S F Bay Immigration Collage
Citizenship
The following is an introduction to some of the significant legal issues that must be considered prior to filing for US citizenship. It is not a substitute for legal assistance that is specific to your history and needs.

In order to be eligible for US citizenship, you must meet the following requirements:

You must show that you have had lawful permanent resident status for the requisite period of time, and even if you had that status, you must show that such status was obtained in accordance with the applicable laws.

The exception to this requirement is for certain individuals who have served in the military during specific periods.

You must be at least 18 years old unless you have a US citizen parent or are eligible under the military service exception.

You must show continuous residence for three or five years. This means that you have not been out of the US for long periods of time. Trips of more than six months can break continuous residence, and trips of one year or more are almost certain to do so, unless the length of the trip was unexpected and outside of your control.

In order to be eligible for the three year residence requirement, the applicant must have been living in marital union with the US citizen sponsor for the entire three years. The exception to this requirement is for applicants who became residents through VAWA.

You must show that you have been in the United States for at least half of the required continuous residence period. If you add up all the days they must equal at least 30 or 18 months.

You must reside within the state or the USCIS district for the three month period immediately preceding the filing of the application or the interview.

You must show that you have been a person of good moral character during the five or three year period preceding the filing of the application and continuing through the date of the oath ceremony. However, the examiner has the discretion to consider conduct from before the statutory period.

What follows is some of the legal authority from the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Code of Federal Regulations that applies to the good moral character analysis. I list it here as an illustration of the usefulness of actually reading the law itself, rather then just summaries of the law:

Immigration and Nationality Act section 101(f) is the starting point:

"For the purposes of this Act

No person shall be regarded as, or found to be, a person of good moral character who, during the period for which good moral character is required to be established, is, or was

101(f)(1) a habitual drunkard;
101(f)(3) a member of one or more of the classes of persons, whether inadmissible or not, described in paragraphs 212(a)(2)(D)”

"212(a)(2)(D) Prostitution and commercialized vice.

Any alien who

212(a)(2)(D)(ii) directly or indirectly procures or attempts to procure, or (within 10 years of the date of application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status) procured or attempted to procure or to import, prostitutes or persons for the purpose of prostitution, or receives or (within such 10-year period) received, in whole or in part, the proceeds of prostitution, or

212(a)(2)(D)(iii) is coming to the United States to engage in any other unlawful commercialized vice, whether or not related to prostitution, is inadmissible."

Or 212(a)(6)(E),

"212(a)(6)(E) Smugglers.

212(a)(6)(E)(i) In general.
Any alien who at any time knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is inadmissible."

and 212(a)(10)(A)

"212(a)(10)(A) Practicing polygamists.

Any immigrant who is coming to the United States to practice polygamy is inadmissible."

or subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 212(a)(2)

"212(a)(2)(A) Conviction of certain crimes.

212(a)(2)(A)(i) In general.
Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien
convicted of, or
who admits having committed, or
who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) a crime involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense) or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime, or

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), is inadmissible.

212(a)(2)(A)(ii) Exception.

Clause (i)(I) shall not apply to an alien who committed only one crime if

212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I) the crime was committed when the alien was under 18 years of age, and the crime was committed (and the alien released from any confinement to a prison or correctional institution imposed for the crime) more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States, or

212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II)

the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the alien was convicted (or which the alien admits having committed or of which the acts that the alien admits having committed constituted the essential elements) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the alien was convicted of such crime,
the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months (regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately executed).

212(a)(2)(B) Multiple criminal convictions.

Any alien convicted of 2 or more offenses (other than purely political offenses), regardless of whether the conviction was in a single trial or whether the offenses arose from a single scheme of misconduct and regardless of whether the offenses involved moral turpitude, for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more is inadmissible."

and subparagraph (C) thereof of such section

"212(a)(2)(C) Controlled substance traffickers.

Any alien who the consular officer or the Attorney General knows or has reason to believe

212(a)(2)(C)(i) is or has been an illicit trafficker in any controlled substance or in any listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), or is or has been a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with others in the illicit trafficking in any such controlled or listed substance or chemical, or endeavored to do so; or 212(a)(2)(C)(ii) is the spouse, son, or daughter of an alien inadmissible under clause (i), has, within the previous 5 years, obtained any financial or other benefit from the illicit activity of that alien, and knew or reasonably should have known that the financial or other benefit was the product of such illicit activity, is inadmissible."

