My U.S. Fiance Has A Felony Criminal Record, Will This Affect The Chances Of Getting Our K-1 Visa Approved?

There are a few criminal convictions that would make a U.S. citizen ineligible to sponsor a relative or fiancee, but it depends on the severity of the crime that was committed.

The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (MBRA) requires that a foreign fiancee be given a brochure about domestic violence, and requires that U.S. petitioners who have been convicted of specific crimes of violence, abuse or multiple crimes involving drugs declare this on the petition.

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What Types Of Convictions Need To Be Disclosed?

  • domestic violence
  • assault & battery
  • elder abuse
  • child abuse or neglect
  • stalking
  • 3 or more convictions of alcohol/drug abuse

Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, any person convicted of a felony sex crime involving children is not eligible to petition a foreigner to immigrate to the United States, including on a K-1 visa.

Petitioner Filed More Than Two Previous K-1 Visa Applications

uscis-inadmissability-waiver-deniedIf two or more K-1 visa petitions were filed at any time in the past or if the U.S. petitioner previously had a K-1 visa petition approved within two years prior to the filing of another petition, the petitioner must apply for a waiver.

To request a waiver, you must include a letter requesting the waiver and explain the facts of your previous petitions. This letter of explanation will need to be included with the I-129F petition.

Be sure to include full names, dates, and the case numbers for each previous filing. So long as USCIS does not find that you are abusing the system or committing visa fraud, you should receive the waiver and be allowed to proceed with your new K-1 Fiance Visa application.

Is A Foreign Fiancee Inadmissible If They Have Been Convicted Of A Felony?

To find a beneficiary inadmissible, the conviction must be for a statutory offense which involves moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is determined by the nature of the offense for which the beneficiary was convicted, and not by the acts underlying the conviction.

Types Of Crimes Under  Moral Turpitude:

  • Fraud
    • Making false representation;
    • Knowledge of such false representation by the perpetrator;
    • Reliance on the false representation by the person defrauded;
    • An intent to defraud; and
    • The actual act of committing fraud
  • Larceny; androbbery-felon-immigration
    • Receiving stolen goods (with guilty
    • Robbery;
    • Burglary;
    •  Theft (when it involves the intention of permanent taking); and
      Transporting stolen property (with guilty knowledge).
  • Intent to harm persons or thing
    • Arson;
    • Blackmail;
    • Embezzlement;
    • Extortion;
    • False pretenses;
    • Forgery;
    • Fraud;
    • Malicious destruction of property;

As you can see, determination of ineligibility due to a felony conviction is a very complicated process. If you are beginning the K-1 visa process and have been convicted of a felony, read up on the IMBRA requirements and consult an immigration attorney.



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  1. Tweety

    Hi, my US Citizen Fiance filed our application in Nov. 20, 2017 but he was arrested and charged cases under AWA recently and currently our on bail. My question is, will this affect our petition?

  2. Hi Tweety,

    Yes, this will likely affect your case. You should speak with an immigration attorney before the interview is scheduled.

  3. Keng Yang

    I have a felony theft. Will it affect my case?

  4. Hi Keng,

    It’s possible that it could affect your case. Are you the beneficiary or petitioner? This makes a difference.

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