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I am applying for a green card through marriage. How thorough is the background check if I had a misdemeanor from 2005?

Kalamazoo, MI |

Also is it better to leave social security number out as if I don't have one? I just don't want to run into issues due to mistakes I have made in the past. I don't know what's the best way to handle it. From my experience, honesty never pays off and it is always used against you. So I am hoping to get some perspectives on this from professionals in the field

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Attorney answers 6


Honesty is the only policy. No one can or should tell you to lie. Immigration fraud is a criminal offense and could subject you to serious immigration consequences. What you post here can be used against you by the government. You need to sit down with an ethical and competent immigration attorney who can help you accurately, honestly, and correctly seek immigration benefits while at the same time trying to mitigate or avoid adverse immigration consequences.

The answer above is only general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known and detailed research has not been undertaken. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers require an investigation into all facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. Use these answers at your own risk.



I was just wondering if I need to disclose something from 7 years ago or do background checks go only so far?

Russell Reid Abrutyn

Russell Reid Abrutyn


I cannot give you any advice in this forum. If you want to hire me, I will be happy to help you. Just a rule of thumb, but you can assume the government knows everything.


Now days the name check and fingerprint checks are very accurate.

Always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Get a court certified copy of your misdemeanor case.

If the truth hurt you in the past ... it is because you did bad things and need to pay the consequences ... that is what hurt you .. not the truth.

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.


It is never a good strategy to leave out information and hope Immigration just does not find out. They have access to all sorts of information, so just assume that they will already know the answers to every question they ask.

If the crime is not one that makes you inadmissible or deportable, then revealing it does no harm but concealing could get your application denied. If the crime does make you inadmissible, well, they will probably find it out and you will look even worse for having tried to hide it.

Law Office of Mary K. Neal | || 773-681-1335 This answer is intended as public information about a legal topic. Answers posted here do not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific legal advice, please make an appointment to speak with an attorney in private.


Honesty is absolutely the only way to go. You will suffer serious consequences for lying to immigration officials. Part of the green-card process involves an extensive background check involving fingerprints. You need to consult with an honest immigration attorney and provide certified copies of the court records from any and all of your court hearings, from any time in your life. A good immigration attorney will be able to tell you what the immigration consequences will be.

(734) 369-3131. This communication does not establish and attorney-client relationship with the Law Office of Michael Carlin PLLC or any individual member of the office. Confidential information should not be sent through this form.


The worst mistake you could make is to mislead or lie on an immigration petition or application. You should consult with an immigration attorney to determine if your previous criminal convictions will hurt your chances of getting a green card.

This is general information and not legal advise. This communication does not create a lawyer-client relationship.


As my colleagues have all stated, DO NOT LIE ABOUT YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY! We've all made some mistake in our life but lying to cover it up is likely to make things much worse.
As for the social security number, before advising, a lawyer would want to know how you obtained it.
I'm in Kalamazoo and can provide you referrals to reputable local immigration attorneys. I'd recommend against trying to do things on your own.

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