What can I do about a green card application if I have a misdemeanor pending? 4 Answers as of March 16, 2012I am on H1B Visa with I-140 approved. My current H1B is valid till March 2014. My I-485 date has become current under EB2 category of Green Card.I have a misdemeanor charges (Shop lifting) pending agianst me and will be dismissed in Jan 2013. My case was diverted out of the criminal arena to Operation De Novo. I did not enter a plea of guilty to anything, I did not admit any guilt or admit to any facts supporting guilt, I was not sentenced, and I have no conviction for anything as a result of this resolution. I have been asked to remain law-abiding and the entire case will be dismissed automatically in January, 2013. In this scenario my question is, if I apply for I-485; I will have to go through a medical and FBI background check. In background verification it will appear that I have a pending misdemeanor charge. Will it create a greatr risk of getting my Green card application rejected and eventually will force me to leave US immediately? Since I have a pending charge; will my I485 application be rejected based on this? Since my current H1B is valid till March 2014 should I wait until Jan 2013 when my case gets dismissed and then apply for I-485? or should I apply after Misdemeanor Expungement?
Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC | Alan R. Diamante
You will have to do a medical and FBI background check. It can come out and you will have to explain it in the application. However, no finding of guilt means that it is not a conviction. DHS will ask you for a court disposition to show that you are not inadmissible. Even one conviction of petty theft will not make you inadmissible if you are sentenced to less than 6 months.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
You should hire an attorney to represent you before USCIS. You must indicate on the I-485 that you were arrested on the form. Your failure to do so would likely result in a finding that you committee a willful misrepresentation. This will result in a permanent bar to admission unless a hardship waiver is approved, which requires you to have a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or LPR. Your I-485 will not be rejected outright because of you have a criminal case pending, but it may delay the case as USCIS will wait until a final resolution of the case has occurred. Ultimately, your eligibility for the green card will hinge on the crime for which you were arrested and charged and the final disposition. You do not have to pay the extra fee for expungement if solely for immigration purposes as USCIS reviews all arrest/convictions regardless of whether they have been expunged or not. It is extremely important you speak with an attorney in person and provide the entire case history and related documents to get an assessment of the impact of this arrest.
Answer Applies to: New York
Bell, Nunnally & Martin, LLP | Karen-Lee Pollak
Expungement will not effect your case as you will still need to disclose the offense. I would wait until 2013 when the case is dismissed and then file the 485 with a copy of the charge and evidence that the case has been dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Law Offices of David Stoller, PA | David H. Stoller
My advice is to stop researching the internet to find the answer and instead schedule a consultation with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the situation. Your inquiry makes very evident that you have spent hours trying to ask as many sources the answer to your question. And while informed clients are always preferred, some obsess on questions they will not figure out on their own. Rather than drive yourself and those around you completely nuts, schedule an appointment with a qualified attorney and then seek another opinion from another qualified attorney. That should provide you with enough information. If this is the only charge you have ever had, you should be fine. Take it easy on trying to be your own lawyer and listen to some advice from a qualified professional. You are making way more out of the problem than need be.
Answer Applies to: Florida