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green card & criminal record

I am applying for a marriage based Green Card.
I have a minor criminal record in the UK so my question is do I need to submit form I-601? (I am doing the paperwork myself)
Does any criminal history make one inadmissable?
The (sad) details of the convictions are aggevated trespass &
actual bodily harm ( 1993 )Shoplifting 1998 & a caution for cannabis in 2003.



Thanks
Howie

Hi
number one, be honest, the drugs one is the only thing that will scare US immigration. I had a past of nicking silly stuff and i broke a window, and I got in the US. You will have to provide a police certificate ( which is a nice reminder of the past) and convictions are never "spent". Good luck, you should be ok

Hi again, You don't want to have been a prostitute, drug dealer, arms offender, terrorist or tried to overthrow a government. You need to be physically well, and no heart problems. Go and get felt and prodded by their doctor and spend 5 hours in the embassy ( don't take anything electronic including key fob for car)The entire process took me 6 months and about 800 quid

And again. I don't remember a 601. I had my wife (US citizen) to apply to be able to sponsor me ( 3 week wait) then I applied for the i551, ( another 6 weeks) then doctor, embassy interview and a very long wait for courier  ( it said 10 working days, it was 6 weeks) it works very well, just prepare for waiting a while. The paperwork is a pain and it MUST be correct, triple check everything

Hi, thanks for the encouragement ! i feel confident & I am a genuinely "changed man" after all. The I-601 is a further $545 !
Got the police certificate as a shameful reminder.
Will get some advice from a lawyer etc just to be sure.

Beware, there are loads of people who offer to get you into the US for lots of money, yes i am sure they will help you, but do everything yourself and it is a very easy process. I was worried sick when "the envelope" arrived, the only time you know you have the visa is when you open your passport, and do not open the big brown envelope, you will have to have it couriered back to be sealed again, or have real problems at point of entry to the US.

When you get the visa I can give you lots of help with your 1st few months here, there is soooo much to know.

The drug conviction will require a Waiver.

Anything more than simple possession of less than 30 gr. of marijuana is not waivable.

The assault and battery charge may be considered a crime of violence which may or may not be waivable depending on the potential sentence and the facts of the case. 

As a rule of thumb, offenses involving drugs, firearms, violence, sex or dishonesty are very problematic for immigration.

I would not advise you to complete this process without the help of a QUALIFIED, HONEST and CAPABLE immigration attorney.

Filling out the forms is simple and can be accomplished on your own as long as you can follow instructions.  However, putting together succesful waiver packages is very complex.

Obtaining these waivers is VERY DIFFICULT as you have to demonstrate EXTREME HARDSHIP to the US CITIZEN/PERMANENT RESIDENT petitioning for you. The standard applied is VERY HIGH.

Be VERY wary of stories involving other people and their experiences, every case is different and it is IMPOSSIBLE to render an informed and accurate opinion on such matters without having studied their file.  They may be well-intentioned, but following unqualified advice can seriously backfire and place you in the predicament of never being able to immigrate to the U.S.

It is YOUR immigration matter involving YOUR circumstances and NO ONE ELSE. You will not be able to tell a consular officer "but I heard of a fellow with the same conviction who got the green card". No one cares about that at that point.

Be mindful of the fact that consular officers have TOTAL DISCRETION on granting the waivers and that their decisions are neither reviewable nor appealable.  If your waiver is denied, it will be almost impossible for you to ever make a successful waiver case subsequently.

In short, if immigrating to the U.S. is important to you, find a qualified immigration attorney to assist you and don't rely on "war stories" from other people.


Take care and good luck.

Thanks for the reply , I am still optimistic however about applying without the waiver  because the amount of cannabis was only 3-4 gram ( 1 joint) I have just received the accurate police record ,so heres the grim details-
Criminal damage - conditional discharge 12 months, compensation 234 pounds, costs 25 pounds
common assault -----------------------12 months---------------40----------------40------
failing to surrender----------------------12 months
aggrevated trespass----------------------6 months --------40-----
failing to surrender No penalty x2
shoplifting caution
shoplifting fine 100 pounds, costs 20 pounds
possesssion cannabis caution.

