L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Old Jun 1st 2012, 8:56 pm
  #1  
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Default L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Hi,

I'm new to this forum but I've seen some very helpful advise on previous threads so I thought i'd post my dilemma.

I've been offered a transfer to New York with my firm in the banking industry. In principal I've agreed to this role and currently the immigration lawyer working for my company is writing a petition letter for my behalf.

I have a criminal record from about 9 years ago which my firm do not know about. I started at the firm 4 years after conviction so i should have declared it but knew I probably wouldnt get the job had I done so. I believe UK law states I wouldn't have to declare it had the offence been over 5 years old. For peace of mind Ive applied and received back my Police Certificate to see if my record is still shown to which it obviously is. The crime.....I used to work in a well known supermarket and used to sort out my mates some free booze when they came to my till - sounds minor I think. When they caught me I admitted to doing the offence previously (5 times). I thought they would just sack me but being a popular member of staff I feel they wanted to make an example of me. It's my only offence and I received 140 hours community service however the record states "Theft by Employee". Obviously this doesn't sound too good. Now I'm not sure what to do.

From reading previous threads I don't think getting the visa will be a problem and obviously I will declare it to the US embassy but will my work find out if I declare it? After the petition letter is complete I can complete my L1 visa form online and book my interview. From the sounds of it I only have to provide a copy of the visa to HR and not any supporting docs but will the immigration lawyer see them?

To make matters worse for myself, I've been to the US on holiday 3 times on holiday since the offence and never declared it on my ESTA form mainly because I've always left it until late and getting a visa waiver would probably take some time. On the L1 visa form it asks for previous visits to the US. This is bound to be frowned upon by the US embassy during my interview. Is this an instant refusal for a Visa? If not the visa could take some time to approval. Work might get suspicious.

I feel I have 4 options. 1-Don't declare it at all - do I have to provide a police certificate? Could I say I have no record so therefore didn't apply for one? Extremely risky option 2- Be open and honest with the embassy - pray they approve and nothing gets back to work 3- tell both work HR and bosses about it,take what they say? HR however won't care if I'm good at my job etc. Probably get sacked 4- Pull out, got cold feet, met a girl, mum is dying etc.

S**t - I've noticed this is a long post but wanted to put as much detail as possible! Any advise appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by Stav7
I feel I have 4 options. 1-Don't declare it at all - do I have to provide a police certificate? Could I say I have no record so therefore didn't apply for one? Extremely risky option
No way this'll work. You must supply a police certificate. If you don't have one, they'll tell you to go away until you do.

Originally Posted by Stav7
2- Be open and honest with the embassy - pray they approve and nothing gets back to work
There's no 2 ways around being honest with the embassy. They will find out everything. Whether they'll approve the visa or not, I don't know. There are some people here with experience in applying with criminal records so I'm sure they'll reply soon. I've a feeling not disclosing it on the ESTA several times will be a bigger deal than the record itself.

Originally Posted by Stav7
3- tell both work HR and bosses about it,take what they say? HR however won't care if I'm good at my job etc. Probably get sacked
I have absolutely no idea how they would react, so I don't know how sensible this option is. I also don't know how your company handles cases like this. There's a reasonable chance of the lawyer seeing a copy of everything, in which case the news is better coming from you than him. There's a chance of your visa being denied, or you needing a waiver. They might want to know why.

Originally Posted by Stav7
4- Pull out, got cold feet, met a girl, mum is dying etc.
This may well cover your tracks, but it doesn't actually get you anywhere.

Looking at it, I'm not sure this reply actually helped any. I think what you're essentially asking is "can I hide this from my boss". There's certainly no way you can hide it from the embassy. Whether your boss will find out (and what they'll do if they do) is probably impossible to answer for sure.

James
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Let's be blunt.
  • You're a convicted thief who stole from an employer.
  • You lied to get your current job.
  • You've lied to enter the USA illegally on numerous occasions.
  • You're continuing to explore ways of lying further.

I can't see any positives coming out of this plan of action, other than it might, finally, teach you some hard, painful and long overdue lessons about the importance of honesty, maturity and responsibility.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 12:29 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by Stav7
Hi,

I'm new to this forum but I've seen some very helpful advise on previous threads so I thought i'd post my dilemma.

I've been offered a transfer to New York with my firm in the banking industry. In principal I've agreed to this role and currently the immigration lawyer working for my company is writing a petition letter for my behalf.

I have a criminal record from about 9 years ago which my firm do not know about. I started at the firm 4 years after conviction so i should have declared it but knew I probably wouldnt get the job had I done so. I believe UK law states I wouldn't have to declare it had the offence been over 5 years old. For peace of mind Ive applied and received back my Police Certificate to see if my record is still shown to which it obviously is. The crime.....I used to work in a well known supermarket and used to sort out my mates some free booze when they came to my till - sounds minor I think. When they caught me I admitted to doing the offence previously (5 times). I thought they would just sack me but being a popular member of staff I feel they wanted to make an example of me. It's my only offence and I received 140 hours community service however the record states "Theft by Employee". Obviously this doesn't sound too good. Now I'm not sure what to do.

From reading previous threads I don't think getting the visa will be a problem and obviously I will declare it to the US embassy but will my work find out if I declare it? After the petition letter is complete I can complete my L1 visa form online and book my interview. From the sounds of it I only have to provide a copy of the visa to HR and not any supporting docs but will the immigration lawyer see them?

