Will a dismissed shoplifting charge have an effect my F-1 visa renewal?

Asked 7 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

Hi.. I have been caught shoplifting about two years ago, got arrested, been to court and pleaded no contest.. I was placed in a diversion program which I completed successfully and given probation period.. Later on I have been to court again and got my case dismissed. My only concern and question is; I am wondering if this could affect my F-1 visa renewal (getting it denied) when I go back home for vacation? I have traveled back and forth several times after the incident but never applied for a visa renewal. P.S.: This is the only offense I have on my record. Thanks a lot.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Giacomo Jacques Behar


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire yourself a good immigration lawyer to plead the one time "petty theft exception" and you will dramatically increase the chances for your visa being renewed .You will not solve your problem by posting the same question over and over here. You will need to disclose the arrest, diversion, etc., etc.

    Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that... more
  2. Floyd J. Fernandez

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As Mr. Behar said, there are no options for not disclosing the existence of the offense. It is a conviction, and "dismissing" (expunging) the conviction does no good at all in the minds of USCIS & ICE. A dismissal for merely administrative reasons does not change the affirmative finding, through your plea, that you committed the misdemeanor theft. And as a theft, if you don't get a lawyer to claim the first-time offense exception to the act, it could result in your F-1 renewal being denied, and you being given possibly permanent ineligibility for any future immigration visa.

    All answers to immigration questions should not be taken as legally binding advice. If you have an immigration... more
  3. F. J. Capriotti III

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . No contest and diversion CAN BE A PROBLEM.

    Ask your foreign student adviser to give you a name of one of the immigration lawyers that helps students at your school.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It... more

Related Topics


If you want to visit or move permanently to the US, you'll want to learn about your different immigration options.

US visas

There are many types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas, including work visas, student visas, and marriage visas.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

18,021 answers this week

2,368 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

18,021 answers this week

2,368 attorneys answering