I was arrested for Criminal Harassment in the U.S.. Currently the case is pending. I went back to my home country after several trials and planned to apply for a student visa to re-enter the U.S. before the next Court date. The following question appeared in the visa application form:
"Have you ever arrested or convicted....?"
I answered "yes", explained the details and presented the Court Docket Sheet and other documents provided by my lawyer. Then I had the visa interview two weeks ago. The visa officer asked me to provide some additional information to make the decision later. After the document submittal, they confirmed that they have received the documents and would process the application.
Although Harassment is not a crime of "Moral Turpitude". the situation will be unfavorable if my application is sent to Washington for administrative processing. Usually the processing is for applicants with a background that is listed in the Technology Alert List (Sensitive Major), which might take 3 weeks. However, once the USCIS and DHS find the criminal record, the application will be transferred to FBI for further check. "The FBI's goal is to have all Mantis and Condor vetting requests completed within 120 days." My next court date is several weeks away, so the prolonged process might lead to Failure to Appear in Court and Bench warrant. Several months ago I failed to appear in Court and my lawyer filed a motion and had the Warrant Recalled. Previously I thought there would be no problem for me to get the visa until I saw that question in the application form.
If the consulate thinks I might be eligible for a visa, is there anything I can do to expedite the process? I am thinking about asking help from the international center at my school in the U.S.. The visa unit in the Consulate might be pissed off if I contact them to speed up the process. The visa officers process hundreds of student visa application everyday during this period.