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Coleman21

Traveling to Japan with a misdemeanor record?

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Hello. I'm a Japanese citizen, a permanent resident of the US, married to an American citizen. My husband got in trouble last year, and he is going to have misdemeanor records. He will have DWI and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. I am very worried that my husband may not be able to travel to Japan with me. I have done some research and it seems like a lot of people with DWI charges have entered Japan okay, but cannot find someone with a misdemeanor record of Criminal Possession of a Weapon. My husband's "weapon" was a camp knife, and he used it as a defense when he felt threatened by a convenience store clerk. My husband was the one who was beaten up till he bled and was carried to the hospital. I called Japanese Consulate, and this person who talked with me on the phone said that my husband may as well apply for a short term visa. In order to get this visa, he will have to send court order, etc. On the internet, some people are saying that your visa will most likely be denied.. some people who got a visa and went to Japan were told that they didn't even need a visa.. some other people say that, since the approval of visa does not guarantee entry to Japan anyway, they just went to Japan, and had no problems. Some answered honestly to the question on a tourist card on the plane about criminal record, and they were questioned at the airport, but they were able to go in. Many other just lied on the question and were never caught. But if you do get caught with a lie, you will get into a big trouble..

So I'm wondering how my husband could get in. Anyone with criminal records who've been to Japan, please message me. Our attorney who worked on this case say that the paperwork that we will have to send to Japanese Consulate will not have my husband's perspective- if that is true, Japan will only see the other party's argument and it will look like my husband was trying to hurt someone..! I don't know how the paper work will not have my husband's statement though, because the copy of police record this attorney sent me did include my husband's argument of self defense.

In case you need to know in order to give me your thoughts, my husband has never been in a jail or a prison, and has no felony records. Has no drug related records either. Just those two: DWI and CPW. He will have probation for a while.

 

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Thread is moved from Off Topic to the Asia/East & Pacific regional forum, where more travelers to Japan might see this and respond.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Is your husband coming over as a tourist for less than 90 days? If so you don't need a visa. 

 

http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/travel_and_visa/travel_and_visa_index.htm

 

Nobody can say for 100% certain about your husband's case except the immigration officer, but it doesn't seem like he would have an issue unless he did hard time, was a football hooligan or had a drug arrest.

 

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/newimmiact/pdf/RefugeeRecognitionAct01.pdf

 

Quote


(iv) A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan, or of any other country, and has been sentenced to imprisonment with or without work for 1 year or more, or to an equivalent penalty. However, this shall not apply to those convicted of a political offense.

(v) A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan or of any other country relating to the control of narcotics, marijuana, opium, stimulants or psychotropic substances, and has been sentenced to a penalty.


 

 

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20 hours ago, nativeson said:

Is your husband coming over as a tourist for less than 90 days? If so you don't need a visa. 

 

http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/travel_and_visa/travel_and_visa_index.htm

 

Nobody can say for 100% certain about your husband's case except the immigration officer, but it doesn't seem like he would have an issue unless he did hard time, was a football hooligan or had a drug arrest.

 

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/newimmiact/pdf/RefugeeRecognitionAct01.pdf

 

 

Thank you for your reply.

We have no definite date for traveling now, but when I go to Japan the next time, I really want to bring my husband with me. He has never visited Japan. It will be to see my family and friends and some sightseeing. It will definitely be less than 90 days.

The quote you put worries me a little. I saw it on some other sites too. I'm wondering what "an equivalent penalty" is to 1 year imprisonment. I think my husband should have gone to trial, but he accepted a pretty heavy plea deal and his probation is planned to be 3 years long. Could this be equivalent to 1 year imprisonment??

Also I'm hoping to go to Japan way before 3 years pass.. we know that my husband can visit Japan during probation if the probation officer is notified ahead of time and grants him permission. But if he goes to Japan and checks "yes" to the criminal record question on the landing card, and ends up having to tell immigration officer that he is still in probation, do you think this will look bad?

And even though we will probably stay in the US, I do want to know if there is any chance in my husband's spousal visa getting approved with his criminal records if we ever decide to move to Japan and apply for a spousal visa. I feel like criminal possession of a weapon record would lead to denial. Any opinions?

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