(The 12 & 6 months were the time of conditional discharge)

So does anyone know could I be denied if I apply without an inadmissibility waiver or is that something I could add later if needed? Thanks , really appreciate any input
Howie

Hi,

A waiver is MANDATORY, you NEED A WAIVER. Fortunately, you are under the limit.  ANYTHING over 30 grams would have MADE YOU INELIGIBLE EVEN WITH A WAIVER.

Any sentence that carries a penalty of over 12 months can be considered a felony which will make it hard for you to see ANY waiver approved for you.

I'm telling you, consult with a capable immigration attorney. It will be TOO LATE after they deny your waiver... YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT AT IT.

Good luck!

Thanks Elvatoloko
I appreciate the advice.Just so I know , can you tell me where you're getting the info that the waiver is mandatory ?
On the i- 485 it just says to give details of any crimes.
The extra $545 is another hurdle .
Thanks

You can either take advice, or refuse it.  It's you're life.


I worked at an immigration law firm for fire years. In those fire years I worked on thousands of cases, and several hundreds involving waivers...

I'm getting that from The Immigration and Nationality Act, where else??

Just check form I-601.  Especially where it says "I have been involved in a controlled substance violation according to the laws of any country that involved a single instance of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana...."

Don't be so focused on the forms.  Filling the forms out is the EASY PART. What's not so simple is to meet the legal threshold for a waiver to be granted.  THE STANDARD IS VERY HIGH.

Filling out the waiver form and paying the fee does not mean the waiver will be granted.  YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE EXTREME HARDSHIP to your US Citizen spouse caused by you not being able to immigrate to the US.  Missing a spouse, wanting to be with a loved one IS NOT ENOUGH...

Talk to a good immigration lawyer.  That's your only chance.

Your other crimes will make it VERY difficult for you to obtain a waiver.

Your assault conviction with bodily harm can be construed as a crime of violence, for which THERE IS NO WAIVER available under current law.

I guess the message is: CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY before you spend money on filing fees for no reason and make a fatal mistake preventing you from EVER being allowed to immigrate to the U.S.

Check this link out, it's a simplifed explanation.
http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/20/ … gcrim.html


This is SERIOUS STUFF.

Consider this, if you fire your I-485, I-130, I-864, G-325, I-
765 (Your adjsutment of status package) WITHOUT THE WAIVER,
the package will be accepted, you will be fingerprinted, they probably will even send you your work permit...You will then think, wow, everything is fine! I was RIGHT...Great!
But not so fast...you will then be called in for an interview...
that's when things will start to be rough...they will have two options at this point, deny your adjustment of status and refer you to the Immigration Court for a hearing or (if you're lucky) give you more time to come back with an I-601 waiver. As I said, paying the fee and filling out the form is necessary BUT THAT DOES NOT CONSTITUE A SUCESSFUL WAIVER PACKAGE... You have to offer EXTENSIVE documentation demonstrating that your spouse will suffer extreme hardship if you're not allowed to immigrate to the U.S. Typically, putting such a package together is EXPENSIVE, as your wife may have to go see a forensic psychiatrist who may be able to produce a report indicating the devastating impact of you not being around etc. etc..
If you just file the waiver form without compelling and extensive documentation of the EXTREME HARDSHIPs your wife will suffer, the waiver will be denied and you will end up before the immigration judge.
At that point, things will become more complicated and more expensive. You do not have the right to a free government attorney to represent you in immigration court. It is so because immigration violations are civil and administrative in nature, not criminial, therefore you do not have the right to a free attorney.  SO, you will have to hire a private attorney to defend you in immigration court, RE FILE your Adjustment of Status package with new fees, and try your had at the waiver again.  Once a waiver is denied, your chance of ever getting it in the future are close to nil...If the immigration judge finds that you are ineligible to get your green card, you will be ordered removed from the U.S. so this will pretty soon turn into a tragic expensive venture. 

