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B2 with criminal history - Experience?

B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Old Jan 26th 2015, 9:30 pm
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Exclamation B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Hey everyone, just wondering... My Dad saved up the money to come and visit me out here (been out here a few years so far this time around) and now needs to go through the B2 application process (criminal record). I was just wondering if anyone has any experience doing this / with a family member doing this that they could share?

As I understand it, he will need to get his records, then arrange an appointment at the embassy for a B2 Visa interview ($160 MRV). This seems pretty simple, but I then get a little confused... Does he get a visa there and then (if approved)? If not, is he denied for sure because of his criminal record and then needs to follow a secondary (waiver) process? Does that involve a second London trip / more fees?

Thanks guys any/all advice on how the process works / what the interview consists of (I had my own L2 but I imagine this would be a different 'vibe') etc etc would be very much appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 26th 2015, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
Does he get a visa there and then (if approved)?
If his visa is approved at the interview, he'll be asked to leave his passport, and the passport and visa will be sent back to him. If his visa is denied, he will be given a letter explaining why his visa is denied, and he will not be asked to submit his passport.


If not, is he denied for sure...
There are only two possible outcomes from a visa application: approval or denial. Anything that is not clearly an approval, is a denial.


... and then needs to follow a secondary (waiver) process? Does that involve a second London trip / more fees?
It will not involve a second trip or more fees. If his visa is denied the interviewing officer has the option of recommending him for a waiver. If he is not recommended, that's the end of the process. If he is recommended, it'll take about 6 months for a decision on that... but if the waiver is approved, he'll be asked to then submit his passport and both the passport and visa will be returned to him.

It's not a difficult process (except emotionally)... it's just very time consuming!

Edit to add: If your dad is able to answer "no" on the ESTA questions, he won't need a visa - whether he has a criminal record or not. The questions have changed recently... so perhaps best to take a look at that first.

Ian

Last edited by ian-mstm; Jan 26th 2015 at 9:58 pm.
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Old Jan 26th 2015, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Hi Ian

I think you might mean "If your dad is able to answer "no" on the ESTA questions"

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Old Jan 26th 2015, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by YouWantFriesWithThat View Post
I think you might mean "If your dad is able to answer "no" on the ESTA questions"
D'Oh... that was a brain fart if ever I saw one! You're quite right, and I've made the correction! Cheers! Karma on its way.

Ian
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Old Jan 26th 2015, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Pahhh!!!

;hug
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Old Mar 1st 2015, 8:03 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Thanks everyone - Particularly you Ian. You are right (of course) the questions have changed. I am pretty sure the only thing he would struggle with is:

2) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?

Although it is obviously highly subjective... so he may well feel he can answer no legitimately. Theft does not cause serious harm to anyone, I would imagine. And then there is a judgment to be made re: ABH / GBH - It sounds like ABH would, be definition not be serious harm, but GBH may be.

I appreciate your help - I will chat with him and let him make the call on how he feels he can answer this question.
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Old Mar 1st 2015, 8:05 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Re-reading and, as I don't want a moral debate here (happy to have elsewhere!) - I just wanted to clarify that theft can cause serious harm to people of course - In this instance, however, it did not (petty theft from work) in my opinion.
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Old Mar 1st 2015, 9:48 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
Re-reading and, as I don't want a moral debate here (happy to have elsewhere!) - I just wanted to clarify that theft can cause serious harm to people of course - In this instance, however, it did not (petty theft from work) in my opinion.
I suppose that would very much depend upon a person's definition of 'petty theft' and even by itemising what was stolen you will still draw arguments over what could constitute 'serious' - for example: take the only ten bucks I have from my pocket and leave me with no means to pay for the bus home after work may well cause serious harm to me on my enforced walk through MLK.
Read the ESTA and let him decide if it applies to his situation - everything else is chaff
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Old Mar 1st 2015, 10:39 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
If his visa is approved at the interview, he'll be asked to leave his passport, and the passport and visa will be sent back to him. If his visa is denied, he will be given a letter explaining why his visa is denied, and he will not be asked to submit his passport.


