Criminal Record and h1 visa

Old Aug 22nd 2011, 3:43 pm
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Default Criminal Record and h1 visa

Hi

Can anyone advise me, I was arrested for a serious assault in 2005, however all charges were quickly dropped and the case never went to court.

Will this show on my criminal record, and if so will it preclude me from entering the USA under the h1 visa program?

Hope you can help, I am really worried about this.

Regards

Andy
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Hi

Can anyone advise me, I was arrested for a serious assault in 2005, however all charges were quickly dropped and the case never went to court.

Will this show on my criminal record, and if so will it preclude me from entering the USA under the h1 visa program?

Hope you can help, I am really worried about this.

Regards

Andy
Unlikely to affect your visa.

However, you are expected to document it whether or not it shows up on your criminal record.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Thanks for your quick reply. I have applied for my criminal record as i am not sure if arrests with charges dropped would show up in it or not, but I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Thanks for your quick reply. I have applied for my criminal record as i am not sure if arrests with charges dropped would show up in it or not, but I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
When the question starts, "Have you ever been arrested....?" your answer appears to be yes.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Thanks for your quick reply. I have applied for my criminal record as i am not sure if arrests with charges dropped would show up in it or not, but I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
When you say you've applied for your "criminal record" do you mean the ACPO police certificate? If so, and provided you have no other criminal convictions of any kind, it will almost certainly return "NO TRACE". However, as fatbrit has pointed out, you would still need to declare the arrest if it was asked about (and you would also probably need to get hold of police documents detailing what took place).

Last edited by materialcontroller; Aug 22nd 2011 at 5:11 pm.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Thanks for your quick reply. I have applied for my criminal record as i am not sure if arrests with charges dropped would show up in it or not, but I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
It shouldn't show up, but when I was still working and had PNC access I did come across rare instances when such a record was on a persons file.

You have a choice tell your employer or lie on the visa application. If you do the latter and it is found out the consequences can be far reaching and serious, not something that should be even contemplated.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Yes I meant the ACPO certificate, and I just called ACPO, who issues the certificates, and they say they only list convictions. So there would be no record of this arrest if the officials apply for the certificate.

I am just worried that declaring this would just bring something to their attention that they wouldn't find out about otherwise and thus not only jeopardize by application but also my job.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
It shouldn't show up, but when I was still working and had PNC access I did come across rare instances when such a record was on a persons file.

You have a choice tell your employer or lie on the visa application. If you do the latter and it is found out the consequences can be far reaching and serious, not something that should be even contemplated.
Unfortunately for andyg1974, this is entirely correct. Hopefully the employer will be understanding. After all, there was no conviction; and many people are arrested each year without ever being charged or facing court proceedings.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Yes I meant the ACPO certificate, and I just called ACPO, who issues the certificates, and they say they only list convictions. So there would be no record of this arrest if the officials apply for the certificate.

I am just worried that declaring this would just bring something to their attention that they wouldn't find out about otherwise and thus not only jeopardize by application but also my job.
It's up to you.

Why not discuss it with your own US immigration attorney -- not the one the company is using. Then you have the benefit of privacy while working out your strategy.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
You don't get a choice. It happened, therefore you must disclose it. If you don't want your company to find out about it, you should probably forego the H-1 visa.

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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
I am just worried that declaring this would just bring something to their attention that they wouldn't find out about otherwise and thus not only jeopardize by application but also my job.
Plenty of people get mistakenly arrested. An arrest is not an indication of guilt. I don't see that your employer could take any action against you if this comes to light.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by ljaw2002uk View Post
Plenty of people get mistakenly arrested. An arrest is not an indication of guilt. I don't see that your employer could take any action against you if this comes to light.
Strictly speaking you are correct. However the perception of the employer upon hearing this news might not be favourable. That doesn't make it right, but it's certainly a reality in some cases. And that could affect the working relationship in all sorts of negative ways going forward. The OP obviously acknowledges this and is right to be wary.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
Strictly speaking you are correct. However the perception of the employer upon hearing this news might not be favourable. That doesn't make it right, but it's certainly a reality in some cases. And that could affect the working relationship in all sorts of negative ways going forward. The OP obviously acknowledges this and is right to be wary.
Assuming this was a horrible mistake (unless the OP was actually guilty of the offence of course) then it's a fairly simple explanation to the employer surely? The other option of witholding the information on the visa application is a non starter!
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by ljaw2002uk View Post
Assuming this was a horrible mistake (unless the OP was actually guilty of the offence of course) then it's a fairly simple explanation to the employer surely? The other option of witholding the information on the visa application is a non starter!
I completely agree. And I would hope that in most cases there would be no issue at all. I was just making the point that arrests (or even any minor involvement with the police) have a stigma associated for some people. The "no smoke without fire" thinking. Now legally, the OP's employer can't impose sanctions on that basis. But there are plenty of subtle ways that a prejudicial employer could sour the working relationship. It might be a remote possibility, but needs to be considered.

Of course, that's not to say that OP should cover up the past from either the employer or the US authorities. Just that OP needs to be alert and aware of potential difficulties.

Last edited by materialcontroller; Aug 22nd 2011 at 10:38 pm.
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: Criminal Record and h1 visa

Originally Posted by andyg1974 View Post
Thanks for your quick reply. I have applied for my criminal record as i am not sure if arrests with charges dropped would show up in it or not, but I am worried about disclosing it as my company is sponsoring me and i certainly don't want them to find out about it.
Did you lie about this on your employment application, is that why you are worried?
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