Go see an attorney before you get yourself into this, a lot of immigration attorneys charge low fees for initial consultations.  It's better to spend a couple hundred bucks and get the facts right rather than launching yourself into this thing by yourself, in the end, it will cost you more money for nothing...

If I filed without the i-601 would they just ask for it to be added or would that mean a denial?  I'm not sure I can constitute "extreme hardship" without lying.
Thanks again

At this point, I would advise you to do a little resarch on the internet.  Try googling "extreme hardship" and "immigration"
"waivers" etc. You will get good info from there.

As I told you, the immigration officer interviewing you can refer you to the immigration judge directly as you are supposed to know that you need the waiver, or they can give you the opportunity to supplement your file with it and give you a few weeks to file one.  Either way, you will have to provide it at some point.  It's much harder to get the waiver in front of the Immigration Judge because there will be an prosecuting attorney representing immigration ARGUING AGAINST you at these proceedings.

Again, your best bet is to spend a couple of hundred bucks going to a qualified attorney for an initial consultation and presenting them with what you have.

Good luck!

Check this out:

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0717-scott.shtm

ok , thanks Elvatoloko !
this is more complicated than I thought .

howieg :

ok , thanks Elvatoloko !
this is more complicated than I thought .

As most immigration matters are!

Just trying to point you in the right direction and trying to steer you away from mistakes made by many before you.

Good luck!

Hi Elvatoloko,

I am new on this and just registered after ready your topics. I am a male 33 yrs old. I own 2 business where i am the managing director of them. The companies are very successful. However, i have the urge to move to the United States of America. I have been travelling to the USA every year since 2003. But i travel using a visa due to a criminal record. When i was 19 yrs old - i stole some toiletries from where i used to work. I got caught and was given a £350 fine in court.

This is the only record i have with the police and have not been in trouble with them since then. I applied for a visa at London and got it. The visa was only a 1 year one. I had to apply nearly every year but they did extend it to 3 years back in december.

I want to permanently move to USA. Would this Criminal record affect it??

Also, whats the best mothod of me to get into USA to live there???

Will i have to apply for a visa every time??

Any advice would be helpfull.

Thanks

Harry

Hi,

Assuming that you are a UK citizen, you could use the E-2 visa to move to the United States by way of investing/opening a business here.

Regarding your criminal record, it looks like your offense could fall within the "petty theft" exception to a finding of "bad moral character" or "having committed a crime of moral turpitude" which could keep you from getting the visa. 

My advice to you would be to reseach the E-2 Visa and see if that's something that would work for you. If it is so, find a good US immigration attorney to represent you and put the visa package together for you. Your criminal record makes it wise for you to hire an attorney to assist you with this endeavor.

E-2 visas are issued for three years at a time, for as long as your US investment remains in existance.

Good luck!

Thanks for that Elvatoloko. I have couple of more questions if you can help me. The reason why i want to move to the USA is because i want to be near my partner (girlfriend). I travel to USA 3 times a year to see her and see comes to see me.

I get a B2/B1 Visa no problems at all (5th time i have had one). When i applied for the Visa at the embassy they said i had 'having committed a crime of moral turpitude' on a letter and that i need to send my passport away for people in USA to examine my case. Within 2 weeks i get it back with a visa. However - will this be different if i want to apply for a E2 visa??

Also, my partner is a US citizen, if she married me (for the right reasons), would i get a green card then???? I have been with my partner for 6 years now and we both think it could be time to be married but i want to make sure i can move to the USA as she does not want to come to the UK and i want to move to the USA.

Do the US Embassy not think that this crime happened 15 years ago - a teenager?? It was a petty crime aswell.

Harry Singh :

However - will this be different if i want to apply for a E2 visa??

You would need to obtain a waiver for the "Crime of Moral Turpitude (CMIT) regardless.  Once the waiver is granted, you should get the E-2 visa for the full three year. You can keep on getting the visa renewed in three years increments for as long as your investment perdures.