There are only two possible outcomes from a visa application: approval or denial. Anything that is not clearly an approval, is a denial.


It will not involve a second trip or more fees. If his visa is denied the interviewing officer has the option of recommending him for a waiver. If he is not recommended, that's the end of the process. If he is recommended, it'll take about 6 months for a decision on that... but if the waiver is approved, he'll be asked to then submit his passport and both the passport and visa will be returned to him.

It's not a difficult process (except emotionally)... it's just very time consuming!

Edit to add: If your dad is able to answer "no" on the ESTA questions, he won't need a visa - whether he has a criminal record or not. The questions have changed recently... so perhaps best to take a look at that first.

Ian
That is not strictly correct Ian if the offence involved drink or drugs then a medical would likely be required and the contracted practice for the embassy is in Mayfair or Knightsbridge I believe. It is not something his own doctor could do so a second trip would be required in that scenario.
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Old Mar 1st 2015, 10:51 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
Re-reading and, as I don't want a moral debate here (happy to have elsewhere!) - I just wanted to clarify that theft can cause serious harm to people of course - In this instance, however, it did not (petty theft from work) in my opinion.
It's not serious. The company can afford it. Or maybe that theft on that day caused the company to miss a deadline lose a contract and go bust and 25 people lost their jobs. Did he only do it the once? Or did he steal it every week?

No one here seems to understand the thinking behind this seemingly insane move.
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Old Mar 2nd 2015, 10:07 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

No-one has clicked on the "additional help" link clearly.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/WebHel...elp_1.htm#help

Scroll down and you will see this:

This question refers to crimes involving moral turpitude - Such offenses generally involve conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed to persons or society in general. There are factors, such as the age of the offender or the date of the offense that may affect whether an offense will be considered a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
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Old Mar 2nd 2015, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by AdsUK View Post
No-one has clicked on the "additional help" link clearly.
The note may refer to it, but the question itself doesn't actually mention it. It used to... but now it doesn't.

Most people know my 3 rules for filling out forms:

1) take each question at face value;
2) do not ascribe meaning to the question beyond what is plainly written; and
3) do not try to alter the question to fit your circumstances.

Each of those rules comes into play here. If someone needs help interpreting the question they are free to click on the link... however, if they don't need help (on the reasonable grounds that people are able to interpret the word "serious"), there's no obligation to click on the link. USCIS deliberately changed the question and, in so doing, they changed the possible outcome. That was their choice - and I believe people are free to take advantage of that... in the same way that people are free to take advantage of loopholes in the tax laws.

Ian

Last edited by ian-mstm; Mar 2nd 2015 at 12:59 pm.
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Old Mar 2nd 2015, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

I understand what you're saying Ian, and yes they have changed it, but given the additional notes state they are talking about CIMT, I think people are potentially setting themselves up for grief at some point. You could think your "crime" is not serious, but if the person at PoE thinks otherwise, I don't see how that will end well.
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Old Mar 2nd 2015, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

USCIS doesn't have anything to do with the VWP or the questions. It's unfortunate that the question is now even more vague (if that was even possible) and someone has to click a help link to find out about CIMTs. Honest people who want to try to determine if they are admissible prior to commencing travel were likely the only ones clicking "Yes" to any questions anyway.

I agree with AdsUK. At a minimum, the system should help honest people avoid grief.
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Old Mar 3rd 2015, 7:22 am
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Default Re: B2 with criminal history - Experience?

Originally Posted by AdsUK View Post
I understand what you're saying Ian, and yes they have changed it, but given the additional notes state they are talking about CIMT, I think people are potentially setting themselves up for grief at some point. You could think your "crime" is not serious, but if the person at PoE thinks otherwise, I don't see how that will end well.
But the person at the PoE won't think otherwise because they don't have access to uk police records only shared intelligence about organised crime or terrorism if anything at all. Like I have said I can't get my head around the thinking behind this move.

Last edited by johnnybrown532; Mar 3rd 2015 at 7:25 am.
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