101(f)(4) one whose income is derived principally from illegal gambling activities;

101(f)(5) one who has been convicted of two or more gambling offenses committed during such period;

101(f)(6) one who has given false testimony for the purpose of obtaining any benefits under this Act;

101(f)(7) one who during such period has been confined, as a result of conviction, to a penal institution for an aggregate period of one hundred and eighty days or more,
regardless of whether the offense, or offenses, for which he has been confined were committed within or without such period;

101(f)(8) one who at any time has been convicted of an
aggravated felony
(as defined in subsection (a)(43)); or

101(f)(9) one who at any time has engaged in conduct described in section 212(a)(3)(E) (relating to assistance in Nazi persecution, participation in genocide, or commission of acts of torture or extrajudicial killings) or 212(a)(2)(G) (relating to severe violations of religious freedom)."

lack good moral character, even if none of these statutes apply.

In addition, 8 CFR §316.10 provides that the naturalization applicant shall be found to lack good moral character if the applicant:

Committed one or more crimes involving moral turpitude, other than a purely political offense, for which the applicant was convicted, except as specified in INA §212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (petty offense exception);

Committed two or more offenses for which the applicant was convicted and the aggregate sentence actually imposed was five years or more, provided that, if the offense was committed outside the United States, it was not a purely political offense;

Violated any law of the United States, any state, or any foreign country relating to a controlled substance, provided that the violation was not a single offense for simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana;

Admits committing any criminal act described above for which there was never a formal charge, indictment, arrest, or conviction, whether committed in the United States or any other country;

Is or was confined to a penal institution for an aggregate of 180 days pursuant to a conviction or convictions (provided that such confinement was not due to a conviction outside the United States for a purely political offense);

Has given false testimony to obtain any benefit under the INA, where the testimony was made orally, under oath or affirmation, and with intent to obtain an immigration benefit.

Is or was involved in prostitution or commercialized vice as described in §212(a)(2)(D);

Is or was involved in the smuggling of a person or persons into the United States, as described in §212(a)(6)(E);

Has practiced or is practicing polygamy;

Committed two or more gambling offenses for which the applicant was convicted;

Earns his or her income principally from illegal gambling activities; or

Is or was a habitual drunkard.

8 CFR §316.10 provides that unless the applicant establishes extenuating circumstances, he or she will be found to lack good moral character if, during the statutory period, the applicant:

You must not be on probation at the time of your interview.

8 CFR 316.10(c) provides:

"316.10(c) Proof of good moral character in certain cases--

316.10(c)(1) Effect of probation or parole. An applicant who has been on probation, parole, or suspended sentence during all or part of the statutory period is not thereby precluded from establishing good moral character, but such probation, parole, or suspended sentence may be considered by the Service in determining good moral character. An application will not be approved until after the probation, parole, or suspended sentence has been completed.

316.10(c)(2) Full and unconditional executive pardon

316.10(c)(2)(i) Before the statutory period. An applicant who has received a full and unconditional executive pardon prior to the beginning of the statutory period is not precluded by §316.10(b)(1) from establishing good moral character provided the applicant demonstrates that reformation and rehabilitation occurred prior to the beginning of the statutory period.

316.10(c)(2)(ii) During the statutory period. An applicant who receives a full and unconditional executive pardon during the statutory period is not precluded by §316.10(b)(2)(i) and (ii) from establishing good moral character, provided the applicant can demonstrate that extenuating and/or exonerating circumstances exist that would establish his or her good moral character.

316.10(c)(3) Record expungement

316.10(c)(3)(i) Drug offenses.
Where an applicant has had his or her record expunged relating to one of the narcotics offenses under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) and Section 241(a)(2)(B) of the Act, that applicant shall be considered as having been "convicted" within the meaning of §316.10(b)(2)(ii), or, if confined, as having been confined as a result of "conviction" for purposes of §316.10(b)(2)(iv).

316.10(c)(3)(ii) Moral turpitude.
An applicant who has committed or admits the commission of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude during the statutory period is precluded from establishing good moral character, even though the conviction record of one such offense has been expunged."

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

You must demonstrate that you have basic English language skills:

312.1(a) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person shall be naturalized as a citizen of the United States upon his or her own application unless that person can demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language.

