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I am an alien with a Petty theft case in 2010 which was dismissed in 2011. Will this affect my J-1 internship visa?

Los Angeles, CA |

Did a very stupid mistake in 2010 while I was in the US as a visiting scientist. I had no money for lawyer and got a very kind public attorney. The Judge let me go for a year and asked to return after a year to the court. I did and my case was dismissed in 2011. Since then I haven't done anything wrong and I have been back to the US twice without any problem, they didn't even stop me at immigration check in the airport. I am worried that my J1 will be denied . :( Since my case was dismissed what are the chances of having my J1 denied? :( So embarrassing please advice me how to handle the interview. :(

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

As a preliminary matter, how many times to you have to ask this question? Again: it will probably not, though questions will be asked. You have to bring certificate of final disposition with you. An original with raised sea.

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Asker

Posted

The embassy website says that after the interview the visa is issued within 5 days. Do you think it will take longer in my case? I am not sure for when to book my tickets. Unfortunately the time-frame is very narrow and I cannot wait to book tickets after. Thank you once again for all your insights.

Alexander Joseph Segal

Alexander Joseph Segal

Posted

Hard to say, they are notoriously unpredictable.

Asker

Posted

At the question Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? YES Explain: Should I say PETTY THEFT MISDEMEANOR, or just misdemeanor? I appreciate your help once again.

Posted

Theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude one of the of fences that make you inadmissibility. CIMT do not require a conviction, having admitted the elements of he offense is sufficient for a finding of inadmissibility. Luckily for you there is an exemption called petty offense exemption that does not make you inadmissibility for a single offense with a maximum possible sentence of one year of imprisonment and an actual sentense to confinement of less than 6months regardless of time actually served. It is in your best interest to be honest when completing visa application forms and any questions you may be asked at the consulate.

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Posted

But I never admitted or plead guilty and was never convincted!

Pradeek Susheelan

Pradeek Susheelan

Posted

An admission does not have to be a plea of guilt. If as part of diversion program/plea bargain you have admitted facts sufficient for a conviction of the offense, it could make you inadmissible. I do not believe you are inadmissible but it is worth getting a copy of the final court disposition, and any arrest record for an attorney to look over. In any case the petty offense exception maintains your inadmissibility, there reason I tell you to be honest on the forms is that, inadmissibility for misrepresentation would be a larger hurdle for you. Please consult with a competent immigration attorney.

Pradeek Susheelan

Pradeek Susheelan

Posted

I meant admissability

Asker

Posted

Also I was never part of a diversin program. I was just let go! Not sure how this happened, I think becuase of my good previous record. In any case, I know that I need to be honest during the visa interview. What I am trying to understand is how many details I need to provide during the interview and what can they verify. Can I just say I was arrested by mistake since I was never found gulity? Thank for the help

Pradeek Susheelan

Pradeek Susheelan

Posted

Would that be honest?

Pradeek Susheelan

Pradeek Susheelan

Posted

You are most probably not inadmissible for this incident, I advice you to consult an attorney and be honest.

Posted

You probably will be okay if your conviction falls within the "petty offense" exception.

Please click the link below for additional information.

---------
Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Know Your Rights!
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: www.shusterman.com (English)
www.inmigracion-abogado.com (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

At the question Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? YES Explain: Should I say PETTY THEFT MISDEMEANOR, or just misdemeanor? I appreciate your help once again.

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