The United States is ready to welcome immigrants and visitors, but it can be quite picky about who is eligible for certain visas. Not just anyone can apply successfully for a U.S. visa, and one group of people who may have a hard time getting through the process are applicants with a criminal history. Having a criminal charge or conviction in your past can create additional complications, but it may not be entirely impossible to receive your U.S. visa. You should talk to a waivers immigration lawyer in NYC about your options.

What Kinds of Criminal History Could Make it Hard to Apply For a U.S. Visa?

Many different types of crimes could affect your ability to apply for a U.S. visa. Common problematic charges include:

  • Any kind of theft crime
  • Crime against the government, like tax evasion
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Assault

Any of these can make the application process difficult. However, you really do not know which criminal conviction can make you inadmissible to the United States until you talk to an officer in the American consulate.

Can I Apply For a U.S. Visa if I Get My Record Expunged?

Many countries outside the United States can offer expungement. This means that you can essentially go back in time and delete a criminal offense from your record. So in your own country, you may eventually be in the clear. Your crime no longer appears on your record and you are free to pursue jobs and other opportunities in your country without worrying about your past charge.

So does that mean that it is time to apply for a U.S. visa? We have some bad news. The standards of your country are not what matters here. You still have to disclose your criminal history when applying and a past conviction, even one that has been expunged, can be counted against you. The process for getting a conviction expunged in your home country can be expensive too, which is why we do not recommend that applicants go through all of the effort to get an expungement just so that they can apply for a U.S. visa.

How Do Waivers Work?

If you apply for a U.S. visa through your embassy or consulate, you might be told that you need a waiver of some kind. Your attorney can help you find the right waiver and ensure that it is filled out correctly. A waiver that does not meet the standards of the Department of Homeland Security is not going to be helpful.

If your waiver is accepted, you can be granted a U.S. visa even though you have a criminal charge or conviction in your past.

Talk to an Experienced Immigration Attorney

Getting ready to apply for a U.S. visa can be difficult enough without a criminal charge in your background. So if you are seriously considering going through this process, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David. We are equipped to answer all of your questions and we will do our best to help you with all of your immigration-related needs.