Unless you qualify for one of the exceptions:

INA section 312(b)

"312(b)(1) The requirements of subsection (a) shall not apply to any person who is unable because of physical or developmental disability or mental impairment to comply therewith.

312(b)(2) The requirement of subsection (a)(1) shall not apply to any person who, on the date of the filing of the person's application for naturalization as provided in section 334, either--

312(b)(2)(A) is over fifty years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least twenty years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence, or

312(b)(2)(B) is over fifty-five years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least fifteen years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence.

312(b)(3) The Attorney General, pursuant to regulations, shall provide for special consideration, as determined by the Attorney General, concerning the requirement of subsection (a)(2) with respect to any person who, on the date of the filing of the person's application for naturalization as provided in section 334, is over sixty-five years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least twenty years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence."

"8 CFR section 312.1(b) Exceptions. The following persons need not demonstrate an ability to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language:

312.1(b)(1) A person who, on the date of filing of his or her application for naturalization, is over 50 years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least 20 years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence;

312.1(b)(2) A person who, on the date of filing his or her application for naturalization, is over 55 years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least 15 years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence; or

312.1(b)(3) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply to any person who is unable, because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments which has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, to demonstrate an understanding of the English language as noted in paragraph (a) of this section. The loss of any cognitive abilities based on the direct effects of the illegal use of drugs will not be considered in determining whether a person is unable to demonstrate an understanding of the English language. For purposes of this paragraph, the term medically determinable means an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which can be shown by medically acceptable clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques to have resulted in functioning so impaired as to render an individual unable to demonstrate an understanding of the English language as required by this section, or that renders the individual unable to fulfill the requirements for English proficiency, even with reasonable modifications to the methods of determining English proficiency as outlined in paragraph (c) of this section."

You must demonstrate orally a knowledge of US history and government, unless:

"INA section 312(b)(3) The Attorney General, pursuant to regulations, shall provide for special consideration, as determined by the Attorney General, concerning the requirement of subsection (a)(2) with respect to any person who, on the date of the filing of the person's application for naturalization as provided in section 334, is over sixty-five years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least twenty years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence."

CAUTION!

Before filing for naturalization, you should carefully review the grounds of deportability outlined in INA section 237. If a ground of deportability is discovered during the interview, the applicant could very well receive a notice to appear in immigration court. There may or may not be any form of relief from removal.

"Sec. 237 Deportable Aliens

237(a) Classes of deportable aliens.
Any alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens:

237(a)(1) Inadmissible at time of entry or of adjustment of status or violates status.

237(a)(1)(A) Inadmissible aliens.
Any alien who at the time of entry or adjustment of status was within one or more of the classes of aliens inadmissible by the law existing at such time is deportable.

237(a)(1)(B) Present in violation of law.
Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this Act or any other law of the United States, or whose nonimmigrant visa (or other documentation authorizing admission into the United States as a nonimmigrant) has been revoked under section 221(i), is deportable.

237(a)(1)(C) Violated nonimmigrant status or condition of entry.

237(a)(1)(C)(i) Nonimmigrant status violators.-- Any alien who was admitted as a nonimmigrant and who has failed to maintain the nonimmigrant status in which the alien was admitted or to which it was changed under section 248, or to comply with the conditions of any such status, is deportable.

237(a)(1)(C)(ii) Violators of conditions of entry.-- Any alien whom the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies has failed to comply with terms, conditions, and controls that were imposed under section 212(g) is deportable.

237(a)(1)(D) Termination of conditional permanent residence.--

237(a)(1)(D)(i) In general.-- Any alien with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under section 216 (relating to conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses and sons and daughters) or under section 216A (relating to conditional permanent resident status for certain alien entrepreneurs, spouses, and children) who has had such status terminated under such respective section is deportable.

237(a)(1)(D)(ii) Exception. Clause (i) shall not apply in the cases described in section 216(c)(4) (relating to certain hardship waivers).

237(a)(1)(E) Smuggling.

237(a)(1)(E)(i) In general. Any alien who (prior to the date of entry, at the time of any entry, or within 5 years of the date of any entry) knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is deportable.