Harry Singh :

Also, my partner is a US citizen, if she married me (for the right reasons), would i get a green card then???? I have been with my partner for 6 years now and we both think it could be time to be married but i want to make sure i can move to the USA as she does not want to come to the UK and i want to move to the USA.

.

You should be able to get the green card, you will need to get the waiver in that case too. I think it shouldn't be too hard to get it since your past crime falls into the "petty theft exemption".


Harry Singh :

Do the US Embassy not think that this crime happened 15 years ago - a teenager?? It was a petty crime aswell.

That may be true but the "embassy" doesn't think, they just apply the rules.  You will need a waiver, period. 

Seek the help of a competent immigration attorney and you will be OK.

Thank you Elvatoloko. I much appreciate your advice and help. Good to see people do help one another on forum sites.

1 more question before i seek legal advice. If i obtain a E2 visa or get married to my partner and live in the USA for 5 years plus (continuous 5 years), can i apply to become a permanent resident in the USA??? I know in UK if you live here for 5 years plus you can apply to become a permanent resident. Just wonderind whether the same application applies to the USA.

Thank you once again

The E-2 visa does not lead to a green card by itself. You would have to either have an employer (other than your own company) sponsor you for a green card (the whole process takes roughly from 5 to 10 years this way) or marry your GF in which case you would obtain a green card in about one year.

There is no provision for anyone to get a green card for residing in the US for 5 continuous years.

Good luck!

Hi there I wonder if anyone has any experience with my issue. I went to college in the US about 10 years ago, but have since been waiting in Europe for my green card to come through, as my mom is a US citizen, but she was not at the time I was in the US for about 15 years.

The only run in I had with the law was a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm in VA. I was getting ready to clean a gun and it had a round in the chamber, went off. No-one was injured thankfully. The charge was dismissed because it was quite ludacris and the DA agreed.

I have a clean record in Hungary (although I was cautioned for J-walking last week.)

Will this affect my application for a green card? I am sh*tting bricks here.

Thanks in advance.

FunfaxVa :

Hi there I wonder if anyone has any experience with my issue. I went to college in the US about 10 years ago, but have since been waiting in Europe for my green card to come through, as my mom is a US citizen, but she was not at the time I was in the US for about 15 years.

The only run in I had with the law was a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm in VA. I was getting ready to clean a gun and it had a round in the chamber, went off. No-one was injured thankfully. The charge was dismissed because it was quite ludacris and the DA agreed.

I have a clean record in Hungary (although I was cautioned for J-walking last week.)

Will this affect my application for a green card? I am sh*tting bricks here.

Thanks in advance.

If the case was dismissed and you were not convicted of anything it should be OK as long as you tell them about the arrest.  Get a certified copy of the disposition of the case as they will ask for it later.

Thanks for the swift reply. The thing is that I was never arrested at all. An officer came to the house 12 hours later and told me I would have to go to court and left me with a summons. After reading through some other forums I just checked the VA court records online and it has an arrest date which was 2 days after the incident.  This absolutely did not happen. I never left my house, I was never handcuffed, did not sit in a police cruiser or anything that would indicate arrest or detention.

I am now really sh*tting bricks.

FunfaxVa :

Thanks for the swift reply. The thing is that I was never arrested at all. An officer came to the house 12 hours later and told me I would have to go to court and left me with a summons. After reading through some other forums I just checked the VA court records online and it has an arrest date which was 2 days after the incident.  This absolutely did not happen. I never left my house, I was never handcuffed, did not sit in a police cruiser or anything that would indicate arrest or detention.

I am now really sh*tting bricks.

