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What are my chances at successfully obtaining an EB-5 visa with F-1 rejection history due to a petty offense?

I am a Chinese EB-5 applicant with an approved I-526 and an approaching priority date (Dec 2015). In 2017, I faced an arrest (petty theft) while on an F-1 visa. The case resulted in dismissal. It is unlikely to trigger inadmissibility as a crime of moral turpitude, with the "petty offense exception" likely applicable. Subsequent to the dismissal of my criminal case, I completed a DS-160 form for a new F-1 visa in May 2019, responding "no" to the question "have you ever been arrested or convicted." During the visa interview, I initially denied any arrest but later confessed after the officer expressed disbelief. In December 2019, my student visa application was denied again due to this issue. I am uncertain if my confession constituted a "retraction" of the misrepresentation and if a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) immigration bar is applicable or already exists. Since then, I have made no further visa attempts and am currently residing in China. What should I expect from my EB-5 visa interview? How does my admissibility look, do I need waivers, and what are my options?


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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your chart is marked with misrepresentation then a waiver may be necessary. You can try and explain that you did not disclose it because it was dismissed, but best to have an attorney review the actual criminal documents to see exactly what happened and at what stage was the dismissal - failure to prosecute or judge dismissal or something else.