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Blandon Law Immigration

Monday, December 7, 2009

Can Aggravated Felons Become Residents?


     A more common question is whether a foreign national convicted of an aggravated felony can avoid removal.  The word "aggravated felony" sends shivers, sounding so terrible.  However, many crimes -- including misdemeanors -- qualify as aggravated felonies under the definition of IIRIRA.  That law, which became effective on April 1, 1997, eliminated a waiver known as 212(c).  However, some persons are still eligible for it and can thus avoid removal (and maintain or obtain legal permanent residency).  The following persons can qualify for a 212(c) waiver: 
  • an aggravated felon who has served less than five years if the plea agreement was made before April 24, 1996
  • an aggravated felon who served more than five years if the plea agreement was made before November 29, 1990
  • a foreign national who was not an aggravated felon, but was convicted of a crime, if the plea agreement was made between April 24, 1996 and April 1, 1997, and s/he complies with a section of the immigration law known as AEDPA 440(d).
     When examining a foreign national's criminal record, two separate questions come to mind: does the crime qualify as an aggravated felony AND what are the consequences if the crime is an aggravated felony?  An immigration professional should answer these questions.

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954-385-0157 or email: blandonappts@aol.com