Despite the legalization of marijuana in several states across the country, drug possession and use can negatively affect a resident’s ability to become a citizen. This week, I want to clarify questions related to citizenship application and the use of this substance. I will also answer questions related to sponsoring and adopting family members and what happens to a family petition if the sponsor dies.
I have my citizenship interview scheduled for next month. What is your recommendation regarding marijuana use? This is a very tricky position for any user of marijuana within the last 5 years of the application for citizenship. Regardless of state law, the use of marijuana, possession or its manufacture is illegal under federal law as a “schedule 1 controlled substance.” An immigrant who uses will likely be ineligible for citizenship, but could also be subject to deportation. Any applicant for naturalization must disclose this information in their application process, so it is critical to inform your attorney of your past use of marijuana.
My brother passed away last year and she has a 10-year-old daughter. How can I bring her to the United States so she can live with me? It is possible to adopt the children of relatives more easily than adoptions of unrelated children. If you are a citizen and can adopt a child who is a citizen of another country, you can also obtain US citizenship or residency for them and bring them to the US to live. Much of the process depends on the age of the child, but there are options once the adoption is final. Many times, I recommend clients obtain the adoption in the child’s country, especially if you share the same country of citizenship with the child.
My wife filed a residency petition on my behalf and she passed away as a result of a long battle with cancer. Now that she is no longer with me, would I still be able to stay in the country and get my residency or would I be deported? It is possible for a spouse to successfully obtain legal permanent residency in the US after their sponsoring spouse passes away. This is true only if the process was started prior to the death of the sponsor. There is a provision in the law that allows widows or widowers to continue the process as their own sponsor. Many factors are involved in this sort of process that could affect the outcome, but as long as the process was started correctly, there would be no risk of deportation.
If you have any questions, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation at 616-805-3435.