Obtaining lawful residency is a process, as you probably already know. Getting a green card — a Permanent Resident Card, that is — is a major goal for most aspiring residents.
You could face the temptation to misrepresent your past to USCIS. However, just because you ran into trouble in another country does not necessarily mean you are ineligible.
Analyzing your situation
FindLaw provides a list of things to do and things to avoid in the green card process. While there are general rules, such as not lying to USCIS, the truth is that it is different for everyone. However, that does not necessarily mean that each case gets the attention it deserves. Immigration is still a highly bureaucratic affair.
These things take time, and it is understandable if you want to start right away. However, given all of the available information about your situation is usually necessary before you can make a strategic decision.
You will want to collect all of the physical information possible pertaining to your situation. There is a human element, too; analysis also often means looking at your goals. Is a green card necessary to achieve what you want?
Developing a plan
Immigration services ask for some very specific information. However, there are cases in which a line item does not tell the entire story.
There are also many ways to obtain and maintain residency in the United States. Chances are that one of them might serve your overarching goals.
Political climates are different in other countries, and crimes are not the same everywhere. The United States government understands this, and you could still have a chance at the life you want in this country — even with a less-than-perfect record overseas.