony) + does not involve a prison sentence > 6 months)
  • 2 or more offenses of any type + aggregate prison sentence of 5 years
  • 2 gambling offenses
  • Confinement to a jail for an aggregate period of 180 days

Conviction or admission of such offences bars a finding of good moral character for up to 5 years. One requirement for naturalization is that the applicant must have a good moral character. Aggravated felony conviction on or after Nov. 29, 1990 (and murder conviction at any time) permanently bars a finding of good moral character and thus citizenship eligibility. 

If you are an LPR in the military and facing a court martial, it is critical that you discuss your immigration status and possible consequences with your court martial defense lawyer.  These consequences may be life altering to both you and your family and are simply too important to disregard.
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