What are the crimes that permanently bar naturalization?

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

Conviction of one of the following crimes will permanently denied applicants from 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.

Q. What are the consequences of committing murder or aggravated felony?

A. You will probably be placed into removal (deportation) proceedings once USCIS realizes that one of these crimes is on your record.

Q. What are aggravated felony?

A. 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 relief for some aggravated felonies.  If the sentence will be reduced, then the person may qualify for naturalization.  Our office do 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. 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.
  2. On July 7, 2017, we received an approval for Naturalization of an old woman who has difficulty in reading and writing English.
  3. 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.
  4. In June 2017, we received three approvals of naturalization applications.
  5. In June 2017, we received two approvals of adjustment of status based on marriage
  6. On May 25, 2017, we received an approval of Form I-140 for a caregiver from the Philippines.
  7. On April 28, 2017, we received an approval of N-400 for a client who was under Removal Proceedings before.
  8. On April 21, 2017, we received an approval of I-601A Provisional Waiver for a client who was denied I-601A before from a previous lawyer.
  9. On March 22, 2017, we received an Immigrant Visa approval for a child of Permanent Resident who is already 25 years of age but classified as minor under CSPA.
  10. On March 8, 2017, we received an approval of Provisional Waiver from USCIS for a seaman client.
  11. On March 2, 2017 we received an approval of Dismissal of Criminal Case for a client who is in Removal Proceedings.
  12. On February 23, 2017, we received an approval of Naturalization of a client whose spouse had a prior misrepresentation.
  13. On January 7, 2017, we received an approval of Provisional Waiver for a client who entered as crewman but has two autistic children.


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 (info@ccllaw.net/ 1-877-456-9266)


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