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Ask Guillermo Senmartin Your Own Question
Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 111570
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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I am a British citizen working for an American company. I have

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I am a British citizen working for an American company. I have a job offer to move to California and the company has an in-house team that work on the visa process. However, I have a past criminal conviction from my teenage years that the company is unaware of, and I am concerned it may show up in the visa process- not only precluding me from getting a visa but also costing me my job.

Are you able to advise on this situation?
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. Believe me that I will try my best to give you a solution if one exists, but sometimes the law does not have a good one. Also, we have been having technical issues lately. If you respond and you do not see your response, please post again until you can see it because if you cannot see it, I cannot see it to respond.

What age were you when you committed the crime? What exactly was the crime? What was the sentence? Foreign convictions are difficult because the U.S. does not recognize foreign pardons and that is one less option available to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Guillermo


I was sixteen years old and I threatened a teacher at school with a knife. Very silly thing to do. I was charged with "threatening behaviour" and "possession of an offensive weapon". The judge gave me an "alternative to custody" sentence due to my proactive attendance of anger management counselling. I can't quite remember exactly what the terminology was but essentially I had to be on best behaviour for 12 months otherwise this charge would be added to any further law breaking sentence.


I have not had any issues with breaking the law (not even a speeding fine) since I was sixteen in 1995. I have an MBA and work in a top firm as a marketing executive (not sure if that will help me)


Thank you for your help.






Again, my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I was in charge of a chartity event that took a great deal out of me this weekend and I will probably be resting most of tomorrow.

Were you tried as an adult or as a minor? And would your situation fit into the definition of conviction as outlined by the U.S. immigration laws?

INA § 101(a)(48), the definition of a conviction. It states that:
(A) The term "conviction" means, with respect to an alien, a formal judgment of guilt of the alien entered by a court or, if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where-

(i) a judge or jury has found the alien guilty or the alien has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and

(ii) the Judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on the alien's liberty to be imposed.

(B) Any reference to a term of imprisonment or a sentence with respect to an offense is deemed to include the period of incarceration or confinement ordered by a court of law regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Guillermo


No problem for the delay, better to wait for a full and correct answer.


I was tried as an adult, and certainly condition Ai was met- I admitted the charge and a plea of guilty.


Section Aii is not so clear. I was not given a custodial sentence, I did not have my liberty taken away and I spent no time in jail. However the sentence was called "alternative to custody" and to the best of my memory there were stipulations such as a promise not to get into any further trouble and perhaps some !meetings with a probation officer.


Section B I do not think applies as this specifically mentions a period of confinement and imprisonment which did not occur.


Another thing that may be relevant: as this is considered a violent crime the British system will never wipe it from my record, and I must declare it if I ever get a government job, work in healthcare or as a teacher etc.


Well, the problem is that you will have to disclose it and submit certified copies of the police report and court disposition and let U.S. immigration determine if it makes you inadmissible. If it does not, then you do not need a waiver or anything else to be able to get the visa. If it does make you inadmissible, then there is a waiver available, the

212(d)(3) waiver which can either be done by the immigration officer at the interview or after just on their computer (take a look at this link):

or on form I-192 which can be found at You can find more information here:,0930-labrie.shtm

As to whether or not your company will fire you because of this, that I cannot say. If you failed to disclose to them when you should have, they probably would. If you were not required to disclose, they shouldn't since it was a long time ago and you were a minor, but I cannot say for certain what they would do. They may keep you on, but they just may not transfer you anymore to the U.S.

Now that I have given you an answer, you may rate me positively OR ask for additional information. Please do not rate me negatively for bad news or things that you may already know. That doesn’t help you or me. I am here to help you and I am on your side. Give me a chance to help you. All you have to do is respond asking for additional information. After you rate positively, a bonus is always appreciated, and I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. Please do not log off without rating positively. It is VERY important for me to receive credit since I receive no salary. You are not charged again. If you would like to request me in the future, just type: FOR GUILLERMO on the subject line. Thank you!

Guillermo Senmartin and other US Law Specialists are ready to help you
I marked your 2nd set of questions as a duplicate because I don't think you should be charged again. And don't rate me again because if you do, they will charge you again. I don't mind answering a few additional questions for you without additional charge. As far as the company not finding out about it, that is doubtful because the company should get a copy of anything that is sent to you and in any applications, you are supposed to disclose any issues. If the company has an attorney, you can ask that this be kept confidential if the law in the UK does not require you to disclose to the company. The law U.S. immigration law does require you to disclose to U.S. immigration. So you can ask the lawyer if there is any way to keep it from the company and the lawyer will tell you if he has an obligation to tell the company. He may not, depending on what the employment law allows and his agreement with the company as he does have a duty to them as well as to you. Again, if the law did not require you to disclose to the company, then at least you have that on your side. Thank you for the excellent rating and the bonus! If you would like to request me in the future, please remember to put my name in the subject box. Good luck to you!