Should I tell immigration about a past crime when applying for status? 2 Answers as of April 22, 2011Five years ago I worked at electronic store with a co-worker. I was having some bad financial situation and was separated from my wife. I let my co- worker walk out of the store with some I- pods. Somebody saw and I got caught I felt bad and quickly confessed. I was charged with burglary and was given 70 days community service and 3 yrs probation with restitution to the store for $650. I paid them back and did most of my community service, then a big job offer came along. But it required me to work 6 to 7 days. Then after almost a year I could not catch up with my community service. The judge offered me to do 20 days in jail instead of 50 days of community service any time after the holidays. So I took my vacation time from work and took the jail time, because I was missing too many days of work in the weekends and I was afraid they might let me go and I would not catch up with my community service and serve the full 70 days in jail. Five years later I am still working at the same job and I am applying for a green card by the help of my wife, she is a U.S citizen. But I am afraid they will deny it if I tell them of the crime. I found out recently that when I look for my record it does not show because they wrote my last name wrong in the booking and my birthday but it does show in the other name. Also they did do finger printing. Will my record show? Should I tell them or not? Will they give me a green card if I tell them or should I get legal help?
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
The rule of thumb is: do not lie in order to get an immigration benefit. Assuming that you got the green card and later on . . . and somehow USCIS found out that you lied during the application process, your green card can be rescinded or taken away. Having said all that, get an attorney you can trust, tell the whole truth (everything you tell them is confidential) and follow his or her advice. Good luck! Aime M. Katambwe, Esq. WorldEsquire Law Firm 25050 Avenue Kearny, Suite 111 Santa C
Answer Applies to: California
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
You must be truthful when you answer the questions on the applications. Don't be surprised if you have a lot of difficulty. You have a pattern of scofflaw behavior: you have been living and working the US without a green card, and you have a criminal record. Yes, you need a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Washington