Do I have to report my criminal records on the immigration papers? 19 Answers as of July 03, 2013

My wife is filing for me, but I had a previous record but they were sealed. Should I put it on the immigration form or should I submit the certified copy with the application form? It asked if I was ever convicted.

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Law Offices of Kiran Nair
Law Offices of Kiran Nair | Kiran K. Nair
You need to consult with an attorney because the applications ask whether 'ever' arrested or convicted. Therefore, withholding such information could be basis to deny your application. However, depending on why your records were sealed may be grounds to not disclosed the records. An attorney is best able to ensure your rights are protected and the immigration authorities correctly determine your application.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/16/2011
Cardenas Law Firm
Cardenas Law Firm | Abraham Cardenas
Do not ever hide any criminal information from the immigration authorities. Even if the record was seal, immigration will see it. If you dont put the information in your application, they may assume you are lying and that will be worse for you because it may cause you to never be able to apply for anything with immigration ever again. Always be truthful with immigration. Do include the information and do attached a certified copy of the record including the disposition of the case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/14/2011
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
The answer to the question "ever been convicted" should be yes if that is the truth. In the explanation part, you can always say that the record is sealed, etc. Don't hide it just because it was sealed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2011
King & Ballow
King & Ballow | Bruce E. Buchanan
You must disclose all arrests, convictions even if sealed or expunged. Failure to do so creates more problems than doing so.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 11/11/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
Always. For immigration purposes you have to disclose all criminal records including the sealed ones.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/10/2011
    Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC
    Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC | Alan R. Diamante
    Normally juvenile records are sealed and those records are not considered convictions. However, all questions on the application must be answered including whether the applicant had been arrested or convicted. You mail copies of court dispositions and take the originals to the interview. You should show the documents to an attorney to confirm that you are eligible. Some crimes deem you inadmissible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    American Immigration Services, PLLC
    American Immigration Services, PLLC | Lani M. Nau
    Disclose everything.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    C.M. Fusco Law Group, P.C.
    C.M. Fusco Law Group, P.C. | Carlo M. Fusco, Esq.
    Yes you should.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    You must disclose your prior arrest even if the record was sealed. Most forms not only ask if you are convicted, but also whether you have been arrested. You will also be required to provide the certificate of disposition to USCIS. This typically happens at the interview, but you may receive a request for the document in advance of the interview. If you fail to disclose the arrest, USCIS can find you inadmissible for willful misrepresentation of a material fact. It is in your best interest to speak with an attorney about the arrest before filing any petitions or as soon as possible if the petition is filed. Some criminal matters can make you ineligible for benefits while others make it more difficult for you to receive immigration benefits.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
    Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
    Absolutely include it on the forms or it is immigration fraud and be prepared to submit a photocopy of the certified records with your application and bring the original to any interview.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    It asks if you were ever convicted or otherwise handled by the system. This includes arrests, probation, pleas and all other criminal procedures. You must provide records of all matters that were prosecuted, even if you have had them sealed or expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Avrin & Regolsky | Estelle Regolsky
    You must answer "Yes" to question 1.b. on Part 3 of the I-485 (page 3). If the records were sealed you would have to get them unsealed in order to get certified copies. The certified copies must be brought to the interview. But be careful that you have an immigration lawyer first determine whether the conviction or convictions make you inadmissible; if so you are probably eligible to file a waiver with your application. With criminal records you need to have someone examine them carefully to determine the immigration implications. The fact that the records were sealed is not particularly relevant in the immigration context. It just makes them harder for you to obtain.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of John Vandenberg
    Law Office of John Vandenberg | John Vandenberg
    First, always, always, always tell the truth to Immigration. Second, before you do anything, consult with a competent, experienced immigration attorney about this matter. If you are in the USA and have a criminal record, it could subject you to removal (also known as "deportation"). If you are not in the USA, it may prevent you from coming here. Don't depend on well-meaning advice from family and friends - go to an experienced immigration attorney first. And if you're not satisfied with the answer, get a second (or third) opinion. This is your life, and immigration mistakes can be difficult (and costly, and time consuming) to fix after they have already been made.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Christine Troy
    Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
    You do need to disclose, even sealed records. But see a competent immigration attorney who focuses on criminal law so you can make sure that you are still eligible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Kanu & Associates, P. C. | Solomon O. Kanu
    You have to disclose almost everything conviction, etc. Better yet consult an Immigration Attorney so we can look at the document and advise you accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Joseph Law Firm
    Joseph Law Firm | Jeff Joseph
    The question on most immigration forms is worded such that you have to disclose all criminal history. The question usually states, "Have you ever been arrested, cited, charged, indicted or fined for breaking any laws or ordinances, excluding traffic violations?" Even if your records have been sealed, you must answer all questions truthfully, and the answer this question is clearly yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Yoo & Lee, LLP
    Yoo & Lee, LLP | Winston W. Lee
    Yes, you do have to report criminal records on the immigration papers. However, you should have an attorney review all criminal records before filing. After you file, your case may be denied, but that's not the worst part - you may then be arrested and then deported.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
    Yes, you most certainly do have to make full disclosure of any arrests or convictions. USCIS is not bound in any way by expungements ordered in State or County courts. The court records may be sealed, but the fingerprints taken at the time of an arrest were likely done on multiple fingerprint cards (or, if taken digitally, were sent to local, state, and federal agencies). In a state court expungement, you may receive back a photo negative from a "mug shot", and a few copies of the fingerprint cards, but any materials that made it into Federal databases were not affected in any way by the expungement order of a state court. Unless copies were made of certified court documents before court files were sealed, we have found ourselves in many cases having to go into court to unseal files, make the required copies, and then go into court again to have the files re-sealed; not an inexpensive proposition at all. Failure to make the required disclosures may lead to consequences more serious than just a denial of the sought after immigration benefits.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Matthew I. Bernstein, Attorney At Law
    Matthew I. Bernstein, Attorney At Law | Matthew Ian Bernstein
    You have to reveal all arrests, charges and convictions on your application form, even those arrests that did not lead to conviction or that were expunged from your record. That having been said, it is very important that you consult with an immigration attorney to see whether your criminal record will cause problems for you, prior to filing your case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/9/2011
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