237(a)(1)(E)(ii) Special rule in the case of family reunification.--Clause (i) shall not apply in the case of alien who is an eligible immigrant (as defined in section 301(b)(1) of the Immigration Act of 1990), was physically present in the United States on May 5, 1988, and is seeking admission as an immediate relative or under section 203(a)(2) (including under section 112 of the Immigration Act of 1990) or benefits under section 301(a) of the Immigration Act of 1990 if the alien, before May 5, 1988, has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only the alien's spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of law.

237(a)(1)(E)(iii) Waiver authorized. The Attorney General may, in his discretion for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest, waive application of clause (i) in the case of any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only an individual who at the time of the offense was the alien's spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of law.

237(a)(1)(F) [repealed]

237(a)(1)(G) Marriage fraud. An alien shall be considered to be deportable as having procured a visa or other documentation by fraud (within the meaning of section 212(a)(6)(C)(i)) and to be in the United States in violation of this Act (within the meaning of subparagraph (B)) if--

237(a)(1)(G)(i) the alien obtains any admission into the United States with an immigrant visa or other documentation procured on the basis of a marriage entered into less than 2 years prior to such entry of the alien and which, within 2 years subsequent to any admission of the alien in the United States, shall be judicially annulled or terminated, unless the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such marriage was not contracted for the purpose of evading any provisions of the immigration laws, or

237(a)(1)(G)(ii) it appears to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the alien has failed or refused to fulfill the alien's marital agreement which in the opinion of the Attorney General was made for the purpose of procuring the alien's admission as an immigrant.

237(a)(1)(H) Waiver authorized for certain misrepresentations. The provisions of this paragraph relating to the removal of aliens within the United States on the ground that they were inadmissible at the time of admission as aliens described in section 212(a)(6)(C)(i), whether willful or innocent, may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, be waived for any alien (other than an alien described in paragraph (4)(D)) who--

237(a)(1)(H)(i)

237(a)(1)(H)(i)(I) is the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a citizen of the United States or of an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; and

237(a)(1)(H)(i)(II) was in possession of an immigrant visa or equivalent document and was otherwise admissible to the United States at the time of such admission except for those grounds of inadmissibility specified under paragraphs (5)(A) and (7)(A) of section 212(a) which were a direct result of that fraud or misrepresentation.

237(a)(1)(H)(ii) is a VAWA self-petitioner.

A waiver of deportation for fraud or misrepresentation granted under this subparagraph shall also operate to waive removal based on the grounds of inadmissibility directly resulting from such fraud or misrepresentation.

237(a)(2) Criminal offenses.

237(a)(2)(A) General crimes.

237(a)(2)(A)(i) Crimes of moral turpitude. Any alien who

237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years (or 10 years in the case of an alien provided lawful permanent resident status under section 245(j)) after the date of admission, and

237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed,
is deportable.

237(a)(2)(A)(ii) Multiple criminal convictions.
Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether confined therefor and regardless of whether the convictions were in a single trial, is deportable.

237(a)(2)(A)(iii) Aggravated felony.
Any alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable.

237(a)(2)(A)(iv) High Speed Flight.
Any alien who is convicted of a violation of section 758 of title 18, United States Code, (relating to high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint) is deportable.

237(a)(2)(A)(v) Failure to register as a sex offender.--Any alien who is convicted under section 2250 of title 18, United States Code, is deportable.

237(a)(2)(A)(vi) Waiver authorized.--Clauses (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) shall not apply in the case of an alien with respect to a criminal conviction if the alien subsequent to the criminal conviction has been granted a full and unconditional pardon by the President of the United States or by the Governor of any of the several States.

237(a)(2)(B) Controlled substances.

237(a)(2)(B)(i) Conviction.
Any alien who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), other than a single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable.

237(a)(2)(B)(ii) Drug abusers and addicts.
Any alien who is, or at any time after admission has been, a drug abuser or addict is deportable.

237(a)(2)(C) Certain firearm offenses.
Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted under any law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon, part, or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device (as defined in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code) in violation of any law is deportable.

237(a)(2)(D) Miscellaneous crimes.
Any alien who at any time has been convicted (the judgment on such conviction becoming final) of, or has been so convicted of a conspiracy or attempt to violate--
237(a)(2)(D)(i) any offense under chapter 37 (relating to espionage), chapter 105 (relating to sabotage), or chapter 115 (relating to treason and sedition) of title 18, United States Code, for which a term of imprisonment of five or more years may be imposed;

237(a)(2)(D)(ii) any offense under section 871 or 960 of title 18, United States Code;

237(a)(2)(D)(iii) a violation of any provision of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) or the Trading With the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 1 et seq.); or

237(a)(2)(D)(iv) a violation of section 215 or 278 of this Act,
is deportable.

