My sister has been issued a ticket for a retails theft of $60 who is on a H4 visa in Illinois.

Asked almost 3 years ago - Chicago, IL

She has been seen on the cam when she did the theft of a handbag. The cop told me that she is issued a ticket and supposed to appear in court in front of municipal code enforcement system hearing officer. We had spoken to a immigration attorney/criminal attorney. The concern is, she is leaving US for her H4 visa stamping. She is supposed to fill the H4 visa form before the court date and submit it for visa interview. While filling the form is she supposed to fill 'YES' for a question asked like "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? ". If she fills as 'YES' will she be rejected a Visa ?. and what is the chance of appearing this on her records or should she fill it as "NO" in the visa form ?.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Khaja M. Din

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    Answered . If she fills no - when she is convicted/pleads no contest or pleads guilty it will appear on her record. Lying on a government form will cause a huge problem. It is better to have a criminal defense attorney handle the case who knows his way around immigration to see if he can either get it dropped or plead to something that is not a CIMT (Crime Involving Moral Turpitude) so that it does not impact her visa. Do NOT lie on the government form.

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    Khaja M. Din, Esq.
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  2. Matthew Ian Bernstein

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . She should always tell the truth on any government forms. My advise would be to do what she can to get the charges dropped, for example, accepting "theft school" which is available in some states/counties. If she is in valid H-4 status, she should wait to go back until this is resolved. She should meet with an immigration attorney before accepting any plea, and review her immigration history, prospective green card benefits and the risk of returning to her home country for a visa under the circumstances.

  3. Pablo Husayn Nossa

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . She should answer yes. I do not practice in Illinois, but here in Texas a simple theft falls under the petty offense exception. Assuming her theft falls under the petty offense exception, she will still be able to get her visa approved. You should certainly speak with an experienced immigration attorney prior to proceeding abroad for stamping.

    The answer provided is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice as not all facts are know by... more

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