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Questions About My Criminal Record

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Filed: Country: Russia
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When I was younger, I had a few mishaps with the law. First, when I was 15, I had a possession of marijuana (2 lbs). Then when I was 16, I had another possession of marijuana (< 2 oz) and a check forgery charge when I was 16. When I was 20, I got arrested again, and if I remember correctly, it was for being high on marijuana in public (a public intoxication charge I think). I will need to contact the police department to confirm the last charge, but I think I might have to check 'Yes' on Part C #2 of the I-129F petition. If so, I'm not sure what information I will need to provide. I have read that I should include certified copies of my court and police records, but the petition only says, "Using a separate sheet(s) of paper, attach information relating to the conviction(s), such as crime involved, date of conviction and sentence."

Okay, so with all that said I have a few questions:

1. How bad is this for my chances of being approved? I'm now 26, so all that mess was quite sometime back, but it still worries me. My main worry is the visa being denied at the interview. My fiance is from Ukraine, and I have read that the consulate in Ukraine is very easy-going, but I'm still a little concerned about it.

2. Should I hire an immigration attorney? When dealing with this extra legal stuff (i.e. criminal convictions), I think an attorney might could make my trek a little easier. Any opinions on this?

3. If I should choose to use an attorney, can anyone recommend a good one?

I can see this is going to be a very stressful adventure. I would really appreciate any help in this matter!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

When I was younger, I had a few mishaps with the law. First, when I was 15, I had a possession of marijuana (2 lbs). Then when I was 16, I had another possession of marijuana (< 2 oz) and a check forgery charge when I was 16. When I was 20, I got arrested again, and if I remember correctly, it was for being high on marijuana in public (a public intoxication charge I think). I will need to contact the police department to confirm the last charge, but I think I might have to check 'Yes' on Part C #2 of the I-129F petition. If so, I'm not sure what information I will need to provide. I have read that I should include certified copies of my court and police records, but the petition only says, "Using a separate sheet(s) of paper, attach information relating to the conviction(s), such as crime involved, date of conviction and sentence."

Okay, so with all that said I have a few questions:

1. How bad is this for my chances of being approved? I'm now 26, so all that mess was quite sometime back, but it still worries me. My main worry is the visa being denied at the interview. My fiance is from Ukraine, and I have read that the consulate in Ukraine is very easy-going, but I'm still a little concerned about it.

2. Should I hire an immigration attorney? When dealing with this extra legal stuff (i.e. criminal convictions), I think an attorney might could make my trek a little easier. Any opinions on this?

3. If I should choose to use an attorney, can anyone recommend a good one?

I can see this is going to be a very stressful adventure. I would really appreciate any help in this matter!

There is a more in-depth description in the instructions for the I-129F.

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129finstr.pdf

Read the instructions, and not just the form.

Yes, you do have to provide court records. It should have no effect on your petition being approved. The crimes are relevant because of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA). Among other things, the Act requires that your fiancee know about these crimes. If you used an International Marriage Broker (IMB) to meet, then the government wants to make sure that the IMB complied with the requirement that they collect information about your criminal history, and provide it to your fiancee before she agrees to contact you. Whether or not you used an IMB, the government will notify your fiancee about your criminal history, which means she'll get a nicely printed pamphlet along with all of the documentation you submit. There's a good chance that this notification process, in addition to the probability that you may be subject to some extra scrutiny, will add some time to your process. Unless you lie or conceal something, there's no reason it should cause you to be denied.

If you have extra cash, and you don't have the time and/or inclination to read a lot of boring instructions, then you should hire an attorney. Otherwise, read the guides, spend time in the forums here, and do it yourself. There isn't a single line on any form that an attorney is going to be able to fill out without first having to ask YOU what to write there.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Im not understanding your post.. are YOU the US citizen? If so you have nothing to worry about. My hubby was in prison for a year 8 years ago for felony DUI.. and it didnt even come up at my interview. If you are the beneficiary and she is the AMCit.. then there is some serious trouble on the horizon...


Invictus..

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Im not understanding your post.. are YOU the US citizen? If so you have nothing to worry about. My hubby was in prison for a year 8 years ago for felony DUI.. and it didnt even come up at my interview. If you are the beneficiary and she is the AMCit.. then there is some serious trouble on the horizon...

He said his fiancee is from the Ukraine. :blush:


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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DUH......I shoulda been asleep hours ago..sorry :bonk:

But thats a good thing!! The OP's criminal record wont really affect the visa.


Invictus..

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
Timeline

When I was younger, I had a few mishaps with the law. First, when I was 15, I had a possession of marijuana (2 lbs). Then when I was 16, I had another possession of marijuana (< 2 oz) and a check forgery charge when I was 16. When I was 20, I got arrested again, and if I remember correctly, it was for being high on marijuana in public (a public intoxication charge I think). I will need to contact the police department to confirm the last charge, but I think I might have to check 'Yes' on Part C #2 of the I-129F petition. If so, I'm not sure what information I will need to provide. I have read that I should include certified copies of my court and police records, but the petition only says, "Using a separate sheet(s) of paper, attach information relating to the conviction(s), such as crime involved, date of conviction and sentence."

