Canadians from British Columbia and other provinces might have questions about becoming U.S. citizens. One of the stumbling blocks could involve facing drunk driving or other criminal charges. In short, U.S. immigration laws require applicants to demonstrate good moral character.
However, convictions on DWI and DUI charges that occurred more than five years before applying for naturalization should usually not prove to be problematic. If such convictions occurred within the five-year limit, applicants who can demonstrate rehabilitation might be considered for such applications. Furthermore, if charges were dismissed, it should not jeopardize the applications of permanent residents who apply for naturalization. As with all laws, exceptions exist.
Similarly, special rule applications for spouses of U.S. citizens are also subjected to the good moral character test. However, in these cases, the period is shorter. They might not be successful if they were convicted of driving under the influence charges within three years before naturalization. Proof of rehabilitation might be sufficient to overcome any immigration barriers.
British Columbia citizens who consider applying for citizenship in the United States can ease the process by obtaining the services of an experienced lawyer who deals with U.S. immigration laws every day. Legal counsel can answer the client’s questions about the latest naturalization laws and explain the requirements and documents that must accompany such an application. If the client’s moral character is questionable as the result of DUI convictions within the three or five years prior to filing the application, the lawyer may suggest possible rehabilitation options before applying to become a U.S. citizen.