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Immigration Issues/Arrest record and H1B transfer


I was arrest for DV in June 2008. The case was dismissed during arraignment. I'm planning to change jobs and will file for a H1B transfer or a new H1B under the exempt category as I plan to work for an University. How will the arrest record (with non-conviction data) affect my H1B approval? Thanks.

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Mahesh,

Even if your case was dismissed during arraignment, you have to divulge any arrest record to the USCIS and to any US Embassy where you apply for a visa.

It may be a not be an issue in transferring your H-1B to new employer, but you will have answer affirmatively anywhere the application forms ask whether you have ever been arrested.  And this is true if you have any arrest record, anywhere in the world, even if it resulted in dropped charged, or acquittal (no conviction).

You should always have certified copies of the court record and the police arrest report with you to show that charges were dropped.  Any attorney you work with should also ask for and provide copies to the USCIS and the Embassies abroad.  

Anyone with a criminal history, whether charges were imposed or dropped, and whether it resulted in a conviction, an expungement, or some sort of diversion program like counseling or community service MUST be transparent with the USCIS and the Embassy when applying for immigration benefits.   Hiring a competent immigration attorney who is familiar with criminal immigration consequences is also critical.  This is an extremely intricate area of immigration law and you should not try to represent yourself if this ever is an issue in your immigration case.

Good luck.

Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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