Obtaining a US Visa with a Criminal Record in Thailand

by admin on March 16, 2010

Obtaining a US Visa with a criminal record from Thailand is possible.  According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section §212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), aliens who have been convicted of certain criminal crimes, such as an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, can result in a US visa denial. A conviction includes a “guilty” or “nolo contender” plea.

Moral turpitude refers to conduct which is inherently evil, vile or depraved. The severity of the punishment imposed does not determine whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude. Political offenses, such as acts committed during war or rebellion, are not included in this ground of exclusion. Therefore, “lese majeste” offenses, such as insulting the king, are not expressly mentioned in the act but some may argue that due to it not being a political offense in the US, it would not normally exclude an applicant.

There are two exceptions to this ground of exclusion. First, the ground does not apply where the alien has committed only one crime, he/she was under 18 when the crime was committed, and the crime was committed five years before the date of application. Second, the ground does not apply when the alien has committed only a single crime for which the maximum penalty is one year of imprisonment or less and the alien was not sentenced to a term greater than six months.

Obtaining a Visa

Along with the exceptions, stated above, there are also two US visa waivers available to applicants. The first waiver, §212(h)(1)(A), is available if an immigrant establishes that (1) the criminal conviction that makes him/her excludable occurred more than 15 years before the date of application; (2) his/her admission to the U.S. would not be affect the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States; and (3) he/she has been rehabilitated. This US visa waiver does not apply if the applicant is excluded for prostitution under INA §212(a)(2)(D)(i) or INA §212(a)(2)(D)(ii).

The second us visa waiver, INA §212(h)(1)(B), is available if the applicant establishes that he/she is an immediate family member (spouse, parent, or offspring) of a US citizen or permanent resident and that his/her exclusion would result in extreme hardship to the US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or offspring. Extreme hardship consists of much more than mere seperation. Separation from immediate family members is considered normal hardship. Extreme hardships includes, but is not exclusive to: (1) medical needs and inability to provide such care in the home country to the US citizen(s) and/or permanent resident(s) that are immediate family members; (2) loss of education and economic opportunities for the US citizen(s) and/or permanent resident(s) that are immediate family members; (3) inability to financially support dependents, including elder parents, spouses, and children who are US citizen(s) and/or green card holders; and (4) language and cultural barriers for US citizens and/or permanent residents that are immediate family members.

Crimes for Which No Visa is Available

No US visa waiver is available for serious aggravated felonies such as murder and criminal acts involving torture, regardless of whether there was a conviction or not. In addition, no waiver is available for applicants convicted of trafficking controlled substances, unless the crime is a single offense involving the possession of 30 grams or less of barbiturates (marijuana). An attempt or conspiracy to commit these crimes are also included under this ground.

Obtaining Criminal Records

If you were arrested and/or convicted of an offense, you are required to obtain a court record from the court where you were tried. Since police records are not public in Thailand, you must apply to the Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police to obtain them. With your application you must include your passport, two passport size photographs, house registration, and military exemption certificate (males). If you are no longer in possession of these documents, you may submit a sworn statement which gives reason and location of the arrest, state and county. Applicants are also required to obtain a police certificate from the ACPO within 6 months of the visa interview.

Appealing a US Visa Waiver Denial

Whether an applicant qualifies for an INA §212(h) waiver is at the discretion of the Attorney General and the Immigration Court. A US visa denial by the Immigration Court may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. An affirmation of the ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals shall be final. No federal court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision of the Attorney General, Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals to grant or deny a waiver. INA §212(h) waivers are only available to “immigrant applicants.” Therefore, if you are a nonimmigrant applicant, you must seek an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility.

Please see US Visa Denial Thailand for more information

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tracy December 17, 2015 at 10:23 am

… “I know the Korean attitude towrad whites and blacks. It’s very sophisticated.”Indeed.I’ve learned a lot of general rules about a certain subset of white guy on this site, and one of them is this:White guys who are generally awkward and unsuccessful with women, AND arrogant and feel a sense of loss at not being able to live in Norman Rockwell America (I would say a fair number of Steve’s readers) spend a lot of time looking for a magical Shangri-La somewhere in which the local, non white, non-black beauty queens, fall all over white guys in the street, and are totally disgusted by black guys. I say good luck finding that because I don’t believe it exists; at least no where I’ve been. Yes, and I have learned that there is a certain subset of Black and Brown (Hacienda?) guys who post on this site who fantasize that if they just went to some Yellow land populated by Asian beauties and not populated by Whitey, all the women will come flocking, none of the women’s parents will object, and their career will have no impediments because of their race (because evil Whitey is not around and therefore evil racism doesn’t exist it only exists in the U.S., not in Asia).Sorry, I’ve got news for you. Such a place doesn’t exist. There are racists in Asia too. (okay maybe Thailand, but I have never been there so I can’t say for sure).Sorry to bust your bubble. Hacienda said… Handsome Accomplished White Guy, It’s not about my self-esteem. It’s about the universal desire to knock and cocky, pretender of his perch.First, no truly accomplished male brags about scoring with Asian women. So you must by your own accounting be handsome. And what loser insinuates that he is handsome on a semi-intellectual blog like this? An ESL teacher, maybe? Hmmmm? Is that how you’re really scoring? Wow, Dude I really struck a nerve with you. You need help really. Or you need to get out more. I mean you can’t accept the fact that women, all over the world, prefer handsome intelligent high achieving guys over those who are not? I was merely making observation which I thought was a universally recognized truth. The point being if you are a loser in the eyes of a woman (fat, bald, poor, out of shape, poorly educated, socially inept, etc .. take your pick) don’t expect the same treatment over there or anywhere. I had no idea it was going to upset you so. However, the fact that you are so bothered by it tells me you must be a Beta or seriously repressed, because the idea of some guy with swagger who enjoys life and women somehow really bothers you. Sorry, I use to think that stuff was B.S. but only a Beta (or a Puritan) could get unraveled by the idea that someone somewhere was having more fun than him. I’ve got a news flash for you (because apparently you missed the 20th century) not all women are innocent damsels in distress who need protection from big bad wolves. They also enjoy sex and they have a mind of their own. I am pretty sure at least one Feminist professor told me that in a class once when I was an undergrad. Imagine that. Once you realize this you will have a lot more fun and probably do a lot better with women. And no, enjoying the company of women doesn’t mean you have to be a complete sybarite, but foregoing their company means missing out on a large part of what makes live worth living. And no, it was not as an ESL teacher but someone from elite schools with two advanced degrees Sorry to bust your little fantasy . Now get back to your Dungeons and Dragons games or however it is you to amuse yourself.

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