To make matters worse for myself, I've been to the US on holiday 3 times on holiday since the offence and never declared it on my ESTA form mainly because I've always left it until late and getting a visa waiver would probably take some time. On the L1 visa form it asks for previous visits to the US. This is bound to be frowned upon by the US embassy during my interview. Is this an instant refusal for a Visa? If not the visa could take some time to approval. Work might get suspicious.

I feel I have 4 options. 1-Don't declare it at all - do I have to provide a police certificate? Could I say I have no record so therefore didn't apply for one? Extremely risky option 2- Be open and honest with the embassy - pray they approve and nothing gets back to work 3- tell both work HR and bosses about it,take what they say? HR however won't care if I'm good at my job etc. Probably get sacked 4- Pull out, got cold feet, met a girl, mum is dying etc.

S**t - I've noticed this is a long post but wanted to put as much detail as possible! Any advise appreciated. Thanks in advance

I have to say you may want to rethink the transfer if you do not want your organisation to know of your criminal background. Oh and if you want to keep your job.


I love the fact that you refer to your crime as minor. You are non repentant of the offense and now looking at scenarios as to how to get around the past. So lets ask the question. How minor was it really?

To be honest with you (ironic statement considering this subject matter lol) you do not have four options. You have Two. Option 1)Be honest with your company and see how that pans out. Or the most obvious choice. Option 2) Dont go through with the transfer, and keep your job and live happily ever after with no one knowing of your little secret. Hopefully your company have not all ready invested to much time effort and money on this saga so pulling out would be easier.

On a side note, you could always look to gain employment in another company (with a US presence) of the same nature, be honest about your past hope you get the job and then look to start the process all over again.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 12:50 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by DavidLemon
I have to say you may want to rethink the transfer if you do not want your organisation to know of your criminal background. Oh and if you want to keep your job.


I love the fact that you refer to your crime as minor. You are non repentant of the offense and now looking at scenarios as to how to get around the past. So lets ask the question. How minor was it really?

To be honest with you (ironic statement considering this subject matter lol) you do not have four options. You have Two. Option 1)Be honest with your company and see how that pans out. Or the most obvious choice. Option 2) Dont go through with the transfer, and keep your job and live happily ever after with no one knowing of your little secret. Hopefully your company have not all ready invested to much time effort and money on this saga so pulling out would be easier.

On a side note, you could always look to gain employment in another company (with a US presence) of the same nature, be honest about your past hope you get the job and then look to start the process all over again.
I vote 4
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 1:27 am
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Thumbs down Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

I think you already know the answer
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 2:10 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by Boiler
I vote 4
+1

Only sensible option.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 3:31 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

OP does not give enough in the way of facts to truly answer his questions.

He may or may not qualify for the "petty offense" exception of section 212(a)(2)(A)(II) of the US Immigration & Nationality Act.

It should be noted that what California lawyers call a "wobbler" can fall within the exception if the maximum sentence that could have been imposed by the court hearing the case is a year or less.

OP will have to get copies of the actual court records since the "ACPO" record is actually quite summary in nature -- in fact it does NOT list the specific crime for which the conviction is for.

Consultation with at least a UK solicitor on this one might be in order.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 9:47 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

I'm don't know about New York law, or how your company operates, but my mom works in banking and they do conduct background checks of employees. What's the possibility that even if you do make it through immigration, your company might do a background check as a formality when you transfer?

Even if immigration doesn't see "theft by employee" as a major offense, you can bet that a bank will.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 11:50 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by gemmabl
Even if immigration doesn't see "theft by employee" as a major offense, you can bet that a bank will.
I suspect the bank will also have a problem with how they found out about it considering they asked during the hiring process and didn't get an accurate answer.

There is another possible option. He could seek a visitor visa ASAP and see what happens. If no waiver is required, the legwork done to get the B1/B2 may grease the wheels for any subsequent visa application.

Hypothetically, a person could put "no" to the arrest question if their employer is going to see it, and then immediately tell the consulate the truth and why they did it. The consulate shouldn't hold it against the person because the misrepresentation was not persistent and was not done for an immigration benefit. If the crime was a single petty offense, the false response wouldn't be material. Of course, it could backfire in a big way too.

I heard of something similar with a seaman on a ship who falsified their seaman's book in order to show that they had served on another ship for a year sort of like fluffing a resume. The consular officer knew that the stamp from that ship was bogus and asked the applicant about it during the interview. The applicant admitted to it right away, and explained they did it to get the job. The visa was approved.
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by Stav7
Now I'm not sure what to do.
In fact, you do know what to do... you just don't want to do it and are exploring other possibilities that don't force you to accept responsibility for your actions. Try doing the right thing!

Ian
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa Advise - Criminal Record

Originally Posted by materialcontroller
Let's be blunt.
  • You're a convicted thief who stole from an employer.
  • You lied to get your current job.
  • You've lied to enter the USA illegally on numerous occasions.
  • You're continuing to explore ways of lying further.
Blunt indeed!

Thanks for all of the advise! It's a great opportunity for me, one I was really looking forward too, but is it worth losing my job over, every thing I've worked hard for over the years? Is the risk worth taking? Probably not!

I'm just gutted that I'll have to pass on a once in a lifetime offer for something so silly!

Thanks again all
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