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Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28075
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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My husband's card application to the U.S. has been denied

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Hello, my husband's green card application to the U.S. has been denied due to some criminal charges he had as a youth. (That is going back 34 years.) He was approved for a green card previously in 2000 and the two of us (I'm his American wife) lived in the U.S. for 11 years before deciding to move back to the U.K. How could he be turned down now for a Green Card when he lived in the U.S. for 11 years with no incidents on his record in either country (since he was 23 years old). Thank you for your assistance. Sandy Maberly

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

I have a few questions, Sandy, I need additional information.

1. How old was he when he had his charges and was he convicted?

2. What were the convictions for?

3. Did he disclose the convictions when he filled out his immigrant visa application in 2000?

4. Were the convictions for crimes committed at the same time or at different times?

5. Was his visa denied or was he given a blue sheet for administrative processing?


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Judith,Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you on this. I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability seeing as how all of this stuff happened nearly 40 years ago and I obviously wasn't in his life at that time.Gosh, apparently he had a very difficult youth and made many ill advised decisions. He grew up in a very bad area of Coventry and lived by his wits and his fists from about the age of 7 (when his father died and he was brought up by a widowed, pregnant mom with three other kids). I'm not trying to excuse his past behavior but just setting the stage. He looked after the younger kids while his mom spent her time with drugs and alcohol. He was extremely intelligent (was even offered a scholarship to attend a higher ranking school) but his family couldn't afford his uniforms, books and supplies, so he was passed over. Even so, he made a lot of himself, getting an apprenticeship with Zanussi and becoming one of their trainers by the time he was 19. He eventually got his degree in Mechanical Engineering and went on to work with NTL (American telecoms company in Luton) and later, as a Project Manager with Marconi in Coventry. He distanced himself from his family, who to this day, from what we've heard, are still fighting in pubs and leading disruptive lives.Okay, let's backtrack to when he was 14-15. Apparently, his mother instigated the situation where she had Mark try and collect state benefits (or something to that nature) by forging a signature. I believe they called it "fraud". I assume he was caught because this incident was mentioned to him at his police interview last October. That's all I know about that. I assume as a juvenile, he was put on probation.Through his teen years, he ran with a really rowdy group of friends. They were big, intimidating....all well over 6' tall. They got into fights, brawls, were constantly getting picked up by the police. He may have been arrested for those. I don't know. Apparently, there were several incidents of car theft during this time. I don't know from whom. I imagine he must have been arrested for some of these but I'm not for sure because he has never spoken to me about these incidents. I found out by accident when I discovered some notes he had made while at his police interview in October in relation to his visa application.The one incident I do know about happened when he was 23. He was married at the time. He was working as a bouncer in a pub. Apparently he had a problem removing a fellow one evening. As circumstances would have it, this fellow showed up at Mark's house (while Mark was at work one day) and punched his wife in the face. When Mark got home and realized what had happened, he tracked the guy down (I'm sure they all knew each other in those neighborhoods) and beat the guy to a pulp, damn near killed him by Mark's accounting. The guy survived, Mark was arrested for Aggravated Bodily Harm (I know it wasn't GBH) and was sent to prison for 4, maybe 6 months.After this, Mark "grew up". There were no further incidents (maybe a few speeding tickets), but carrying on in his life as I have described at the beginning of this novella. We were married in 1999. In late 2000 we decided to move to the U.S. and Mark put in his application for a green card. No problems. He had all the proper paperwork, got his police report which said that there were no offences, he had his interview at the American Embassy in London and he was awarded his green card. All this took place in about 3-4 months. He did not mention his past on his application since his record was clean and many years had passed. There was no further investigation into his past.We lived in the U.S. from Jan 2001 until we returned to the U.K. in March of 2012. During this time Mark worked for the same company for 11 years, Simulator Systems International, Inc. based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was the Project Manager and Mechanical Design Engineer for the company and traveled the world designing and installing simulators (auto, motorcycle, aircraft, busses). He spent a considerable amount of time in France, but also worked in Germany, S. Korea and in every state of the U.S. A lot of his work was done on U.S. military bases so he was security vetted. He had such a high ranking that he worked on several projects in the Pentagon in Washington D.C. We were completely blindsided when all this stuff about his past was dredged up, resulting in a visa denial. My question is, why is he being treated so harshly now for something that happened in another lifetime, especially since he was previously granted a visa . Is he now to be held in contempt for his past sins and not allowed rehabilitation? He is definitely not a threat to National security. BTW, he was told his app was denied, was given a blue sheet (processing) at his interview and FINALLY received his passport back after waiting 3mo., but there was no explanation and no visa packet. ???
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Since all this has transpired over the past 15 months, we have been dragged through the ringer. I wasn't aware at the time but I had inadvertently let my 2 year settlement visa in the U.K. expire and didn't notice it for several months (too late to file an extension). I had to return to the U.S. and stay out at least a year before I could re-apply to return to the U.K. We lived apart for a year while Mark was waiting for his visa interview. He visited me once during this time. It was a great financial and emotional hardship for us, trying to maintain lives in two separate countries. By October, Mark was turned down for his visa after waiting 11 months for his processing (and his passport was kept by the American Embassy for 3 months) His ESTA was revoked and neither one of us could travel to see each other. My year of exile was complete in November of 2015 and I was able to go to the U.K. on a visitor visa. Since the U.S. Embassy gave Mark no explanations when they returned his passport (at his request, I might add), does this mean that he can't travel to the U.S. at all? I have already initiated my process to re- settle in the U.K. so we have no intention of living in the U.S. even if any of this was able to be sorted out. We would like to know if he can travel into the U.S. on an I-90 visitor form? I object to the fact that he is being treated worse than a criminal and God knows there are plenty of those obtaining admittance to the U.S. illegally! I appreciate your assistance in this matter.

