If you are an immigrant to the United States suffering financial hardship, you may be considering bankruptcy. But how will discharging debt affect your immigration? What are your legal options?
At Thomas M. Denaro, Esq., we have extensive experience helping international and domestic clients with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. If you reside or work in the Bronx, or elsewhere in NY, our attorneys can work closely with you to discharge your debt while protecting your rights and immigration status.
What the law says
According to U.S. Code § 525:
…a governmental unit may not deny, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license, permit, charter, franchise, or other similar grant to, condition such a grant to, discriminate with respect to such a grant against, deny employment to, terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, a person that is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or a debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, or another person with whom such bankrupt or debtor has been associated, solely because such bankrupt or debtor is or has been a debtor under this title…
Thus, your citizenship status cannot be affected based on the fact that you are declaring bankruptcy. Ultimately, the U.S. government is concerned with whether you have a bad moral character, if you a burden on the country’s finances, and if you are a criminal.
Bankruptcy crimes can affect your status
While declaring bankruptcy won’t necessarily affect your status, committing a bankruptcy crime will. In fact, if you’re found guilty of one of the following bankruptcy related offenses, you could face jail time, denial of debt discharge, and even deportation:
- Lying on bankruptcy petition under oath
- Providing false financial statement and information
- Leaving out certain information on your bankruptcy petition
To ensure you avoid making these life-changing mistakes, consult with one of our skilled bankruptcy lawyers today. We can protect your rights and help you discharge debt without jeopardizing your immigration status.