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SunShowers87

Arrest Problem for K-1 Interview

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We submitted out I-129F petition last Monday, so we are officially in the system, and about to play the wait game. It's so hard to be patient, but we reassure each other constantly, and we hope everything will go smoothly.

Except this little problem with his arrest. He was technically arrested by the Italian police in Sicily back in July of 2010, after getting into a heated scuffle over whether or not he was an 'illegal immigrant' (he's African). If I remember correctly, the charges were violent resistance which is a ridiculous charge. After only 10 days, they had nothing against him and realized he really was legal, and let him go.

This is a pretty normal occurrence in Italy and Spain with African immigrants...and it really wasn't a big deal. However, when you google his name, you can see articles come up in Italian, of course embellishing the story and saying he was arrested.

HIS POLICE RECORD, however, is clean!! I have talked to some friends who have done the K-1, and said that if it isn't on his police record, just mark "NO" in the box on the form before the Interview, asking if he's ever been arrested. They said it's better just to avoid it, if it isn't in the system, then to create more problems.

I really don't want to lie though...additionally, if they ever do find out, we could both get in huge trouble, and he could be deported.

The option is to plead ignorance if they DO find out about the arrest, just saying that he thought they were simply holding him in jail while they verified his papers....that since he isn't Italian, and there was the language barrier, he wasn't really sure WHAT was happening to him.

I know no one on visajourney should encourage lying....but I really would like some frank and honest feedback about the extent to which the consulate does his background check, and how the system might work if his police record is clean???! Is it even worth complicating it for nothing, and going through the whole waiver issue, before the interview, if they wouldn't even find out about this anyway??

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He needs to be honest about the situation - that he was 'arrested', detained, whatever and then the charges were dismissed. Obtain all of the documentary evidence that he can about the proceedings - police records, newspaper clippings, etc. The K-1 is just the first step in a multi-step immigration process and he will be asked variations of this question on each and every document. On some the wording is more specific - not if he was found guilty' but if he was charged, fined etc. He will need to disclose the situation even if there is no record on the police documents. Start now on the way you wish to proceed all the way through - and the best way to start is to be honest because that is the only way you will know it won't come back to haunt you later. (You may find it interesting to read over the instructions for the I-485 form (Adjustment of Status), the I-751 form (Removal of Conditions) and the N-400 application form (Naturalization) as these are still ahead of him in the Immigration process. He needs to do the first two, although citizenship is optional.)

If the charges were dropped that means he was either innocent or there was not enough evidence of his guilt. If the charge was being an illegal immigrant and he was legal, then he was innocent and the 'resisting' arrest part is what he will want to address. Get all of the evidence up front now and be prepared to address it. It should not be a problem for his immigration paperwork from the circumstances you have outlined. It will be a problem if he later has to change his story or else lie to maintain the fake story, and if it is a fake story then he will never be free from the risk of possible discovery and deportation for misrepresentation. The 'crime' of misrepresentation is a much more serious one in the eyes of USCIS than being held for resisting arrest when innocent. The police records are clear and that is what will carry a lot of weight, but their own research may well reveal the other information as well so he needs to be the one to reveal it willingly and up front rather than wait for them to discover it and wonder why he didn't disclose it.

I have a minor charge in my past that did not show up on my police records either even though I went to court and had a very minimal fine. The charge was rather ridiculous and actually the interviewer smiled when she read it over, but I did disclose it even though I could probably have 'got away' without doing so. The end result is that I rest easy and comfortable in my new life here in the US secure in the knowledge that I told the truth and there is nothing that can come back and bite me.

Edited by Kathryn41

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How do you know his Italian police record is clean? Have you ordered the Italian police report?


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I suggest you consult an immigration lawyer for advise .


-400 CITIZENSHIP TIMELINE

01-17-2015 = N-400 packet sent (to P.O. Box Dallas via USPS Priority Mail)
01-21-2015 = N-400 packet delivered
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01/26/2015 = Check cashed .

02/02/2015 = NOA1 received (Priority Date 01/21/2015)
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02/18/2015 = Biometrics

02/20/2015 = In line for interview

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Yes he already has the Italian police record, and it says "Nulla" on it.

I just asked him what his paper says, the one they gave him when he was released. They put a whole bunch of nonsense on it, saying he damaged a car and hit the police officer, which never happened. Which is WHY they released him after 10 days, and his official record is clean. Stupid Italians...

But that is pretty bad...I mean, if the consulate reads that, that's pretty good grounds for refusal, I think...

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The US Citizen employees at the Consulates have a pretty good understanding of the local flora & fauna (so to speak). As long as his explanation of the situation jives with the local status quo then it shouldn't be a problem. If he conceals it and it is later discovered then it could create insurmountable problems.

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What do you mean by "knowledge of local flora and fauna?"

