How will a criminal record affect my EB-5 visa eligibility?
I was convicted of passport fraud in America over 18 years ago. I was given time served by the judge and was subsequently deported back to my home country. Would this conviction disqualify me from applying for an EB-5 investor visa? What criminal offenses affect EB-5 visa eligibility?
There are grounds of inadmissibility, and some grounds can be waived and some cannot. It is imperative that you hire an experienced immigration attorney who will analyze the criminal convictions and the related U.S. immigration consequences.
It is not advisable that you proceed with the EB-5 process until you have consulted an experienced immigration attorney to review the certified court records and advise you on whether or not you may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility.
Certain criminal convictions and other acts, including making a material misrepresentation to the U.S. government (passport/visa fraud included) will render you inadmissible to the United States. To determine whether or not you might be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility, you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer who can advise you on your options. At a minimum, I would need to see a certified copy of the criminal court disposition and possibly other documents from your case in order to advise you.
John J Downey
You will need a qualified immigration attorney to review your case. You may be required to obtain a waiver; the long length to time since deportation may help you. Before you invest a lot of money in EB-5, invest some in an attorney.
Criminal conviction in general affects one''s ability to gain a green card, and the EB-5 program is no exception. It triggers a legal barrier that is called inadmissibility. Not all criminal conviction falls under such inadmissibility. For example, one single conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol is common and normally would not bar an applicant from seeking a green card in the United States. In your situation, it is very likely your conviction could trigger a permanent bar, if the passport fraud involved a fake U.S. passport. If that is the case, even if you are willing to invest in the United States and participate in the EB-5 program, the past conviction alone would exclude you from ever gaining a green card.
As fraud is a crime of moral turpitude, it will affect your admissibility even though you were removed/deported more than 10 years ago. A waiver may be a possibility if you could show extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident family member - the financial hardship alone is not enough.
Depending on the charge you may not be eligible to apply. I would recommend you meet with an attorney to discuss this in detail.
Passport fraud sounds very serious. It will certainly affect your EB-5. Is this a false claim of U.S. citizenship? You need to consult with an immigration lawyer before you proceed with your EB-5 to see if you are eligible for waiver(s).
While you could be able to file the I-526 Petition with USCIS and even have that approved, your criminal history will be a factor in applying for conditional permanent residency with the U.S. consulate (or to adjust to a permanent resident status if in the United States). You need to work with an experienced immigration attorney to properly complete the forms and include the proper information and documentation regarding your criminal history. Seeing as this is also related to immigration matters, there may be even more considerations.
Criminal convictions are very complicated. You need to discuss this case with an immigration lawyer. Passport fraud is most likely a crime of moral turpitude and a ground of inadmissibility. Also, fraud is a ground of inadmissibility. You would need to have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent to qualify for a fraud waiver. But, without looking at the certified copies of the charge and conviction documents and consulting an immigration attorney, you will not have a final resolution.