Immigration and Nationality
“Petty Offence” Exception

If an individual has been convicted of or has admitted committing a crime involving moral turpitude, he or she may be eligible for what is called the “petty offence” exception.  There are 2 ways to qualify for the exception:

1.  The crime was committed when the
individual was under 18 years old, and the crime was committed more than 5 years before the date of the visa application submission or the date of application for admission to the United States.

2.  The
maximum penalty possible for the crime involved does not exceed imprisonment for one year, and the individual was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 6 months.

There are several points to remember with this exception. 
First, if the individual has committed more than one crime involving moral turpitude, he or she cannot qualify for this exception.  Second, to determine the maximum penalty for a crime, one would look to the penalty as it existed at the time of conviction.

If an individual’s conviction meets the requirements of the exception, he or she should not be inadmissible.  In these types of cases, it is very important to analyze the law and facts before submitting any application.  As such, one should consult an attorney before taking any actions.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, please
contact us.
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