Believe me, as a Viriginia law enforcement officer, I can tell you that it makes absolutely no difference that you didn't sit in a cruiser and didn't have handcuffs place on you.  In Virginia, a summons counts as an arrest.  Think of it as 'paper handcuffs'.   A summons requires you to come to court, you are 'released' on your own recognizance when you sign the summons and promise to show up in court.   If you had not come to court, a capeas, or 'bench warrant' would have been issued for your arrest and you would have been handcuffed etc. and taken to jail for not respecting your 'promise' to appear before the judge when you signed the summons. Should you have refused to sign the summons the officer served you with at your house, that officer would have placed handcuffs on you, placed you in his cruiser and taken you to be booked.  You would then have been taken before the magistrate at the jail who would have had to make the decision to either release you on a summons or set a bail for you to post before being released or even deny you bail and let you stay in jail until a judge could consider releasing you on bond. 

The arrest did happen, even if it didn't look like in the movies. 

Tell the immigration and consular authorities about it.  If the case was truly dimissed, if you did not plea and admit guilt in some way, you will be fine.

Thanks Elvatoloko. It was dismissed, although it was continued for a year before being done so to see if i would try and shoot my big toe off again. I have all 10 toes.

Oh yes and no plea was entered.

So it was dismissed on the condition of good behavior for one year. 
If I were you, I would check with an immigration lawyer familiar with Virginia law and procedures to see if this can count as a conviction for immigration purposes.

Hi everyone , just to give an update and some advice that seemed to really help my case.
I did the 601 waiver and am still waiting a year later, though the USCIS agent was very optimistic and put my mind at rest as I was thinking it was all over because of the convictions.
What did help a LOT the USCIS agent said was a bunch of reference letters I had people write emphasizing my serious change of character, so that is some golden advice.You really can't overdo references and the personal touch,photos,updates etc seemed to really get the agent on my side and become a friend whose trying to actually help the process.
Re references I had pastors and employers write glowing recommendations and even a psychologist friend. Headed paper and official titles work wonders and are accepted as evidence !

Now for me it was just a tiny amount of weed,I was more worried about the minor shoplifting so time will tell of course.
The long waiting process is fine for me as I can work and travel no problem in the meantime.
I did find that too much internet research was worse than useless because it just caused me worry and gloom ! All the time my wife was saying just to pray instead !
Be blessed and commit all you ways to YAH
Howie

Hey I would like to know if there any body who could help me because I just got deported from us
And I was married there for 7 year with a citizen and we have two kids we all came to brazil and we are
Suffering too much here can some body tell what do I need to do to get back to us thanks?

Maxusa10 :

Hey I would like to know if there any body who could help me because I just got deported from us
And I was married there for 7 year with a citizen and we have two kids we all came to brazil and we are
Suffering too much here can some body tell what do I need to do to get back to us thanks?

Hi,

What was the reason you got deported for?

Because I had a warrant of removal  since 2002 from ice

I've. Iived in us for ten year I got in 2002 and got deported
2013 on January

Maxusa10 :

I've. Iived in us for ten year I got in 2002 and got deported
2013 on January

Why did you have a removal order? Did you get arrested by the border patrol when you originally entered the U.S. ?

Yes when I entered the us back in 2002 I was arrested and released with court
Date to show up I din't show and placed a warrant  of removal ?

Maxusa10 :

Yes when I entered the us back in 2002 I was arrested and released with court
Date to show up I din't show and placed a warrant  of removal ?

This does not look too good.  Contact a reputable immigration attorney and ask them if you are eligible to request a 601 waiver of the 10 year time bar on unauthorized presence and also a 212 waiver to re-enter the United States after deportation or removal. This would be the only way to proceed at this time.

But I'm married in the us for 8 year and we have two children
Together  and my wife and kids are all American and they are all here
In brazil with me we are going to really hard time here ?

Could I ask for pardon here in brazil?

Hi everyone
My greencard finally arrived! So there is hope for people with previous minor convictions ! The whole process took two years and three months but that included 4 RFE's ! I found the USCIS agent very friendly and encouraging and it was he who unofficially said at my 601 interview that "I didn't have anything to worry about and that I'd get it" As I wrote previously,he said the 6 reference letters about changed character etc really helped.

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