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  1. #1

    Default Student Visa Application with an Arrest Record and Pending Case

    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.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Student Visa Application with an Arrest Record and Pending Case

    If the university is not now aware of the charges against you, seeking their assistance will alert them. If the charge involves another student at the university, I would expect you will have repercussions you have not yet anticipated should you be found/admitted guilty.

    Your criminal defense attorney should be consulting with an immigration attorney during this process. I am surprised that you left the US without clearing it through an immigration law specialist since I would have expected the attorney to advise against it until this process was completed.

    My comments are meant to give you a reality check of a future with a drug record in the US.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Student Visa Application with an Arrest Record and Pending Case

    Thank you for your comments.

    The university is aware of the charges against me and the possible disposition of the case. That didn't affect my student status. The charge doesn't involve anyone at the university. My lawyer told me that there would be no conviction.

    Previously I know few things about the immigration law and online resources providing helpful information. I should have stayed in the U.S..

  4. #4

    Default Re: Student Visa Application with an Arrest Record and Pending Case

    Although FBI shared the criminal records with the Consulate using CLASS system, there is no connection between the Court and Consulate. Is there anything I can do if the routine takes one or two months or the Consulate rejected my visa application?

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