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)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
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(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.
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.
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.