He would need to apply for a visitor visa in order to return to the US in the future and most probably that would be refused. He can file an I-212 waiver request with USCIS in London. The I-90 is not applicable to him as he abandoned his resident status be being outside the US for more than one year.

He needs to file the DS-160 online, pay the fee and schedule a interview for the visa. He is not eligible for ESTA because of his criminal history.

Additionally, since he was not told why the visa was refused I am concerned there may be a charge of "fraud or misrepresentation" with his prior visa application or ESTA. The question on the application is: "Have you EVER been arrested, cited or convicted of a crime?" The key work is EVER.

So although he had at that time a clean police record he was responsible for disclosing his ABH and other charges after the age of 18.

I agree from your view this is unfair and not right that someone who has reformed themselves against all odds be denied a visa but he has a criminal history and he even withheld that from you.

There are several US immigration law attorneys in UK and he may want to invest in retaining one to assist him with the waiver of inadmissibility for the visitor visa. They would also be able to find out the specific section of the law on which his visa was denied.

Here is a good article to read on the waiver which will help you understand the process and requirements

I understand your stress and the hardship of the 1 year separation but unfortunately our youthful behavior can have lasting impact. Your husband overcame his rought and tumble youth but it is following him nonetheless with regards ***** ***** to the US.

I cannot explain why his police clearance in 2000 was clean and then later on all this appeared in their records. That is beyond my expertise but I don know with national security getting a big push in all countries following 911, may of our records that didn't show up are now in the background check data bases. I have no doubt the UK has also updated their records, as has Canada and most EU countries.

He is not being treated worse than a criminal but you have to face the fact that an AGH where he beat the lad nearly to death is a very serious crime. That coupled with his auto thefts are also major incidents. You cannot gloss over that as much as you want to because you see him for the man he has become. It is critical to the visa process.

I wish I could tell you there is some magic way to erase the past but it is what it is and my job is to be honest with you. It may sting and bring tears to your eyes and for that I am totally apologetic. It brings me no joy in delivering bad news. I am compassionate at heart and it is tough for me to see cases like this. Be that as it may, he as an adult (misguided as he might have been) made choices and there are consequences.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.


Judith and 4 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** your honest and knowledgeable representation of the facts. I am really not surprised by the information. I dreaded it but am not surprised. Not long after we first met, my husband did actually tell me about his ABH charge, the circumstances surrounding it and the outcome. I guess he thought if I could accept that, the rest of his history wasn't going to have any further impact! :-) I just feel a great amount of sorrow that he can no longer accompany me to the States to visit our friends and my family. Life does have some difficult lessons to teach. Luckily there are a lot of other places in the world to visit. I can do without the U.S. Thank you for your quick response. Yes, I will definitely give you a high rating!

Wishing you and your husband blessings in your future journeys.


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