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Its possible to get a non immigrant visa (like a tourist one) after a shoplifting conviction?

Cherry Hill, NJ |

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!!

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Usually, this falls under the "one petty offense" rule, meaning that she could still qualify for a visa.

    Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

    ---------
    Carl Shusterman, Esq.
    Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
    Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
    Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
    https://shusterman.com/intake-secure.html
    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.


  2. It's possible to obtain an NIV if the theft offense fits the petty offense exception. As well, the consulate must exercise their discretion to issue the visa. This means she must meet a legal test and prove she deserves the second chance to the consulate officer.


  3. It's possible. I wouldn't be very confident. You will definitely need a certified disposition of the conviction.


  4. 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.

    This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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