237(a)(2)(E) Crimes of Domestic violence, stalking, or violation of protection order, crimes against children and

237(a)(2)(E)(i) Domestic violence, stalking, and child abuse.
Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment is deportable. For purposes of this clause, the term "crime of domestic violence" means any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, United States Code) against a person committed by a current or former spouse of the person, by an individual with whom the person shares a child in common, by an individual who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the person as a spouse, by an individual similarly situated to a spouse of the person under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the offense occurs, or by any other individual against a person who is protected from that individual's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the United States or any State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government.

237(a)(2)(E)(ii) Violators of protection orders.
Any alien who at any time after entry is enjoined under a protection order issued by a court and whom the court determines has engaged in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection order was issued is deportable. For purposes of this clause, the term "protection order" means any injunction issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts of domestic violence, including temporary or final orders issued by civil or criminal courts (other than support or child custody orders or provisions) whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding.

237(a)(2)(F) Trafficking.
Any alien described in section 212(a)(2)(H) is deportable.

237(a)(3) Failure to register and falsification of documents.

237(a)(3)(A) Change of address.--An alien who has failed to comply with the provisions of section 265 is deportable, unless the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful.

237(a)(3)(B) Failure to register or falsification of documents.
Any alien who at any time has been convicted

237(a)(3)(B)(i) under section 266(c) of this Act or under section 36(c) of the Alien Registration Act, 1940,

237(a)(3)(B)(ii) of a violation of, or an attempt or a conspiracy to violate, any provision of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.), or

237(a)(3)(B)(iii) of a violation of, or an attempt or a conspiracy to violate, section 1546 of title 18, United States Code (relating to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other entry documents),is deportable.

237(a)(3)(C) Document fraud.

237(a)(3)(C)(i) In general.
An alien who is the subject of a final order for violation of section 274C is deportable.

237(a)(3)(C)(ii) Waiver authorized.
The Attorney General may waive clause (i) in the case of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if no previous civil money penalty was imposed against the alien under section 274C and the offense was incurred solely to assist, aid, or support the alien's spouse or child (and no other individual). No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision of the Attorney General to grant or deny a waiver under this clause.

237(a)(3)(D) Falsely claiming citizenship.

237(a)(3)(D)(i) In general.--Any alien who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under this Act (including section 274A) or any Federal or State law is deportable.

237(a)(3)(D)(ii) Exception.
In the case of an alien making a representation described in clause (i), if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of making such representation that he or she was a citizen, the alien shall not be considered to be deportable under any provision of this subsection based on such representation.

237(a)(4) Security and related grounds

237(a)(4)(A) In general.
Any alien who has engaged, is engaged, or at any time after admission engages in

237(a)(4)(A)(i) any activity to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,

237(a)(4)(A)(ii) any other criminal activity which endangers public safety or national security, or

237(a)(4)(A)(iii) any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,is deportable.

237(a)(4)(B) Terrorist activities.
Any alien who is described in subparagraph (B) or (F) of section 212(a)(3) is deportable.
The amendment to INA §237(a)(4)(B) made by §105 of REAL ID Act, P.L. 109-13 (5/11/05) applies to (A) removal proceedings instituted before, on, or after the date of the enactment; and (B) acts and conditions consitituting a ground for inadmissibility, excludability, deportation, or removal occurring or existing before, on, or after such date.

237(a)(4)(C) Foreign policy.

237(a)(4)(C)(i) In general.
An alien whose presence or activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is deportable.

237(a)(4)(C)(ii) Exceptions.
The exceptions described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of section 212(a)(3)(C) shall apply to deportability under clause (i) in the same manner as they apply to inadmissibility under section 212(a)(3)(C)(i).

237(a)(4)(D) Participated in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing.
Any alien described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of section

212(a)(3)(E) is deportable.

237(a)(4)(E) [First]
Recipient of Military-Type Training.

237(a)(4)(E)(i) In general.
Any alien who has received military-type training from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization (as defined in subclause (I) or (II) of section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)), is deportable.

