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Criminal Inadmissibility – Entering the US with a Criminal Record

Criminal Inadmissibility – Entering the US with a Criminal Record

Being refused entry into the U.S. can have major career and life implications, and it is important to be aware of the current regulations to know if one’s past conduct will lead to a finding of criminal inadmissibility.


Generally, for there to be a finding of criminal inadmissibility, a conviction is required; however, in some circumstances, a person can be denied entry into the U.S. for simply admitting to the essential elements of a crime.


There are two main categories of conduct that will lead to a person being denied entry into the United States.


  • Crimes of Moral Turpitude: There is no exhaustive list of which crimes are crimes of moral turpitude but rather a vague definition of the term and a complex multi-step analysis to determine if a crime is morally turpitudinous. Generally, the essential elements of a crime of moral turpitude are specific intent and reprehensible conduct.


  • Controlled Substance Offences: The controlled substance offences that can lead to a finding of inadmissibility include a broad array of drug crimes. In addition, if a border officer has a reason to believe that the person seeking entry is an illicit drug trafficker, then the person will be found inadmissible – no conviction or admission is needed for an officer to have such a “reason to believe.”


There are several exceptions that may apply and will allow an otherwise inadmissible applicant to secure entry into the U.S. However, if a person is inadmissible and none of the relevant exceptions apply, a waiver would be needed to ensure that the person could travel to the U.S.


Looking for help in overcoming criminal inadmissibility?


Silver Immigration can guide you through the process of entering the US with a criminal record. Our team will help you understand your immigration needs and assist you throughout the process of reaching your goal. Call us today at +1 (888) 799-4769 or book a free consultation with an immigration lawyer here.