Visa Application with Criminal Background
Sep 13, 2007 00:37
GUEST99183

Anyone have info on getting a visa approved with a felony conviction? I'm a U.S. citizen and committed the crime here in the U.S. The visa application asks about convictions. I'm considering applying without declaring my conviction; based on what I've read elsewhere it sounds like it's possible that my record won't show up on Interpol.

I was convicted when I was 18 for aggravated robbery (2nd degree felony). I spent 1.5 years in prison and completed another 1.5 years of parole. I've been straight now for almost 12 years. I have travelled significantly throughout Europe (15 countries) and in Mexico with no problems; however, I've never had to apply for a visa before.

I'm concerned that my application will be rejected. I had not considered rejection until after I had already paid approximately $2000 for my and my wife's tickets. The flight connects in Hong Kong to Shanghai. In the worst case scenario (rejection) I'll simply have to land in Hong Kong and visit Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam or somewhere else instead of China (but I really want to see China!)

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Sep 14, 2007 01:30
#1  
  • MAY001
  • Points: 4977
  • Join Date: Sep 28, 2005
  • Status: Offline
I don't think there will be a problem on getting visa. I've browsed the official website of China's central government and no law/regulation/rule said that the one with a cirminal background can't apply for a visa.
Sep 14, 2007 23:12
#2  
GUEST50191 Thanks. Yeah, I couldn't find anything either; although, since they ask on the application I'm assuming it could be a problem. I know for a fact that the US and Canada oftentimes deny Visas for felons so there is some international precedent for denial.

I contacted the embassy and they said that it would depend on the situation.

I will be applying in 2 weeks; if anyone has info beforehand it would be greatly appreciated. If not, I'll post back once I find out.
Sep 17, 2007 08:51
#3  
GUEST55203 yes please do post afterwards I am in the same situation. Well my partner has criminal record for possesion with intent to supply class C drugs?! Only from December 2005 so more worried, he was only sentenced to community service but obviously he still has the record. We are due to go December and dont know wether to declare it when we apply or not?! xx
Sep 19, 2007 07:17
#4  
  • APAULT
  • Points: 6614
  • Join Date: Mar 11, 2006
  • Status: Offline
I am surprised to hear that it is a question on the application form, that is new to me...maybe a special for the USA (along with the recent changed fees).

I doubt whether it would be checked but if it is and it's undeclared I can't see them issuing a visa. If it is discovered later and they know your location...which they should from residency info I guess you would have committed a crime hould say this is unlikely.

I don't think it is a question of Interpol but of shared data matching between countries...and the Chinese computer systems are unlikely to be upto that yet.
Sep 19, 2007 20:49
#5  
  • MAY001
  • Points: 4977
  • Join Date: Sep 28, 2005
  • Status: Offline
It remind me a recent news that a foreigner (US citizen) who has been living in China for several months or years is on the list of Wanted on Interpol's website...
Sep 20, 2007 09:12
#6  
  • APAULT
  • Points: 6614
  • Join Date: Mar 11, 2006
  • Status: Offline
So May, it seems they don't do much checking then.
Sep 27, 2007 21:43
#7  
GUEST01541 I came across this post when I was looking for information. Over 15 years ago I received a couple felony convictions and I answered no the criminal record question. I received my visa this week without a problem. I live in the U.S. and I received the felony convications in a different state than I live in now (if that makes any difference).

Good luck everyone.
Oct 12, 2007 00:43
#8  
GUEST52126 So, here's the result: I got it!

I checked the box saying that I have a criminal record. I also wrote a "detailed description" as requested. For the description I played down the crime and focused on my remorse for the situation and how it's been over a decade since the crime. When I say I "played down" the crime, I mean I said "I stole money from a store" instead of giving details or specifying the offense.

To get the visa I applied in person rather than by mail. The interviewer read the description in front of me and my wife, then asked her co-worker something in Chinese while looking at my paperwork, then told me to pick up my visa in a few days: as easy as that! I've already picked it up and I'm ready to go.

I hope this helps anyone that may be in the same situation; like I said, I was unable to find this information anywhere.

Thanks to all for your help!
Oct 14, 2007 18:30
#9  
  • JER257
  • Points: 5
  • Join Date: Oct 14, 2007
  • Status: Offline
Anyone have info on getting a visa approved with a felony conviction? I'm a U.S. citizen and committed the crime here in the U.S. The visa application asks about convictions. I'm considering applying without declaring my conviction; based on what I've read elsewhere it sounds like it's possible that my record won't show up on Interpol.
Nov 1, 2007 20:09
#10  
GUEST28190 My son and his girlfriend got a teaching job in China, they have since been told they have to leave by a certain date. Neither have ever been in any trouble, both are good kids, that were hoping to make some money to go back to school themselves. Why would they be evicted after going through to get their working papers, etc.....ps both are in the army reserves?
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