Many people who have been convicted of crimes in their past are ultimately granted pardons by their government. They are under the impression that a pardon “wipes their record clean.” This is not the case however, for U.S. immigration purposes.
Under U.S. immigration regulations, judicial expungements do not eliminate criminal convictions. Further, an individual who has been convicted and whose sentence was suspended or reduced, mitigated, or commuted, or who has been convicted and then granted probation or parole or has otherwise been relieved in whole or in part of the penalty imposed is still considered to have been convicted for immigration purposes. Click here to view a short video on how criminal matters may impact your ability to enter the U.S.
Sometimes people are advised by their criminal lawyers that having a pardon allows them to answer “no” if they are asked about holding an arrest record or conviction. This is not the case at the U.S. border. Even if the record no longer exists, an individual must answer “yes” if questioned by CBP.
If you have been convicted of any crime in the past regardless of whether the record has been sealed, expunged or pardoned and are unsure if this makes you inadmissible to the U.S., our office can provide assistance. Schedule a free consultation by calling 1-877-721-6100 or by clicking here.
Page summary: Foreign pardons are not recognized for U.S. immigration purposes and an individual whose criminal record has been sealed, expunged or pardoned may still be inadmissible to the U.S.