Did I commit immigration fraud

Travel Forums North America Did I commit immigration fraud

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1. Posted by Magnoliachch (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Last year I was visiting Canada and our friends took us to Heart Island which meant we crossed a water border into the US. I filled in an I94 and stated I had no criminal convictions. I also stated this upon arrival in Canada. And I have also stated this for an annual trip to Australia for the last 15 years. But I have a historic minor conviction from 22 years ago that has been wiped clean under NZ Clean Slate act so I didn't think my conviction was reportable (I know...pretty dumb)

My son has moved to the States and is getting married in July 2019. Long story short, I now know I should have been declaring this conviction years ago. Now I am really worried that I have committed Immigration Fraud to US immigration
I applied for Esta and advised I do have conviction and of course my Esta was declined. I then applied for a visa and ticked yes to Immigration Fraud but gave a detailed explanation as to what happened and why. I have an appointment in October at the US Consulate in NZ. Having done lots of research now I am fully expecting to be denied a B2 visa. But I am hoping that I am eligible for a waiver of ineligiblity. But I am terrified that my past mistake and ignorance will mean I won't be granted entry to the US and may miss my sons wedding
Does anyone have any advice or experience with a similar situation?

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jul-2018, at 05:35 by Magnoliachch ]

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1724 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I believe a lot depends on the case officer on the day.

I would like to think a conviction 22 years old would be viewed in perspective, and your mistake re the clean slate act is a reasonable explanation, these combined with how you present on the day could mean you do alright.

I guess it also depends on the nature of the conviction. Was it serious?

While I am no expert, and there are more knowledgeable people than me on here, I think it's in the hands of that case officer and no one can tell you with any certainty.

3. Posted by Magnoliachch (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi. Not serious in our Justice system but still bad enough e.g.. a theft charge to value of $750. I was given a $900 fine and had to make full reparation

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 938 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

As noted above, I'm afraid everything really does depend on the officer who deals with you on the day, (all) your personal circumstances and the answers you give to his/her questions. No-one here or anywhere else can give you any certainty about what will happen: everything really is down to your personal and individual circumstances and the officer concerned.

Theft is considered a 'crime of moral turpitude' and, in theory, you did commit immigration fraud which is also a CIMT...but your 'fraud' was entirely inadvertent. Unfortunately, the US does not recognise the legal 'wiping' of criminal records for any country's citizens.

I do applaud your honesty in declaring both crime and 'fraud' on your ESTA application. Many would have lied (and thus committed a criminal offence under US law), though I personally would not. The fact that you have declared them will be very much in your favour when you are interviewed. Be courteous, be honest and answer all questions truthfully.

Please don't entirely despair of attending the wedding. If the facts are as you state, and all your present circumstances are acceptable, I think it most likely that you will be recommended for a waiver of ineligibility. These do take several months to process, and there are of course no guarantees, but at least with the interview in October and the wedding not until July you have ample time for all the procedures to be gone through and the visa (hopefully) to be granted.

I do wish you the very best of luck. Please do come back and let us know how you get on. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Jul-2018, at 03:55 by leics2 ]

5. Posted by Magnoliachch (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thank you. That's good advice and reassuring. I know there are no guarantees but I will absolutely be upfront about everything and hope the goid karma machine sends me a forgiving officer:)

6. Posted by Magnoliachch (Budding Member 4 posts) 48w 1 Star this if you like it!

Just a quick update. My visa was declined (as expected) for crime of morsl turpitude. But the officer advised i was eligible for a waiver if inadmissibility and submitted on my behalf. Anticipate a 3 to 4 month wait.
Fingers crossed

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 938 posts) 48w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the update....much appreciated.

I'm pleased, though not surprised, that the officer recommended you to apply for a waiver. Fingers crossed it will be approved though I think a processing time of 3-4 months might be a bit optimistic. Do let us know how things go on. :-)