How to apply for a US visa with a foreign criminal record

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2021 | Visas

Immigrants who travel to Pennsylvania often seek visas to stay in the country. However, it can be more challenging when the person has a foreign criminal record. It’s important to know how to apply in that situation.

What crimes can make people ineligible for a visa?

Certain visas can be issued to immigrants who want to stay in the United States. However, if you have a criminal background from your home country, you may not be eligible. Certain crimes such as those involving illegal drugs, aggravated felony offenses and those involving moral turpitude automatically disqualify an immigrant from being able to acquire a green card. Aggravated felonies include crimes like murder, sex offenses against a minor and drug trafficking.

Crimes of moral turpitude are those like fraud, rape, murder and animal abuse. Drug crimes that can disqualify a person for a green card are any of those that don’t involve marijuana possession of 30 grams or less for personal use.

What criteria are needed when applying for a visa with a criminal record?

Immigrants who are applying for visas are required to be honest on their applications. USCIS wants to know as much as possible about a person’s past in their home country. Lying on an application can automatically disqualify a person from visas.

Additionally, even if the prior criminal record was expunged, immigrants should include information about the arrest and conviction.

More recent convictions for crimes might also affect an immigrant’s ability to qualify for a visa. Even if the offense was minor, it might prevent the person from getting a green card to stay in the U.S. The consular office might doubt the individual’s ability to follow the laws while visiting the U.S.

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