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.
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