Removal based on conviction of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

Generally, an alien is removable is he commits crimes involving moral turpitude.  There are certain requirements to be followed before a permanent resident alien will be subject to removal based on the commission of CIMT.  The Lawful Permanent Resident alien may request Cancellation of Removal in Immigration Court as a relief.

Q. What are the requirements for cancellation of removal?


  1. To qualify for Cancellation of Removal the LPR alien must:
  2. Be an LPR for not less than five years
  3. Resided in the United States for not less than seven years in any status;
  4. Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.


Q. What starts the five-year clock for the CIMT deportation ground?

A. If the immigrant’s current period in the U.S. started with an admission in any status, that starts the five years; a subsequent adjustment of status to permanent residency does not “re-start” the clock. If the immigrant’s current period started with an entry without inspection (EWI), the subsequent adjustment of status starts the five years.

Analysis and Discussion. A noncitizen is deportable based upon conviction of a single crime involving moral turpitude that carries a potential sentence of a year or more, if the person committed the offense within five years “after the date of admission.”

In each of the following examples, assume that the person is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) with a potential sentence of at least one year. Therefore the person will be deportable if the offense was committed within five years “after the date of admission.”

Example 1. Alice is admitted to the U.S. on a visitor’s visa in 2001 and overstays. In 2006 she adjusts status to lawful permanent residence based on marriage. She commits the CIMT in 2007. Her “date of admission” for purposes of the five years is the date she was admitted as a tourist in 2001. Since that was more than five years before she committed the offense in 2007, she is not deportable. The result would be the same if Alice had not fallen out of status before adjusting.

Example 2. Ben enters the U.S. without inspection in 2001. In 2006 he adjusts status to

lawful permanent residence (for example, pursuant to INA § 245(i) or as an asylee). His “date of admission” for purposes of the five years is the 2006 date of adjustment. If he commits the CIMT in 2009, he will be deportable.

Example 3. Cory is admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident in 2002. In 2008 he leaves the U.S. for a few weeks just to visit his mother. Upon his return he does not make a new “admission,” pursuant to INA § 101(a)(13)(C).3 In 2009 he commits the CIMT. The lawyer should argue that under the Alyazji test the date of admission for purposes of the five years is 2002, not 2008, because his 2008 return was neither an admission nor an adjustment.


Note:   This is not a legal advice.


  1. On October 2, 2017, we received an approval of adjustment of status from USCIS for a client who entered without inspection but has Sec. 245(i).
  2. For the week ending September 15, 2017, we received three Immigrant Visa Approvals in U.S. Embassy Manila for three applicants who entered as seaman under the Provisional Waiver Program.
  3. For the week ending September 8, 2017, we received four N-400 Naturalization approvals.
  4. On August 31, 2017 we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client who problems with birth certificate which we corrected.
  5. On August 25, 2017, we received approval of I-751 removal of condition on same sex marriage/
  6. On August 18, 2017, we received two approvals for N-400 applications.
  7. On August 16, 2017, we received an approval of I-601A provisional waiver for a Mexican client.
  8. On August 10, 2017, we received a grant from the Immigration Court on a Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings for a client whose criminal case we have dismissed in criminal court.
  9. On July 18, 2017, we received an approval of green card at the U.S. Embassy Manila for the family of a client who was granted a waiver of misrepresentation. His wife and children were approved after the court granted the waiver.
  10. On June 28, 2017, we received a withdrawal of inadmissibility and removability charges from the Customs and Border Enforcement for a client who was charged with drug case while he was entering San Francisco Airport from the Philippines. The case was withdrawn after we have expunged the drug case in Criminal Court.


If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association.  He specializes in immigration law and personal injury.  For free consultation email or call ( / 1-877-456-9266)


Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment