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 by Christi Leveille                         image source raymonvil photos

C
an I get a U.S. Visa or Green Card with my Criminal Record?  

Yes, it is possible to get a U.S. Visa or Green Card with a Criminal Record.

A common immigration misconception is that a person seeking to immigrate to the U.S. and obtain a visa or green card will be barred if he or she has a criminal record. While it is true, a criminal record can, and often times does, render an individual inadmissible, several factors must be taken into account to determine whether the individual’s specific criminal record will prohibit any efforts to obtain a visa or permanent residency.

In making a determination, Immigration Courts may consider the following:  

  1. the type of crime committed;
  2. the age of the individual at the time of the criminal act;
  3. the number of convictions on the record;
  4. how much time has passed since the criminal act; and
  5. the maximum possible penalty imposed for the specific crime.

Serious crimes (“crimes involving moral turpitude” or controlled substance violations), such as murder or other crimes of violence, fraud, and theft, render an individual inadmissible with few exceptions. The impact of a criminal record and/or conviction on an individual’s eligibility to obtain a visa or green card is one of the more complex areas of immigration law. It is in the court’s discretion to determine the gravity of the crime. If you have a criminal record and intend to submit an application for a green card , it is imperative to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable immigration attorney who can review your circumstances to explore the possible impact of the criminal record prior to submitting an application.

Disclaimer: This blog is written and published by The Law Office of Keven Leveille, PL for educational purposes only, not to provide specific legal advice. The information provided by this blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. The information in this blog should not be used to determine how your legal case would be resolved and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Office of Keven Leveille, PL. Such an attorney-client relationship can only be established by execution of a contract for legal services between our firm and a prospective client.

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Christi focuses her legal practice and contributions to the LeveilleLaw Blog in the areas of Immigration and Human Rights Law.

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