237(a)(4)(E)(ii) Definition.
As used in this subparagraph, the term "military-type training" includes training in means or methods that can cause death or serious bodily injury, destroy or damage property, or disrupt services to critical infrastructure, or training on the use, storage, production, or assembly of any explosive, firearm, or other weapon, including any weapon of mass destruction (as defined in section 2332a(c)(2) of title 18, United States Code).

237(a)(4)(E) [Second]

Added by §5502(b) of P.L. 108-458 (12/17/04) & designated §237(a)(4)(E). That same Public Law, at §5402, added another provision with same §237(a)(4)(E) designation.
Participated in the commission of severe violations of religious freedom.Any alien described in section 212(a)(2)(G) is deportable.

237(a)(4)(F) Recruitment or use of child soldiers.
Any alien who has engaged in the recruitment or use of child soldiers in violation of section 2442 of title 18, United States Code, is deportable.

237(a)(5) Public charge.
Any alien who, within five years after the date of entry, has become a public charge from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry is deportable.

237(a)(6) Unlawful voters.

237(a)(6)(A) In general.
Any alien who has voted in violation of any Federal, State, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation is deportable.

237(a)(6)(B) Exception.
In the case of an alien who voted in a Federal, State, or local election (including an initiative, recall, or referendum) in violation of a lawful restriction of voting to citizens, if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of such violation that he or she was a citizen, the alien shall not be considered to be deportable under any provision of this subsection based on such violation.

237(a)(7) Waiver for victims of domestic violence.

237(a)(7)(A) In general.--The Attorney General is not limited by the criminal court record and may waive the application of paragraph (2)(E)(i) (with respect to crimes of domestic violence and crimes of stalking) and (ii) in the case of an alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty and who is not and was not the primary perpetrator of violence in the relationship--

237(a)(7)(A)(i) upon a determination that.

237(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) the alien was acting is self-defense;

237(a)(7)(A)(i)(II) the alien was found to have violated a protection order intended to protect the alien; or

237(a)(7)(A)(i)(III) the alien committed, was arrested for, was convicted of, or pled guilty to committing a crime

237(a)(7)(A)(i)(III)(aa) that did not result in serious bodily injury; and

237(a)(7)(A)(i)(III)(bb) where there was a connection between the crime and the alien's having been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty.

237(a)(7)(B) Credible evidence considered.
In acting on applications under this paragraph, the Attorney General shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the application. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Attorney General.

237(b) Deportation of certain nonimmigrants.
An alien, admitted as an nonimmigrant under the provisions of either section 101(a)(15)(A)(i) or 101(a)(15)(G)(i), and who fails to maintain a status under either of those provisions, shall not be required to depart from the United States without the approval of the Secretary of State, unless such alien is subject to deportation under paragraph (4) of subsection (a).

237(c) Waiver of grounds for deportation.
Paragraphs (1)(A), (1)(B), (1)(C), (1)(D), and (3)(A) of subsection (a) (other than so much of paragraph (1) as relates to a ground of inadmissibility described in paragraph (2) or (3) of section 212(a)) shall not apply to a special immigrant described in section 101(a)(27)(J) based upon circumstances that existed before the date the alien was provided such special immigrant status.

237(d)

237(d)(1) If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that an application for nonimmigrant status under subparagraph (T) or (U) of section 101(a)(15) filed for an alien in the United States sets forth a prima facie case for approval, the Secretary may grant the alien an administrative stay of a final order of removal under section 241(c)(2) until

237(d)(1)(A) the application for nonimmigrant status under such subparagraph (T) or (U) is approved; or

237(d)(1)(A) there is a final administrative denial of the application for such nonimmigrant status after the exhaustion of administrative appeals.

237(d)(2) The denial of a request for an administrative stay of removal under this subsection shall not preclude the alien from applying for a stay of removal, deferred action, or a continuance or abeyance of removal proceedings under any other provision of the immigration laws of the United States.

237(d)(3) During any period in which the administrative stay of removal is in effect, the alien shall not be removed.

237(d)(4) Nothing in this subsection may be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General to grant a stay of removal or deportation in any case not described in this subsection."

This is just an overview of the most central issues that should be considered prior to filing for your citizenship. As you can see, this is not a step to be taken lightly, as it can result, not in your taking the oath of citizenship, but in removal proceedings.