Any individual in Texas or elsewhere who is applying for a green card to obtain legal citizenship in the United States knows that it’s a truly stressful process. One of the most stressful portions of the paperwork is when applicants are asked to discuss any sort of criminal records that they may have.

For those seeking citizenship that have never had a run-in with law enforcement, this part of the application is simple. However, millions of people seeking green cards may have some sort of criminal record based on a variety of possible incidents in their home countries.

The most important thing to remember when filling out an application for a green card is to be honest. Anything that is proven to be a lie on the application can lead to an individual being automatically disqualified from receiving citizenship.

It’s also important to remember that not all items on a criminal record are viewed equally by the United States government. The only convictions that render an applicant unqualified for citizenship are those that pertain to aggravated felonies, moral turpitude and felonies involving illegal drugs.

Those applying for green cards can also choose to file for a waiver of inadmissibility, assuming that their entry into the United States will not put anyone in danger despite their criminal record. While the process is stressful, there is hope for those who may have a less-than-stellar past to find a second chance in the United States.

Having an attorney who is well-versed in federal immigration laws is paramount for a client who is seeking citizenship as there are multiple steps that must be completed for someone to receive a green card. A lawyer may review all the documents that the client can provide and perform his or her own background check on the applicant. At that point, an immigration attorney can begin working with his or her client to help him or her obtain American citizenship.