Should you disclose your arrest to immigration? The answer is probably yes. Let's talk about when you should tell immigration about your past criminal history.

The answer is yes

If you are filing an immigration case on your own, sometimes they will be asking you about any prior criminal issues. And even if your arrest had never resulted in a conviction, even if you had a conviction but it was expunged etc. etc., sometimes you still need to tell immigration this information.

Read the questions carefully

In a situation like this, we take a look at the type of case we are filing. And then we read over the forms carefully that we are completing for immigration. So, for example, if you take a look at the green card application, i.e., the I485 adjustment of status application, you will notice on that form that it has very specific questions about criminal history.

Answer the questions and explain the answers

It may ask you if you have ever been arrested. It may say, have you ever been convicted? It may say, have you ever received probation or jail time? There may be multiple different questions. Sometimes, a person will have been arrested, but the arrest did not result in a conviction. So, they will have to say yes, I've been arrested, and explain that part. And in answer to the question about being convicted of a crime, they need to say that they were not convicted.

Be sure to get help

If you have been arrested, I recommend that you seek counsel to find out what you should do on your application. You don't want to make a mistake and keep information from immigration that will cause a big problem with your case.

In addition, you must remember that even if you have been arrested and you've had a conviction, but the case has been expunged, it never goes away for immigration purposes. So definitely be very cautious. If you have a criminal history, be sure to put down the right information on your forms and also provide the right documents so that you can get a positive result on your immigration case. If you have any questions, just let us know.