Okay, so with all that said I have a few questions:

1. How bad is this for my chances of being approved? I'm now 26, so all that mess was quite sometime back, but it still worries me. My main worry is the visa being denied at the interview. My fiance is from Ukraine, and I have read that the consulate in Ukraine is very easy-going, but I'm still a little concerned about it.

2. Should I hire an immigration attorney? When dealing with this extra legal stuff (i.e. criminal convictions), I think an attorney might could make my trek a little easier. Any opinions on this?

3. If I should choose to use an attorney, can anyone recommend a good one?

I can see this is going to be a very stressful adventure. I would really appreciate any help in this matter!

ahem. "Ukraine" not "The Ukraine". :no: Now, Jim, I don't go around saying "The VietNam"

Anyway, it is a misnomer to say the consulate in Ukraine is "very easy going". In fact they are very strict about having all the documents needed for each case. In your case, that can mean all the court records. They are also well known for discussing past indulgences of the petitioner with the Ukrainian fiancee. And they are well known for doing so in unflattering ways..."You know your fiancee is a drug addict, right?" So....make SURE she knows all the details of these cases. The worst that can happen is for them to surprise her with this information.

The consulate in Ukraine does not make up reasons to deny people. It does not look for reasons to deny people, it is not a high fraud country when it comes to family based visas, they do not have a lot of strange (perhaps "unusual" is a better word) traditions. No one cares if you had an engagement ceremony or if Mommy and Daddy approve, because that is how Ukraine society is. Typical Ukrainian women do not come to the USA and then try to find a way to bring all their cousins, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. to the USA. They are not a country associated with terrorism. They simply do not have all the "red flags" other countries have...but the women HAVE been vistims in the past of human traffickers seeking the hot Ukrainian women for porn and prostitution, they tend to be more protective of the women coming to the USA, making sure THEY are not being taken advantage of. There have been many instances of Russian/Ukrainian women being found here in basically "sex slave bordellos" and it is still happening regardless of the IMBRA.

Plan on them discussing your history with your fiancee. How that plays with her is another matter. Such things will have less impact on a younger Ukrainian woman than an older one. More mature Ukrainian women have had their share of intoxicated, abusive men and do not look kindly on abuse of drugs or alcohol, it is a deal breaker for a lot of them.

be honest and direct with your fiancee. Good luck

Such violations should have nothign to do with your ability to get an approved petition. YOU are not applying for a visa so it will have no affect on her visa application, except that you can expect them to discuss it with her. She should answer directly and with clear knowledge and they will drop it like a hot potato. She should not let them rattle her with terrible sounding statements.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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ahem. "Ukraine" not "The Ukraine". :no: Now, Jim, I don't go around saying "The VietNam"

Anyway, it is a misnomer to say the consulate in Ukraine is "very easy going". In fact they are very strict about having all the documents needed for each case. In your case, that can mean all the court records. They are also well known for discussing past indulgences of the petitioner with the Ukrainian fiancee. And they are well known for doing so in unflattering ways..."You know your fiancee is a drug addict, right?" So....make SURE she knows all the details of these cases. The worst that can happen is for them to surprise her with this information.

The consulate in Ukraine does not make up reasons to deny people. It does not look for reasons to deny people, it is not a high fraud country when it comes to family based visas, they do not have a lot of strange (perhaps "unusual" is a better word) traditions.[/b] No one cares if you had an engagement ceremony or if Mommy and Daddy approve, because that is how Ukraine society is. Typical Ukrainian women do not come to the USA and then try to find a way to bring all their cousins, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. to the USA. They are not a country associated with terrorism. They simply do not have all the "red flags" other countries have...but the women HAVE been vistims in the past of human traffickers seeking the hot Ukrainian women for porn and prostitution, they tend to be more protective of the women coming to the USA, making sure THEY are not being taken advantage of. There have been many instances of Russian/Ukrainian women being found here in basically "sex slave bordellos" and it is still happening regardless of the IMBRA.

Plan on them discussing your history with your fiancee. How that plays with her is another matter. Such things will have less impact on a younger Ukrainian woman than an older one. More mature Ukrainian women have had their share of intoxicated, abusive men and do not look kindly on abuse of drugs or alcohol, it is a deal breaker for a lot of them.

be honest and direct with your fiancee. Good luck

Such violations should have nothign to do with your ability to get an approved petition. YOU are not applying for a visa so it will have no affect on her visa application, except that you can expect them to discuss it with her. She should answer directly and with clear knowledge and they will drop it like a hot potato. She should not let them rattle her with terrible sounding statements.

Being different is not strange or unsual.


