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Does USCIS have the discretion to apply CIMT when in reality someone does not have the CIMT ban by legal definition, as it was

Phoenix, AZ |
Filed under: Immigration Appeals

Does USCIS have the discretion to apply CIMT when in reality someone does not have the CIMT ban by legal definition, as it was placed by the consulate or USCIS?

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Attorney answers 4


No, legal definitions are not subject to discretion. If the crime is not a CIMT, then they cannot determine that it is.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.


Your question is unclear.

US CIS must follow the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals and Federal Courts. But, they have the authority to 'interpret' a conviction as a CIMT if it is a matter of first impression.

As for the Consular Officers, they have much more discretion.

Consult with an attorney.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- -- -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


No. they are bound by law and legal interpretations of the agency and the courts. You should be bound by common sense. This is why you should have a consultation with a good immigration attorney in AZ.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.



Could the consulate and USCIS agency have two different interpretations for the same crime one saying its a CIMT and the other saying it is not?


I am going to take a wild guess here that you have applied for an I-601A waiver. If that is the case (and I hope it is not) USCIS has taken the position---currently--that ANY criminal conduct or conviction gives them "reason to believe" you are inadmissible to the U.S. (In fact, they are even using some non-criminal conduct, like a civil traffic violation, to prevent you from going forward.) That means, even conduct or convictions that are very clearly not CIMTs or otherwise grounds of inadmissibility are going to prevent you from proceeding on the I-601A.
IF you are in this position, please contact an experienced immigration attorney who can properly assist you with this. It is my understanding that USCIS is working on a better policy, and hopefully that policy will be forthcoming soon.

This answer is general in nature, and not intended as legal advice. You are advised to contact a qualified immigration attorney who can analyze the specific facts of your case, and who can give you accurate legal advice.



No I have not applied for 1-601a because I have heard the horror stories from Laurel Scott

Jesse Evans-Schroeder

Jesse Evans-Schroeder


She knows!

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