Can I Apply for a U.S. Visa if I Have a Criminal Record?

There may be many barriers in your way of obtaining a United States visa. But one that may be quite difficult to overcome is if you have a criminal record. Continue reading to learn whether you can still apply for a United States visa with a criminal history and how an experienced immigration criminal issues lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you obtain or maintain legal status.

Do I have the chance to apply for a United States visa if I have a criminal record?

While you are not barred from an opportunity to apply for a United States visa with a criminal record, it undoubtedly hinders your chances of being approved. This is because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may deem your criminal history as an indication that you may present a potential security risk while staying on United States territory.

You must understand having a criminal history means that you have had a conviction or charge for a particular action (i.e., you have been found guilty or have pled guilty to a crime). So, a conviction or charge may still be considered a legal transgression even if it is not disclosed on your record or you otherwise do not have an official record within your country of residence.

Nonetheless, the USCIS will do a deep-dive background check upon receiving your application for a United States visa, and it is more likely than not that they will pinpoint any legal transgression from your past. So it will just make matters worse if you lie on your application regarding your having a criminal record.

What happens if I commit a crime as a non-citizen of the United States?

Unfortunately, even if you already received your green card, you may be sentenced to deportation from the United States if you are found guilty of committing a crime. More specifically, you may be ordered to undergo removal proceedings if there is evidence that you have committed a “crime of moral turpitude.” Examples of such crimes are fraud, larceny, and crimes demonstrating an intent to harm persons or things. The same applies to aggravated felonies, such as murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, etc.

The only way that you may avoid deportation is by filing a waiver. With this, you may argue that you have lived in the United States for seven years or more, you have not committed a crime for the past 15 years or more, or otherwise.

With all that being said, you should not have to face deportation proceedings alone. Instead, you should seek the assistance of a skilled removal and separation defense lawyer in Milwaukee, WI. Contact Sesini Law Group, S.C. today.

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