Service Center : CSC

Consulate : Lagos, Nigeria

K-I Visa

I-129F Sent : 2009-09-14

I-129F NOA1 : 2009-09-18

I-129F NOA2 : 2009-12-14

NVC Received : 2009-12-17

NVC Left : 2009-12-22

Consulate Received : 2009-12-28

Packet 3 Received : 2010-02-01 Via Email

Packet 4 Received : 2010-02-01 Via Email

Medical Exam 1: 2010-02-06

Medical Exam 1 Results: 2010-02-15 (Passed)

Police Report: 2010-04-22

Interview Date : 2010-05-04 Approved

Visa Pick up date: 2010-05-11

POE: ORD 2010-05-31

Civil Ceremony: 2010-06-11

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

AOS and EAD Package mailed to Chicago : 2010-07-30

NOA1 Date: 2010-08-05

Check cashed: 2010-08-09

Biometrics: 2010-08-26

Church Wedding: 2010-09-18

EAD Received Card Received: 2010-09-30

AOS Interview: 2010-10-14 Approved

Green Card received: 2010-10-23

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

I-751 PACKAGE SENT: 2012-08-21

NOA1:2010-08-24

Biometrics: 2012-11-23. Walk in 2012-11-13

ROC Approved, Green Card Ordered: 2010-10-14e-mail from USCIS

Green Card received: 2013-03-28

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

ahem. "Ukraine" not "The Ukraine". :no: Now, Jim, I don't go around saying "The VietNam"

Sorry. I've heard it spoken that way by talking heads on TV so many times that I guess it's become habit. :blush:


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Im not understanding your post.. are YOU the US citizen? If so you have nothing to worry about. My hubby was in prison for a year 8 years ago for felony DUI.. and it didnt even come up at my interview. If you are the beneficiary and she is the AMCit.. then there is some serious trouble on the horizon...

DUI and Drug offenses are not handled the same when it comes to IMBRA... As Jim say's this can be a hurdle of sorts and each consulate handles things differently. Some VJ members with Felony convictions have had no issues.. others have had problems... AP along with detailed Q&A with the SO about the previous crimes...

USCIS will do a background check to make sure that the petition meets the guidelines.. That is one hurdle but it can be overcome... the next hurdle would be @ NVC as they will likely do another more extensive background check... and then the Consulate may provide another roadblock... not trying to be all gloom and doom here, but please dont take 3 potential drug convictions lightly...

An Immigration Atty could help a great deal if there is in fact an IMBRA issue...


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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DUI and Drug offenses are not handled the same when it comes to IMBRA... As Jim say's this can be a hurdle of sorts and each consulate handles things differently. Some VJ members with Felony convictions have had no issues.. others have had problems... AP along with detailed Q&A with the SO about the previous crimes...

USCIS will do a background check to make sure that the petition meets the guidelines.. That is one hurdle but it can be overcome... the next hurdle would be @ NVC as they will likely do another more extensive background check... and then the Consulate may provide another roadblock... not trying to be all gloom and doom here, but please dont take 3 potential drug convictions lightly...

An Immigration Atty could help a great deal if there is in fact an IMBRA issue...

True. It's also possible her hubby had only one or two alcohol related offenses. These wouldn't need to be reported, even if one of them is a felony DUI. The IMBRA threshold is three or more alcohol or controlled substance offenses not arising from the same act.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline

I appreciate everyone's replies.

JimVaPhuong, thanks for the advice and the link. I certainly have no problem doing some research to save a couple grand. I've done some reading and it seems many people here are successfully obtaining visas without lawyers, so I see no reason why I can't do the same!

Gary and Alla, thank you also for your advice and information. I've already told my fiance about all my past. I'm the type who likes to lay it all out there and she seemed to appreciate that. I guess when I said the Kiev consulate is "very easy-going" I just meant they don't look for reasons to deny the Visa as you also mentioned.

Thanks everyone!

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Just a question off the top of my head. These offenses (and ####### were u doing with 2lbs of pot???) were commited when the OP was a minor, doesnt that mean it is now sealed?


Invictus..

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
Timeline

nothing is sealed when it comes to a federal background check..

Doesn't matter what he was doing.. he is dealing with the fact that he has a record... and trying to successfully file for his fiance' to be here with him... don't judge him for his past actions...


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Just a question off the top of my head. These offenses (and ####### were u doing with 2lbs of pot???) were commited when the OP was a minor, doesnt that mean it is now sealed?

Doesn't matter. The instructions (which reflect the law) specifically say:

This is required even if your records were sealed or otherwise cleared or if anyone,including a judge, law enforcement officer, or attorney,told you that you no longer have a record.

This has come up many times before, specifically with people who were given a deferred sentence. Once the terms of the deferred sentence are satisfactorily completed, the defendant's records are supposed to be cleared. That may make the defendant "clean" for the purposes of the courts and local law enforcement, but it doesn't make the offense vanish. A local court order can't force a federal agency to clear it's records, and many private companies collect public records for the purposes of selling background checks. Those records don't vanish. Not declaring an offense because (for example) a judge told you your record has been cleared is dangerous because USCIS could find out about the offense anyway.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Well Im certainly enjoying this post!! I feel waaay more educated now :) Thank you for you insight! I just figured because my husbands didnt come up it wouldnt matter for the OP. But in hindsight, I dont think mine was a problem because I was the one who brought it up first, and that satisfied the consular officer that I knew about it.


Invictus..

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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