Ep. 52 Would Petty Theft Affect Adjustment of Status for Green Card?

  • Be truthful and disclose any crime on the application. Failure to do so could be a problem.
  • Most cases in most jurisdictions it will not be a problem as long as it’s fully disclosed.
  • If it’s one offence, and as long as all the fines and rehabilitation programs has been completed, there is actually an exception.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob here at Ask an Immigration Lawyer Podcast. You ask, we answer, simple.

Today we got a question from our Facebook page and this question is about petty theft and marriage-based green card.

Question talks about a person was arrested for petty theft and the court charged him with a misdemeanor and later the case was dismissed after a diversion program. Now this person just got married and would like to know if this theft – looks like it was under $100 theft from the store – is going to affect the adjustment of status for the green card.

Well, typically it’s very important to be truthful and disclose this crime on the application. It’s very important. Many people they think that just because the case was later dismissed, like in this case, it’s not required to disclose it. Well, it is – So, the failure to disclose itself could be a problem.

So, if it’s one offense, like in this case petty theft, there is actually an exception in the statue for that. So, as long as all the fines and the programs – rehabilitation programs has been completed. Most cases in most jurisdictions it should not be a problem for adjustment of status as long as it’s fully disclosed. And there are no offenses that occur within a short amount of time after this offense and during the adjustment of status process.
So, yes, there is a petty theft exception in the law and it seems that this one can qualify.

Again, it’s important to consult a qualified attorney in your state that can review the criminal charges and advice you whether you are qualified for adjustment of status. In any case, if you do file the application, recommendation is to get certified copies of this conviction and bring them to the interview and at that point the officer can make [unclear 00:02:22] decision. But on the surface it seems that you would be fine especially since the case was dismissed and because it’s a one offense and because it will qualify under the petty theft exception.

So, hopefully this helps. Any other questions email me jacob@askanimmigrationlawyer.com. You ask, we answer, simple. Keep sending us your questions. We get it from our Facebook page, on Twitter and from – you emailing and ask from our website. We’ll catch you next time and have a great day.