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How Does a Prior Criminal Record Impact the US Immigration Process

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, as the title suggests, we are talking about prior criminal behavior or prior criminal record and how such a record can impact one's ability to seek immigration benefits for a foreign loved one, primarily.

This video is taking this from the perspective, primarily, of those seeking, those American citizens and lawful permanent residents who are seeking spousal and fiancée visa benefits for a loved one abroad. Again, as we are based in Bangkok, Thailand, some of this is going to be from a Thailand specific angle for lack of a better term, and for that reason there's going to be some things that may be the only pertinent with respect to this particular Embassy but that being said, I'm going to try and  keep this as broad as possible as every case is detail, every case's circumstances is going to change the analysis with respect to that situation, so this is basically just a broad overview for those who are seriously interested in this information. For further information I strongly suggest contacting a legal professional who assist with immigration matters as again every case is different. So to sort of dive in here. What are we talking about? Let's say the petitioner has a prior criminal record and is seeking to bring in their foreign spouse or fiancée to the United States. This can have an impact on whether or not the individual petitioning is going to be able to petition and seek those benefits. This is especially the case with respect to prior sex offenses and prior domestic abuse offenses and in fact, especially with respect to the K1 fiancée visa, even arrests need to be discussed; prior arrests not just convictions. There's also situations involving prior violent crime, criminal activity, even arrest. Again it may be necessary to go ahead and disclose that information and explain it. Prior conviction as well, 9 times out of 10 we are going to see a situation where that needs to be explained. There are some who were probably watching this video who have like a prior arrest for driving while under the influence or DUI or something, I won't say minor but I will say relatively minor compared to, you know like I said serious violent crime like domestic abuse offenses or again sex offenses. For this reason, I should say, “folks let's say there is kind of common sense litmus test with this so you know if one has a DUI from 20 years ago, I don't think it's going to be a major issue with respect to immigration although, depending on the circumstances again, it's wise to contact a legal professional to figure that out specific to one's circumstance. However, and as is apparent from just overall policy with respect to things like sex offenses, domestic abuse offenses and extremely violent crime, notwithstanding the fact that a conviction may be substantially old or even an arrest may be substantially old you know: 20, 25, or 30 years old, that may still have a significant bearing on whether or not an individual is going to be eligible to apply for immigration benefits at the present time. So basically the thing to take away from this video is that, Yes prior offenses, even arrest without even conviction necessarily may need to be disclosed within an immigration context and for that reason, those folks that are, that may have one of these issues are strongly advised to contact a legal professional as further assistance may be necessary to go ahead and deal with that issue and dealing with that issue in a case specific sense.