What are the Crimes that permanently bar naturalization?

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano


If you have been convicted of one of the following crimes, you will permanently be denied from applying for Naturalization to U.S. citizenship:

  1. Murder, or
  2. An aggravated felony (if the conviction was after November 29, 1990).

These bars are automatic. In other words, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who interviews you and reviews your citizenship application will have no choice but to deny your application for naturalization.

  1. What are the consequences of committing murder or aggravated felony?
  2. You will probably be placed into removal (deportation) proceedings once USCIS realizes that one of these crimes is on your record.
  3. What is aggravated felony?

An offense involving theft or a crime of violence is considered an aggravated felony if the term of imprisonment ordered by the court is one year or more, even if the court suspended the entire sentence.


The table below serves as a quick reference guide listing aggravated felonies in the immigration context.

“Aggravated Felonies” in the Immigration Context
Aggravated Felony Citation
Murder, Rape, or Sexual Abuse of a Minor INA 101(a)(43)(A)
Illicit Trafficking in Controlled Substance INA 101(a)(43)(B)
Illicit Trafficking in Firearms or Destructive Devices INA 101(a)(43)(C)
Money Laundering Offenses (over $10,000) INA 101(a)(43)(D)
Explosive Materials and Firearms Offenses INA 101(a)(43)(E)(i)–(iii)
Crime of Violence (imprisonment term of at least 1 yr) INA 101(a)(43)(F)
Theft Offense (imprisonment term of at least 1 yr) INA 101(a)(43)(G)
Demand for or Receipt of Ransom INA 101(a)(43)(H)
Child Pornography Offense INA 101(a)(43)(I)
Racketeering, Gambling (imprisonment term of at least 1 yr) INA 101(a)(43)(J)
Prostitution Offenses (managing, transporting, trafficking) INA 101(a)(43)(K)(i)–(iii)
Gathering or Transmitting Classified Information INA 101(a)(43)(L)(i)–(iii)
Fraud or Deceit Offenses or Tax Evasion (over $10,000) INA 101(a)(43)(M)(i), (ii)
Alien Smuggling INA 101(a)(43)(N)
Illegal Entry or Reentry by Removed Aggravated Felon INA 101(a)(43)(O)
Passport, Document Fraud (imprisonment term of at least 1 yr) INA 101(a)(43)(P)
Failure to Appear Sentence (offense punishable by at least 5 yrs) INA 101(a)(43)(Q)
Bribery, Counterfeiting, Forgery, or Trafficking in Vehicles INA 101(a)(43)(R)
Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, Bribery of Witness INA 101(a)(43)(S)
Failure to Appear to Court (offense punishable by at least 2 yrs) INA 101(a)(43)(T)
Attempt or Conspiracy to Commit an Aggravated Felony INA 101(a)(43)(U)


In State courts, resisting arrest has been found to be a crime of violence. Even driving while under the influence of alcohol is sometimes considered a crime of violence, particularly if it involves reckless or intentional behavior.

Please note that there are post conviction reliefs for some aggravated felonies.  If the sentence will be reduced, then the person may qualify for naturalization.  Our office does some post conviction relief to avoid removal proceedings and apply for naturalization

Note:  This is not a legal advice.  You should seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer about your specific circumstances.  If you have committed a crime you may seek an appointment in our office to know you options.




  1. For the month of November 2018, we received approvals of two adjustment of status, one naturalization and one U visa petition.
  2. For the month of October 2018, we received five approvals of N-400 and one approval for adjustment of status, two approvals of I-601A waiver of unlawful presence and one I-751 Removal of Condition on Residence.
  3. On September 19, 2018, we received an approval of N-400 naturalization application and one Fiancée visa petition..
  4. For the month of August 2018, we received an approval of four Naturalization applications and five adjustment of status applications.
  5. On July 27, 2018, we received an approval for permanent resident for a client who was abused by her spouse under VAWA.
  6. For the months of May to June 2018, we have received four Naturalization applications approvals and two Adjustment of Status approvals
  7. On April 18, 2018, we received a grant of waiver from Immigration Court for a husband and wife client who made a misrepresentation of their  marital status but has no criminal records, has long residence and strong family ties in the U.S.
  8. On April 12, 2018, the Immigration Judge in San Francisco approved a waiver of misrepresentation in applying for a visa      for our client who has been in the          U.S. for 26 years, no criminal record and strong family ties in the U.S.
  9. On April 3, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for a U visa for a client who was a victim of crime.
  10. For the month ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals for four naturalization applications.
  11. For the week ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals of six Adjustment of Status, two Application to Remove Condition on Residence and two Renewal of Green Card approvals.
  12. On March 9, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for adjustment of status for a client who was abused by her spouse. The I-601 waiver was approved based on extreme hardship.
  13. On February 15, 2018, we received a grant from Immigration Judge for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has been in the U.S. for long period of time.

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.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@ccllaw.net

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