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Immigration Issues/Las Vegas, holiday visa


Hi Jack,

My friend and i are hoping to go to Vegas for the first time in September! The only problem, is that my friend has a criminal record.  I think the charge is theft or something along those lines and also a DUI, both happened about 6 years or so ago.

Will this effect her ability to get into America?

She is currently working on a  cruise ship and managed to get a visa to travel through and around american (am guessing that this was some sort of working visa), so i am partially hopeful that they will show some mercy, but i was hoping to get a professional opinion.

Thanks alot in advance,


Hey Kate,

The law says that a person who committed a crime involving moral turpitude is inadmissible into the United States.  Theft is a crime of moral turpitude.  There is an exception in the law called "petty offense exception" that will allow her to enter the US is (1) the theft crime's max sentence is less than 1 year and (2) she was sentenced to less than 6 months and (3) this is her only crime of moral turpitude.

Therefore, based on what you said in the question, I think she is okay to travel here for pleasure.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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