Aren't they ITALIANS that work in the U.S. embassy? Would the problem of the same racism possibly come into play??

So we've decided to disclose the information surrounding his arrest, including his paperwork when we was released 10 days later. What else will we need? What is this waiver everyone is talking about? Do we wait to do that, or turn it in ahead of time? Will he need one?

Should we perhaps go about contacting the lawyer that had defended him, for a statement about his innocence? Or is that overkill? The wording on his release paperwork and newspaper articles online of course makes the situation seem pretty bad "violence and resisting arrest"....we need some positive words on his side. What do you guys think?

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What do you mean by "knowledge of local flora and fauna?"

Aren't they ITALIANS that work in the U.S. embassy? Would the problem of the same racism possibly come into play??

So we've decided to disclose the information surrounding his arrest, including his paperwork when we was released 10 days later. What else will we need? What is this waiver everyone is talking about? Do we wait to do that, or turn it in ahead of time? Will he need one?

Should we perhaps go about contacting the lawyer that had defended him, for a statement about his innocence? Or is that overkill? The wording on his release paperwork and newspaper articles online of course makes the situation seem pretty bad "violence and resisting arrest"....we need some positive words on his side. What do you guys think?

There may be Italian employees at the embassy, but the consulate staff are Americans. Some may be of Italian descent. When Department of State considers foreign service officers for a post they usually favor those who already speak the language.

What Bob meant was that if racism is a common local problem then the consular officers should be aware of that fact, and they'd take it into consideration. If a consular officer were issuing decisions based on their own racist tendencies then that would be a serious charge, indeed. I can't see a racist consular officer lasting very long in any post.

What matters is what he was either convicted of doing or admits to doing. What he was accused of or charged with is not relevant, though it must be disclosed so that the consular officer can conclude that it's not relevant. I don't think you need an explanation from his lawyer.


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

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08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

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Ok that makes me feel a LOT better...thank you.

To clarify, though, (even though it all depends, I know) in your opinion, what matters is if he was CONVICTED, right?

Which he wasn't...just held for 10 days and released, without bail/fine, etc. His records are clean.

I am very much stressing about this - I'm sure you can tell - and any words of clarity would really put my mind at ease. We've only been in the mix since Feb 7, but I am already stressing about this aspect of it...

I'm telling myself, educating/researching about arrests, etc, ahead of time and what we need to prepare for it (waivers, etc), will make me feel better.

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Ok that makes me feel a LOT better...thank you.

To clarify, though, (even though it all depends, I know) in your opinion, what matters is if he was CONVICTED, right?

Which he wasn't...just held for 10 days and released, without bail/fine, etc. His records are clean.

I am very much stressing about this - I'm sure you can tell - and any words of clarity would really put my mind at ease. We've only been in the mix since Feb 7, but I am already stressing about this aspect of it...

I'm telling myself, educating/researching about arrests, etc, ahead of time and what we need to prepare for it (waivers, etc), will make me feel better.

First of all, congratulations on sending the petition packet. I remember when you were still asking for advice and were wondering what the best route to take would be in your particular case. As others have said, it is best to be honest and speak of the incident if asked rather than lie or plead ignorance (the latter would be lying since you are actually not ignorant of the incident). If his police records are "clean" then it will be good at time of interview to not have any prior convictions. Since his interview is a good 6-12 months away, it will be best for him to "keep a low profile" during these next few months to avoid any future misunderstandings with the police. Having said this, I do understand the racist and discriminatory attitudes that do exist in European countries towards African immigrants...

Best wishes! (F)


August 23, 2010 - I-129 F package sent via USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation.

August 30, 2010 - Per Department of Homeland Security (DHS) e-mail, petition received and routed to California Service Center for processing. Check cashed. I-797C Notice of Action by mail (NOA 1) - Received date 08/25/2010. Notice date 08/27/2010.

After 150 days of imposed anxious patience...

January 24, 2011 - Per USCIS website, petition approved and notice mailed.

January 31, 2011 - Approval receipt notice (NOA 2) received by mail. Called NVC, given Santo Domingo case number, and informed that petition was sent same day to consulate.

Called Visa Specialist at the Department of State every day for a case update. Informed of interview date on February, 16 2011. Informed that packet was mailed to fiance on February, 15 2011.

February 21, 2011 - Fiance has not yet received packet. Called 1-877-804-5402 (Visa Information Center of the United States Embassy) to request a duplicate packet in person pick-up at the US consulate in Santo Domingo. Packet can be picked-up by fiance on 02/28.

March 1, 2011 - Medical exam completed at Consultorios de Visa in Santo Domingo.

March 9, 2011 at 6 AM - Interview, approved!

March 18, 2011 - POE together. JFK and O'Hare airports. Legal wedding: May 16, 2011.

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