Generally you must be:
Yes. You should visit an immigration lawyer if you have ever been arrested. Talk to an experienced immigration lawyer before you begin naturalization. Don’t go this one alone. A typical immigration lawyer may not be able to answer the complex questions of state criminal law and immigration. You need an immigration lawyer with a strong criminal defense history. This immigration law firm's immigration lawyer and criminal defense lawyer will need to look at a few things to decide if you should apply:
The 3 to 5 year statutory period is basic eligibility. If you have a criminal record during the statutory then you will need to bring your entire criminal record into the immigration lawyer. Especially if your criminal record is felonies or aggravated. Your case is different from every other case. If you committed a crime come in for a free consultation.
You must prove good moral character during the statutory period. Good moral character begins with being honest. You have to be honest to your immigration lawyer about your criminal record. You have to tell me everything. Then I will tell immigration at United States Customs and Immigration everything. It all depends on you. If you do not tell the truth then you will be denied.
You will also need to have the complete criminal record. This is another place where you want to use a criminal defense attorney who is an immigration lawyer. Collecting the right criminal record is an important step. We want to look honest and get the right criminal record to USCIS. Then we want to present it the right way. Having your immigration lawyer with you at your interview is important.
A person convicted of an aggravated felony offense is permanently barred form establishing good moral character. An exception applies to this and depends on the facts. Each case is different.
A firearms offense does not prevent a person from naturalization because it is not moral character. Aggravated felonies always apply. If it is a firearms conviction and an aggravated felony then it is a bar. Also, when the application is made, it is possible that USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) and begin removal proceedings and possibly mandatory detention. How long ago the conviction happened does not matter.
Money Laundering is not a crime of moral turpitude for naturalization purposes most of the time. If it was an aggravated felony, then USCIS may have DHS send an NTA letter and begin removal proceedings. This type of crime is subject to mandatory detention while waiting for the court.
Domestic violence crimes may be considered crimes of moral turpitude and be a question of good moral character. Crimes related to this may or may not be good moral character problems. Some of the crimes related to domestic violence are violation of a restraining order and battery. This type of criminal record could make a lawful permanent resident not eligible for naturalization temporarily.
Conviction for a controlled substance offense means you are inadmissible. Even if you admit or there is “reason to believe” you are involved in drug trafficking then that may be enough. That means you may be denied naturalization. There is an exception for personal use of small amounts of marijuana.