Ep. 58 How can I get tourist visa if there are battery charges against me?

  • Criminal cases are big issue for visa approval.
  • It will factor whether you get approved for a visa or not.
  • Frequency and the recency of the crime will factor greatly – up to 5 years preceding when applying a visa.
  • When applying, a proof that you have changed your ways, good moral character can be submitted, but it will not guarantee for a visa approval.
  • Another way is the 212(d)(3) Nonimmigrant Waiver

Raw Transcript:

Introduction: You ask, we answer your immigration questions. Simple. Now your host immigration lawyer, Jacob Sapochnick.

Jacob: You ask, we answer. Ask an immigration lawyer. Thank you and welcome to another episode of Ask an Immigration Lawyer.

Today, I got a response to a direct email from Simon. Simon is in the UK. Simon is writing, “I live in the UK. Unfortunately I got two common assault battery charges in 2011 while trying to defend my mother and family.

In 2012, I try to go to the United States by going through the whole process, interview at the Embassy, but was denied due it being too soon after the offense. How would you recommend I go about being granted a tourist visa? All I want is to take a holiday with my girlfriend.”

Well Simon, thanks for the email. I am sorry for your trouble.

Criminal, even minor criminal, convictions are really big issue for visas. Whether the offense happened in the US in the past or in your home country, the United States look at this as a serious matter. The frequency, the recency, the kind of offense are all factors in whether you’re going to get a visa or not.

I typically tell people if the offense happened and they are 5 years preceding the time you apply for the visa, it’s going to be very, very difficult for you to get a visa. One way is to see if you … When you apply for the visa, you can come down with an application showing that you have change your ways, that you are a person of good moral character. Even so, it’s going to be very difficult for you to get a visa.

Another way is to see if you qualify for what is called a 212(d)(3) Nonimmigrant Waiver. Sometimes those waivers are … If filed and granted, you may be able to speed up the time for when you can get a visa; the waiver consist of an application. Usually an attorney will prepare that. We’ll put together all the factors to show how you qualify on the section 212(d)(3) and the case law that controls the section to show that you’ve mitigated to the situation that you are not a threat to the United States and that you will return back to your home country.

So if the waiver is submitted with the application for a tourist visa at the US Embassy in London, once granted, you’ll be able to get a one-year tourist visa. That’s one way to do it. But otherwise, the more time passes the easier will be for you to apply for a tourist visa, but if you want it now, I’ll definitely look in to see if you qualify for a Nonimmigrant Waiver.

Hopefully this is helpful and thank you for listening, tuning in every week. You ask, we answer, simple. This is Jacob signing off here. We’ll see you at our next episode. Thank you for listening.

Closing: Thank you for listening to the Ask My Immigration Lawyer Podcast. The show that’s dedicated to answering your immigration questions. Simple as that. See you next week for another round of questions and much needed answers.

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