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Misdemeanor and Z-Visa

 
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:43 pm    Post subject: Misdemeanor and Z-Visa Reply with quote

When I was 17 I was charged with a misdemeanor (Assault), but the case was dismissed/dropped before going to court. It's been over 10 years since this charge. I was wondering if this constitutes a criminal record in regards to the visa application form? Other than that charge, I have had no other legal troubles.

Does anyone know if this will keep me from securing a Z-visa from the local embassy? Anyone have any advice?
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1596
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may matter if you were charged as a juvenile or as an adult. In a perfect world, I'd say, no, you don't have a record. But the arrest may still show up with a notation of no prosecution. The only way to know is to do a criminal background check. If it comes up flagged for your arrest, you should be able to go to court to have it erased, but it still may show in the database. Here's an article from last year about lingering arrest records in the US. http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-arrest-records-rise-americans-find-consequences-can-last-a-lifetime-1408415402
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1701

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the application ask you if you were convicted or charged? It makes a difference.

If you are in the States, you can go to Crimchek (http://www.crimcheck.com/) and ask for a background check. It'll cost about $50.00, and you MIGHT be able to submit it in response to a prospective employer's request for a background check.
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was charged as an adult because in the state I reside in 17 is considered a legal adult. However the charges were dropped. I do believe the case still shows on a background check because my current job found it and I was asked to seek a notarized document from the courthouse saying the charges were dismissed before securing the job.

My main question is do you think I will be asked to deliver the same notarized document to the visa application office, should I just get one in preparation for when the embassy person asks for it?

Furthermore, the visa application says "criminal record" I don't know if I should answer "yes" or "no" on that, seeing as the charges were dismissed and I've read that if you tick "yes" the embassy representative may decline your application on the spot. Is that true?
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: NA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the charges were dropped and you weren't convicted, how can you have a criminal record? I'm not very familiar with the US law if that's where you're from. However, if you are not convicted in a court, and have no other convictions, you shouldn't have a criminal record. Answer NO to that question because NO is the truth.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1701

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you live in the same city where the alleged offense occurred? The Chinese consulate has absolutely no idea where you have lived in the past.

Have you been asked to produce a CBC? If not, why worry about it? If you want to cover yourself, go ahead and get the document and be prepared to present it.

You might want to ask for the charges to be expunged if you were never convicted. Have you asked your local legal Aid (U.S.) or a lawyer about expungement?
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in a different city and county than where the offense occured, it was over 10 years ago lol.

My Chinese employer told me a CBC is not required for the city they are in.

I guess I could ask about expungement, but I'm expecting to visit the consulate in the next few weeks, so it may not be enough time.
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My boss says the invitation letter and paperwork has been approved in China and is being shipped to me, and that I can go ahead and book my flight. I'm in a weird spot right now. Do I count on my visa being approved and book my flight or wait to take the documents to the embassy before doing so?

Also, my boss suggested that I use an outside service to obtain my Z-visa, basically ship all my documents to them and they take care of it and ship me back the visa, would this have a higher success chance than doing it myself?
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fpshangzhou



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experiences of renewing the RP, I would not trust any company/school's word when it comes to documents. Until documents are physically in your possession, I would recommend NOT making any flight arrangements until the embassy stamps the visa in your passport. Due to trusting the company's word about everything being a smooth process, that was a load of bull.... I was sent to Hong Kong to renew and I spent 9 unnecessary days (I had to pay for all expenses) waiting for extra paperwork to be sent to me that should have been provided to me before going there.

Regardless of your location, I would also refrain from using any Visa service, unless you're too far from a Chinese Embassy. I've had my visa renewed 3 times and with all paperwork in hand, everything went smooth. Just remember when filling out documents to cross your t(s) and dot your i(s), and you should have no problems. Good luck!


Cheers,

Aaron
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direshark



Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 73
Location: Qingdao, China

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At some point I was considering going to Korea and had minor run in with the law (charges were dropped), and this was a point of concern because you need an FBI apostilled background check to get the working visa.
Anyway, as I learned, what matters is whether you're fingerprinted and booked. If you were fingerprinted and charged as an adult, there is an arrest record floating around somewhere in the United States judicial system. In my case I wasn't fingerprinted and so I wasn't technically "arrested", despite the fact that the cops literally told me that I "was under arrest" and read me my Miranda Rights (how confusing), and thus, my background check came clean.

