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I-601 for Client Who Failed to Disclose a Criminal Offense

I-601 for Client Who Failed to Disclose a Criminal Offense

Applicant: Ms. Peng
Nationality: China
Applying for: I-601 Application for Waiver, I-797 Notice of Action
Case Type: F-4 immigration visa
Challenges:

  • Ms. Peng had already been denied a visa.
  • Ms. Peng had failed to disclose a criminal offense in 2001 which caused her to be disqualified from entering the United States.
  • Ms. Peng’s mother’s health was declining rapidly so quick action was needed for Ms. Peng to see her mother.

BACKGROUND

While having tea in her small house in China, Ms. Peng read a letter from her sister in the United States. Like many similar letters, it detailed the health of the mother who was 79 years of age and a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Their mother was not doing well. She’d had a stroke and gall bladder surgery and her doctors determined she was at high risk of a catastrophic medical event such as another stroke or heart failure. She continued to suffer from high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, chronic dizziness, and anemia as well as a general loss of mobility. Their mother was now in an almost permanent state of bed rest. Her once sharp mind had become dulled and clouded by a near-constant state of confusion and forgetfulness. The doctors believed she had only six months left to live. The last part of the letter was particularly crushing for Ms. Peng. Their mother’s last wish was to see both daughters together at her side before she passed.

Unfortunately, Ms. Peng was barred from entering the country. Ms. Peng had submitted her application for a U.S. visa three years earlier, but adjudication by a consular officer concluded that she was ineligible due to a minor criminal offense in Hong Kong thirty years earlier. Her failure to disclose her conviction during a visa interview back in 2001 disqualified her from entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 212 a 6 C I which states:

“Misrepresentation – In General – Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act is inadmissible”. Ms. Peng lost hope she’d ever see her mother again. Fortunately, her sister in the United States contacted Tsang and Associates.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

After a thorough consultation with Ms. Peng’s sister, our firm drafted a letter to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting an expedited review of her Form I-601 Application for Waiver under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). By using Form I-601, certain foreign citizens who are ineligible to immigrate to the United States because they are “inadmissible” can request a waiver (forgiveness) of inadmissibility. The letter had three main goals:

First, the letter established the need for an expedited review due to the declining health of Ms. Peng’s mother, which we made sure to include exhibits that presented this.

Next, the letter confronted the issue of Ms. Peng’s conviction. As the letter explained, her failure to disclose her conviction date should not be deemed as fraudulent attempt to evade immigration law because she relied upon the Hong Kong law which permitted her not to disclose her conviction of a minor offense over 30 years earlier; therefore, the failure was not intentional. Additionally, Ms. Peng’s failure to disclose her conviction from 1985 should not be deemed a willful misrepresentation of material fact. By law, a fact is material if and only if it is clearly capable of affecting the decision of the adjudication officer. Minor crimes committed more than 15 years before the visa application date would not bar Ms. Peng from receiving an F4 visa even if the crime was disclosed.

Finally, the letter advanced the claim Ms. Peng qualifies for a waiver under INA as she has been rehabilitated, is not a threat to U.S. safety and security, and more than 15 years have elapsed since her offense and conviction. Ms. Peng’s petty theft of food, as a teenager, was committed in desperation and resulted in less than two months of jail time. As the letter spells out she has every intention of fully obeying US laws.

OUTCOME

Within a reasonable period, Ms. Peng received her I-797 Notice of Action approving her immigrant visa. She is now serving as her mother’s primary caregiver and will receive her green card shortly. Tsang and Associates are proud to have helped reunite the two sisters and their mother at such a difficult and important time.