It's a series of questions U.S.-born citizens likely never contemplated being asked -- let alone having to answer.
But any noncitizen seeking to become a permanent resident of the United States must answer them to obtain a green card.
Eighteen questions -- some with multiple parts -- are key components of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services's Form I-485. Altogether, the form is six pages long and requires additional personal and background information. The questions comprise the bulk of the form. A "Yes" answer would required further explanation.
The questions follow. (The form puts an emphasis on the word "ever" -- capitalized and in bold.):
1. Have you EVER, in or outside the United States:
- a. Knowingly committed any crime of moral turpitude or a drug-related offense for which you have not been arrested?
- b. Been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, convicted, fined, or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations?
- c. Been the beneficiary of a pardon, amnesty, rehabilitation decree, other act of clemency, or similar action?
- d. Exercised diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution for a criminal offense in the United States?
2. Have you received public assistance in
3. Have you EVER:
- a. Within the past 10 years been a prostitute or procured anyone for prostitution, or intend to engage in such activities in the future?
- b. Engaged in any unlawful commercialized vice, including, but not limited to, illegal gambling?
- c. Knowingly encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any alien to try to enter the United States illegally?
- d. Illicitly trafficked in any controlled substance, or knowingly assisted, abetted, or colluded in the illicit trafficking of any controlled substance?
4. Have you EVER engaged in, conspired to engage in, or do you intend to engage in, or have you ever solicited membership or funds for, or have you through any means ever assisted or provided any type of material support to any person or organization that has ever engaged or conspired to engage in sabotage, kidnapping, political assassination, hijacking, or any other form of terrorist activity?
5. Do you intend to engage in the United States in:
- a. Espionage?
- b. Any activity a purpose of which is opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States, by force, violence, or other unlawful means?
- c. Any activity to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information?
6. Have you EVER been a member of, or in any way affiliated with, the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party?
7. Did you, during the period from March 23, 1933, to May 8, 1945, in association with either the Nazi Government of Germany or any organization or government associated or allied with the Nazi Government of Germany, ever order, incite, assist, or otherwise participate in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion?
8. Have you EVER been deported from the United States, or removed from the United States at government expense, excluded within the past year, or are you now in exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission proceedings?
9. Are you under a final order of civil penalty for violating section 274C of the Immigration and Nationality Act for use of fraudulent documents or have you, by fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact, ever sought to procure, or procured, a visa, other documentation, entry into the United States, or any immigration benefit?
10. Have you EVER left the United States to avoid being drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces?
11. Have you EVER been a J nonimmigrant exchange visitor who was subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement and have not yet complied with that requirement or obtained a waiver?
12. Are you now withholding custody of a U.S. citizen child outside the United States from a person granted custody of the child?
13. Do you plan to practice polygamy in the United States?
14. Have you EVER ordered, incited, called for, committed, assisted, helped with, or otherwise participated in any of the following:
a. Acts involving torture or genocide?
b. Killing any person?
c. Intentionally and severely injuring any person?
d. Engaging in any kind of sexual contact or relations with any person who was being forced or threatened?
e. Limiting or denying any person's ability to exercise religious beliefs?
15. Have you EVER:
- a. Served in, been a member of, assisted in, or participated in any military unit, paramilitary unit, police unit, self-defense unit, vigilante unit, rebel group, guerrilla group, militia, or insurgent organization?
- b. Served in any prison, jail, prison camp, detention facility, labor camp, or any other situation that involved detaining persons?
16. Have you EVER been a member of, assisted in, or participated in any group, unit, or organization of any kind in which you or other persons used any type of weapon against any person or threatened to do so?
17. Have you EVER assisted or participated in selling or providing weapons to any person who to your knowledge used them against another person, or in transporting weapons to any person who to your knowledge used them against another person?
18. Have you EVER received any type of military, paramilitary, or weapons training?