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Criminal Convictions

Lately, we have been covering different grounds of inadmissibility that might keep one from entering the United States or adjusting status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Unlawful presence, fraud or misrepresentation are some types of inadmissibility problems. Criminal convictions are another common ground of inadmissibility that can prevent someone from being granted a visa, green card, or entry to the United States.

An individual is inadmissible if they have been convicted in the following:

  • Multiple crimes
  • Controlled substance violations
  • Crimes of moral turpitude
  • Controlled substance trafficking
  • Prostitution or commercial vice
  • Money laundering
  • Human trafficking
  • An individual who admits to a consular officer or USCIS officer that they committed a crime or the essential elements of a crime, is also inadmissible, even if they were never convicted. Some convictions have very serious immigration consequences and prevent any type of legal status or entry.

    The US Attorney General has discretion to waive inadmissibility due to some criminal convictions – including crimes involving moral turpitude, multiple criminal convictions, and prostitution and commercial vice – if an individual can prove that:

    1. The activities that make the individual inadmissible happened over 15 years before the individual applied for a visa, adjustment of status, or entry to the us;
    2. Admitting the individual would not conflict with the national welfare, safety, or security of the US; and
    3. The individual is rehabilitated.

    Because of the very serious immigration consequences for many types on convictions for crimes involving controlled substances, certain theft crimes or crimes involving violence or the threat of violence, you should always consult an attorney before making any applications to the USCIS for any immigration benefits if you have ever been arrested or convicted. If you have any questions or concerns about whether you qualify for this limited waiver of criminal inadmissibility, call us today at (312) 829-2465 for a free consultation.

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