Will an outstanding US warrant affect immigration to the US with my wife who is a US citizen?

Asked 7 months ago - Orlando, FL

I am originally from the UK and currently live in Europe. I have recently married my girlfriend who recently turned 18. We had been dating for almost 2 years.

I currently have an outstanding warrant in the state of Florida. The warrant was issued whilst I was outside of the United States and relates to an accusation of unlawful sexual activity with my girlfriend prior to her 18th birthday.

My wife and I would like to return permanently to the United States to live. Once we can head to the US, I will of course be dealing with the outstanding warrant. I am aware that I would likely be arrested upon my return to the US.

My question is, will the outstanding warrant affect our application for an immigration visa based on our marriage?

Additional information

I have no criminal record & have been in and out of the US several times under the visa waiver program in 2012 and 2013.

In 2013, prior to our marriage, I was denied a B2 visitor visa on the basis that I could not prove non-immigrant intent, which is fair considering that my girlfriend and I were engaged at that point.

In this case, I will clearly be applying for an immigrant visa so there will be no need to prove non-immigrant intent.

Will the warrant have an affect on the visa application? It is my understanding that a warrant is not a conviction and that I am in the eyes of the law, innocent without a criminal record. Therefore from that perspective, I would think it may not be an issue, however, having dealt with “the system” before, something tells me it will not be that simple.

EDIT: If any Orlando based immigration lawyer would be interested in taking on this matter for me, please state as much below along with your answer.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

    Contributor Level 20

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I do not practice in Florida as I practice criminal law in the state of Illinois, but just from the first impression any issued criminal bench warrant from that particular criminal court must be quashed and recalled with a defendant present in court to dispose of the case ultimately.
    To address the "question , will the outstanding warrant affect our application for an immigration visa based on our marriage?"
    My unequivocal professional answer is, most definitely as any pending criminal case will receive a"hit" during an initial biometrics stage of any stateside AOS and, as a result, will most likely be placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal matter, which, in its own way if a conviction results, for instance, will change the very eligibility of the foreign beneficiary for the AOS as sought.
    You must retain a very experienced criminal counsel in that Florida counsel and have an immigration counsel ready to work with that professional in tandem.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general... more
  2. Alfred Fargione

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This will almost definitely affect your visa application. You need to seek legal counsel before starting the process.

    None of the above information is intended to constitute legal advice; rather it is intended to give the consumer... more
  3. Nicolas Andres Olano

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What do you think? Yea the Florida authorities are going to ignore this and CBP will welcome you with arms wide open! Please hire a lawyer before getting in a plane.

    This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. You should not rely solely on the... more
  4. Jeffrey Adam Devore

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . The outstanding warrant will definitely effect the issuance of an immigrant visa. While you are correct that you have not been convicted of any crime, it is not necessary that you actually be convicted. It is sufficient for you to admit the essential elements of the offense for a criminal ground of inadmissibility to apply.

    As you appear to realize, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review the factsof your case to provide you with specific advice. Location is not necessarily the most important thing to look for when retaining immigration counsel and the terms and conditions of this forum prevent attorneys from actively soliciting clients (even though you have asked). Click on the link below for what to look for when hiring an immigration attorney.

    While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for... more
  5. Robert Louis Brown

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It will likely affect the visa process. You should retain legal assistance before applying for the visa

  6. Alexander Joseph Segal

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. It will.

    The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed... more
  7. Shahzad Ahmed

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Dear Sir, in my professional opinion, in order to be deemed inadmissible under Section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for a crime involving moral turpitude, you must have either been convicted under the broad definition of the Act, or have admitted to the essential elements of the crime. If neither, then you should not be barred from an immigrant visa in my opinion. However, the warrent may get you arrested upon your entry to the U.S. Thus, I think you need two types of attorneys: Immigration and Criminal. Best regards,

  8. Ksenia Alexandrovna Maiorova

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . You need to take care of this warrant ASAP, as it will likely affect the process of applying for an immigrant visa based on marriage. I would recommend that you hire an immigration lawyer and a criminal lawyer who will work closely together to address this issue for you. Best of luck!

    Answers provided by Ksenia Maiorova, Esq. on Avvo.com are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice.

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