US Visa Requirements for Individuals with a Criminal Record

By: Belu Di Lorenzo

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If you have a criminal record and want to apply for a visa to the United States, it’s understandable to be worried about a possible denial. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of approval.

Be Honest on the DS-160 Form

One key piece of advice from the US embassy is to be honest when filling out the DS-160 form. Many people think they can explain their criminal record during the interview, but it’s important to disclose everything on the application. Failure to do so could result in a denied visa without the chance to explain.

Consider Seeking Specialist Advice

For the best outcome, it’s recommended to seek the advice of a specialist. An expert can help guide you through the process and ensure you’re presenting your best case.

Can You Get a Visa with a Criminal Record?

The fact that you have a criminal record does not automatically mean your visa application will be denied. However, you need to include all relevant information on your application.

You’ll need to list all arrests, convictions, and crimes, even if you weren’t arrested or convicted. This includes arrests made by immigration officials, police officers, and other federal agents.

When Will You Be Denied a Visa?

According to, the seriousness and circumstances of the crimes will determine whether you’ll be denied a visa. Convictions for serious crimes like rape, kidnapping, forgery, murder, and drug offenses (depending on the severity and age of the crime) are more likely to result in a denial.

What is a Criminal Record Certificate?

A Criminal Record Certificate is an official document that indicates whether or not a person has any convictions. It’s used for various personal procedures before both public and private institutions, like applying for a new job or requesting a travel visa.

In Peru, the cost of a Criminal Record Certificate is S/52.80 and can be processed virtually or in person.

While having a criminal record can make obtaining a US visa more challenging, it’s not an automatic disqualifier. By being honest on your application, seeking specialist advice, and following the proper procedures, you may be able to increase your chances of approval.

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