You have retained Cherry Blossoms to ensure that your petition meets all USCIS requirements for visa approval. The requirements for documentation of past convictions are very specific (See below). Failure to comply with the requirements may result in denial of your visa petition.
If you have ever been convicted by a court of law (civil or criminal) or court martialed by a military tribunal for any of the following crimes then you must disclose this information to USCIS as part of your Fiancée/Spousal Visa Petition and ask for a waiver of the IMBRA regulation.
USCIS may not grant such a waiver unless you can demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances exist.
CONVICTIONS YOU ARE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE TO USCIS:
- Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse, and stalking.
The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
- Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, or an attempt to commit any of these crimes.
- Crimes relating to a controlled substance or alcohol on three or more occasions, and such crimes did not arise from a single act.
- If you are seeking a waiver of the filing limitations imposed by IMBRA, you must attach a signed and dated request for the waiver, explaining why a waiver would be appropriate in your case, together with any evidence in support of your request. See attached format letter.
- If you have committed a violent offense and seek a waiver, you must attach a signed and dated request for the waiver, together with evidence that extraordinary circumstances exist in your case, i.e., that you were being battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your spouse, parent, or adult child at the time you committed your violent offense(s), you were not the primary perpetrator of violence in the relationship, and:
- You were acting in self-defense
- You violated a protection order intended for your protection; or
- You committed, were arrested for, were convicted of, or plead guilty to committing a crime that did not result in serious bodily injury and where there was a connection between the crime committed and your having been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty. Applicants may submit any credible evidence or documentation that is relevant to the request for such a waiver.
- A certified copy of ALL court conviction records for each individual conviction. A second certified copy of the court records will be required for your fiancée or spouse’s interview. A summarized police report is not sufficient.
Certified court documents are 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. If your court records are no longer available for some reason then you should obtain a letter or statement from the courthouse of record confirming that the records are not available.
- UNOBTAINABLE DOCUMENTS: Most archived documents are available on microfiche. However, if it is not possible to obtain the actual court documents, you should obtain a letter from the court clerk stating that fact. This is what other clients of ours have done when records were not available, since it is a Federal requirement. You will submit the original certified letter with your petition. Hopefully USCIS will accept that in lieu of the documents.
The letter from the court should have the following information:
1. It must have a court house letterhead which states the County and the State and preferably the address and phone number.
2. It must be dated.
3. It must state which documents were requested, for what offenses.
4. It must state that those documents are not obtainable.
5. It must be signed by a county clerk, whose name is also clearly typed
6. It should have a County stamp or seal of certification signed by a county official
While there is no guarantee, the majority of our clients with prior convictions have not been penalized by USCIS as long as they have followed the correct procedures. However, undisclosed convictions that are discovered by USCIS during processing are grounds for visa denial and severe penalties from USCIS.
NOTE: If your petition is approved, a copy of your petition, including the information you submit regarding your criminal convictions, will be provided to the Department of State for dissemination to the beneficiary of your petition pursuant to section 833(a)(5)(A)(ii) of IMBRA. In addition, pursuant to section 833(a)(5)(A)(iii) of IMBRA, any criminal background information pertaining to you that USCIS may discover independently in adjudicating this petition will also be provided to the Department of State for disclosure to the beneficiary of your petition. You should also note that under section 833(c) of IMBRA, the name and contact information of any person who was granted a protection or restraining order against you, or of any victim of a crime of violence perpetrated by the petitioner, will remain confidential but that the relationship of the petitioner of such person or victim (i.e., spouse, child, etc.) will be disclosed.
US Visa Support Staff