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UK_Lawyer
UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2041
Experience:  I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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Good Afternoon, I am currently living in the UK on a spousal

Customer Question

Good Afternoon,

I am currently living in the UK on a spousal visa to be with my husband; my visa expires in August 2014. While I was living here in the UK I was indicted in the US on criminal charges for fraud for collecting unemployment while working part time. I plead guilty and was convicted of a conditional discharge with a three year condition (will not be spent until 2015). Next year when my spousal visa expires and I apply for residency, I will still have one year to go until my condition is spent. I was told that as long as my conviction is not spent my application will be refused. I just spoke to my attorney back in the US and he stated that we can have my case re-sentenced and request for an Unconditional discharge if this will help with my residency application next year.

My question are
1. Will an Unconditional Discharge make any difference in my residency application next year?
2. I have been told that criminal records from the US will not follow me to the UK, is this true?
3. What happens if my application for residency is refused?
4. Is there anything you can suggest to help assist in my application being accepted?

Thank you for your advice in this sensitive matter.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. Please remember to rate my service so I am credited for my time.

1. Yes an unconditional discharge would make a difference to your case as it would mean that you would have been cleared of the offence. You can then state this in the visa application form that you were convicted of the office but have now obtained a unconditional discharge.

2. The home office reviews all criminal convictions regardless where it was committed in the UK and aboard, this is because it gives them an indication of a persons character. Even if you are given an unconditional discharge on the conviction you should still mention this in the application form and be very forthcoming with the home office. If you do not mention this it could effect your application.

3. If you feel that it is better to wait for the offence to be spent and then submit the application then what I would suggest you do is apply for further leave to remain as a spouse using form FLR (M) this would ensure that you do not become an over stayer after the expiry of your spouse visa and then once your offense is spent you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. If your application for indefinite leave to remain is refused ( which I do not believe it will be) you can apply for further leave to remain as a spouse of a British Citizen until you obtain absolute discharge/ or the crime has been spent). But if you are worried and do not want to apply then I would suggest that you apply for FLR (M) as stated above.

4. The home office do take criminal convictions seriously, however in your case you were given a non-custodial sentences, therefore in this case the home office would view the case in respect of good character ie the person has received multiple out of court disposals because this shows a pattern of behaviour that calls into question their character.

If in your case this has been your only offence then the home office should disregard this and your indefinite leave to remain application should not be effected. What I would suggest is that you submit your application for indefinite leave to remain and then state that you have been given a conditional discharge which will be spent in 2015 and you are also in the process of obtaining an absolute discharge.

As long as you are not a frequent offender your application for indefinite leave to remain should not be effected. You should apply for indefinite leave to remain and state mitigating circumstances surrounding your conviction.

I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively. If however, you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question, please DO NOT rate my answer negatively, I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regards
UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 2041
Experience: I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
UK_Lawyer and 2 other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively. If however, you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question, please DO NOT rate my answer negatively, I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regard
Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Good Morning,


 


Thank you for your response it has give me some clarity for the future. I have contacted my attorney in the US and he told me a number of things that I need to provide to the courts to request for them to vacate the conditional discharge. Most of the documentation required I am fine to provide but he did state that we need credible proof that my residency circumstances are compromised by a Conditional Discharge being on my record. He further states that a letter from an immigration Solicitor will help the courts to establish this.


 


Is it possible for you to provide an official letter for me to give to the courts? Do you work out of a firm? I am more than willing to come to your office and pay your for your time, advice and letter that would very much help me in this case.

Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
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