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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
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I am wanting to immigrate to the UK at the beginning of the

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I am wanting to immigrate to the UK at the beginning of the year, but there is a tiny problem. I've had a relatively minor felony conviction in the US. Forgery. The total amount of the check I wrote was not even $400. I spent a total of 30 days in jail plus just shy of 7 weeks under a probation violation (failure to report) which was an honest misunderstanding on my part and a total of three years of probation. I have not been in any other kinds of trouble, and the conviction was in 2003 and probation ended in 2010.

The reason I'm wanting to immigrate is because I'm wanting to marry my partner. I will have gainful employment when I get there (my partner is a business owner) as well as being a photographer on my own. I will also be making around 20,000 GBP to start at my job.

So you know how difficult it will be to get a visa? The plan is getting a visa with intent to marry within 6 months, but I'm really not sure where to start. Can you help?
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Is your partner from the UK
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. My partner is a UK Citizen and is from the UK as well.


This will not automatically rule you out.

You must give details of all spent and unspent criminal convictions.

If you have an unspent conviction, your application for citizenship is unlikely to be successful. You should wait until the end of your rehabilitation period before applying.

As you have been convicted of a criminal offence you must declare your unspent convictions but do not need to declare ones that are spent. A conviction becomes spent after a certain period of time has passed (we call this the rehabilitation period). The length of time it takes for a conviction to become spent will depend on your sentence. It starts from the date on which you are convicted. The period may be shorter if you were aged under 18 at the time of your conviction.

You can find more details at the Uk government website -
Thomas Judge and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What exactly is meant by the term "spent" though? If I were to have a criminal background check done here in the USA, then it would still show up. Actually, it shows up for the rest of my life in Alabama, where I was convicted. Have I passed the rehabilitation period? Yes. I completely finished all sentences and probationary periods in 2010. I take it that would mean that my conviction has been spent, is this correct?

Yes that is correct from what you have described above.

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Thomas Judge and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you know when I might want to start the visa application process?

I would always recommend starting it as soon as possible. It is a lengthy process and the rules are forever changing.

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