Hello! I was at the beginning of last year in the United States in an exchange program and a friend of mine was caught shoplifting. The store manager called the police and she was photographed and fingerprinted. Then she was released with a letter that asked her to appear in court. She was tried, and she chose to not ask for help not even a lawyer or public defender .. as we were coming to our country in a few days, the judge just asked her to pay a fee of 300 dollars and then would be released. She did everything as needed and went back to our country. But now, we were wanting to make a trip to the United States on vacation and needed the tourist visa. Is it possible the embassy to grant the visa to her? It was a case of primary defendant.. it is still on her record? Thanks!!
Usually, this falls under the "one petty offense" rule, meaning that she could still qualify for a visa.
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Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
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A consular official has the discretion to deny a visa if they reasonably believe that she does not qualify. No reason needs to be stated. She needs to prove that she will not immigrate for the purposes of the visit. However, she must tell the truth about the shoplifting conviction. Otherwise, she may be permanently banned from getting any visa even if she marries a U. S. Citizen. Good luck.
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