That said, I was never asked to supply any sort of check for China, and I'm not sure how extensively the China Embassy researches Z-Visa applicants. It could be that if you're cleared on the Chinese end and receive your documents ...well, as others have said, don't test this. Get your Z-Visa (probably through an agent if you don't live near a consulate) and then book the flights.
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I was definitely "booked", the arrest record came up when I applied for my job with the state, even though the charges were dismissed. I was asked to supply a notary from the courthouse, basically an official document from the courthouse stating "yes, charges were dropped".

Should I get the same document just in preparation for if the consulate finds the charge? I plan on answering "no" on the criminal record section because the charges were dropped. Or is this a bad idea? Should I disclose that I was arrested in hopes that they understand the difference between conviction and dismissal?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1701

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jds1337 wrote:
Well I was definitely "booked", the arrest record came up when I applied for my job with the state, even though the charges were dismissed. I was asked to supply a notary from the courthouse, basically an official document from the courthouse stating "yes, charges were dropped".

Should I get the same document just in preparation for if the consulate finds the charge? I plan on answering "no" on the criminal record section because the charges were dropped. Or is this a bad idea? Should I disclose that I was arrested in hopes that they understand the difference between conviction and dismissal?


I think that it's safe to assume that unless the Chinese authorities can procure a CBC from your country, and your employer doesn't require one, check "no".

Also, my boss suggested that I use an outside service to obtain my Z-visa, basically ship all my documents to them and they take care of it and ship me back the visa, would this have a higher success chance than doing it myself?

Are you in your home country or in China?

If you are in the U.S. and don't live within reasonable driving distance to a Chinese consulate, I advise that you use a document courier service to DELIVER your documents. Only the consulate can process the documents, and only you (and your doctor if you are required to have a medical check) can fill out the forms. (If you need the name of a reliable courier service in the U.S., PM me).

As recommended earlier, BE SURE to check the details.

One more thing: If you must provide a medical check, ask your doctor to stamp every page with its office stamp. The Chinese LOVE chops! It is my experience that anything that is rubber stamped in several places is considered heavenly. The same holds true for any other paperwork you must supply. (Your mileage may vary).
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jds1337



Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Powell wrote:
jds1337 wrote:
Well I was definitely "booked", the arrest record came up when I applied for my job with the state, even though the charges were dismissed. I was asked to supply a notary from the courthouse, basically an official document from the courthouse stating "yes, charges were dropped".

Should I get the same document just in preparation for if the consulate finds the charge? I plan on answering "no" on the criminal record section because the charges were dropped. Or is this a bad idea? Should I disclose that I was arrested in hopes that they understand the difference between conviction and dismissal?


I think that it's safe to assume that unless the Chinese authorities can procure a CBC from your country, and your employer doesn't require one, check "no".

Also, my boss suggested that I use an outside service to obtain my Z-visa, basically ship all my documents to them and they take care of it and ship me back the visa, would this have a higher success chance than doing it myself?

Are you in your home country or in China?

If you are in the U.S. and don't live within reasonable driving distance to a Chinese consulate, I advise that you use a document courier service to DELIVER your documents. Only the consulate can process the documents, and only you (and your doctor if you are required to have a medical check) can fill out the forms. (If you need the name of a reliable courier service in the U.S., PM me).

As recommended earlier, BE SURE to check the details.

One more thing: If you must provide a medical check, ask your doctor to stamp every page with its office stamp. The Chinese LOVE chops! It is my experience that anything that is rubber stamped in several places is considered heavenly. The same holds true for any other paperwork you must supply. (Your mileage may vary).



Actually I'm apply in my home country (USA), so I guess it's possible they will do a CBC themselves at the consulate.

I'm unaware of the medical check requirements, the Visa application page on the local consulate website says nothing about medical checks, though my employer had me fill out the medical exam form for foreigners anyways. I'm guessing they just wanted to pre-screen me to be healthy before securing my invitation letter, or maybe they are just trying to expedite the residence permit process faster for when I arrive, I'm not sure. At any rate I'll go ahead and bring the medical form with me when I visit the consulate for the Z-visa.

As for the CBC, I'm hoping they don't consider a criminal dismissal a respectable criteria for Z-visa. Best case scenario they don't even check though. Any tips?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1701

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I have never been in your situation, I highly doubt that the consulate will initiate a CBC. Have you noticed that it is always incumbent upon the FT to supply all of the information? If your school says that you are good to go, once you receive your letter of invitation, you have jumped the hurdle.

I would still initiate an inquiry into having the charges expunged from your record through the county sheriff's office, despite your departure schedule. You may be able to initiate it by phone.

Have you looked in your local database to see if there is actually a record remaining? In my city, the county sheriff's office maintains a public database in which one may look up an arrest of anyone as long as he knows the name of the arrestee, the date of arrest and the case number.

Call up the county sheriff's office.
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