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  1. #1
    if not why not if not why not is offline

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    Criminal Record?

    Just wondering can anyone offer any advice on the following.

    I have a friend who's in the process of applying for a E2 Visa to go and work in Asia. As part of his VISA requirements, he has to get a police background check done. Unfortunately, though he was arrested once back in his rebelliousness youth around six or seven years ago. The case went to court but it was thrown out and he didn't receive a caution or anything of the sort. The whole case took a matter of minutes.

    He's a little worried though that this will show up on his background check, thus denying him the chance of a VISA. Does his arrest mean that he has a criminal record? Will it be reported on the background check?

    I've done a search on the net about this and the definition of a criminal record seems to vary from country to country. Also, I can find little in relation as to what exactly constitutes a criminal record in Ireland. In other words, does it solely mean a conviction or does it include an arrest. As an aside, I thing this area of law is quite an interesting one although a grey one from what I can tell.

    I've told him that he has probably nothing to worry about but it would be great if anyone here could offer any advice in relation to the issue.
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  2. #2
    beanie beanie is offline
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    His best bet would to be to ask his local Gardai, I'm sure they would oblige and check it out for him.
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  3. #3
    seanmacc seanmacc is offline
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    I've been arrested on four occasions (3 political and one other incident involving impersonation of a garda, long story) and used to bump into special branch officers "randomly" around the place. My Green Card in the States required a police cert and I had no problem obtaining one. I sent my owl fella down to the local district pig pen, as my face was too well known there and they had no problem doing one up on my behalf on production of my birth cert.
    It simply reads "For the information of the US consular authorities, Seanmacc has not been convicted of a crime in the republic of Ireland." Go for it. If one pig pen says no try the next one.
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  4. #4
    if not why not if not why not is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanie View Post
    His best bet would to be to ask his local Gardai, I'm sure they would oblige and check it out for him.
    It's a catch 22. I don't think he wants to draw too much attention to himself by asking too many questions of the local Gardai. Someone may remember him

    In any case, when he went to the local Gardai, they told him that they do not process background checks. Instead, he was referred to the Gardai Vetting Unit in Thurles and at the moment, he's in the process of trying to get a background check done there. Apparently, the whole process can take over a month.

    What exactly constitutes a criminal record apart from a conviction itself is an interesting one? And even in the case of convictions (misdemeanours) - is that enough too to deny VISAS for some countries.

    Surely P.ie has some lawyers who can help us out or even a few posters from the criminal fraternity who may or may not know these things
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  5. #5
    Lazarus Lazarus is offline

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    Watching that passport control t.v. documentary series set in Australia there was a young chap who admitted having served time for drug offences way back and after several hours the Aussies let him through as he had been clean since. He did not mention the old crime on his visa application, but did on the "landing form" as I call it passengers are given while still in flight.

    Asia is a big place though. You could ring the embassy of the country your friend is visiting and ask them for their advice, keeping it anonymous of course.
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  6. #6
    if not why not if not why not is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmacc View Post
    I've been arrested on four occasions (3 political and one other incident involving impersonation of a garda, long story) and used to bump into special branch officers "randomly" around the place. My Green Card in the States required a police cert and I had no problem obtaining one. I sent my owl fella down to the local district pig pen, as my face was too well known there and they had no problem doing one up on my behalf on production of my birth cert.
    It simply reads "For the information of the US consular authorities, Seanmacc has not been convicted of a crime in the republic of Ireland." Go for it. If one pig pen says no try the next one.
    How long ago was that? I think things may have tightened up a little with this Garda Vetting Unit, thingy me jiggy. Also, has the US not tightened up on immigration post 9/11.

    For the purposes of an E2 visa, it catergorically states that one must not have a criminal record. So the two pertinent q's are; does an arrest, a court appearence but no conviction constitute a criminal record. Secondly, will the arrest show up on the background check? If it does, he's then purely at the mercy of the immigration authorities at the respective country and their rules and regulations in relation to entry.
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  7. #7
    seanmacc seanmacc is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by if not why not View Post
    How long ago was that? I think things may have tightened up a little with this Garda Vetting Unit, thingy me jiggy. Also, has the US not tightened up on immigration post 9/11.
    I started the immigration process in the US in 2006 and got the Green Card 2007 (since got pissed off with the place and came home). All of my run ins with Garai happened between 2002 and 2005. There's no criminal record unless you're sentenced by a judge. What they have on you on PULSE cannot be legally used against you.
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  8. #8
    beanie beanie is offline
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    Would you tell us about the impersonating a garda? Sounds funny.
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  9. #9
    if not why not if not why not is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    Watching that passport control t.v. documentary series set in Australia there was a young chap who admitted having served time for drug offences way back and after several hours the Aussies let him through as he had been clean since. He did not mention the old crime on his visa application, but did on the "landing form" as I call it passengers are given while still in flight.

    Asia is a big place though. You could ring the embassy of the country your friend is visiting and ask them for their advice, keeping it anonymous of course.
    Yes, it mighn't be a bad idea to do that. I think he's holding out on the fact that the arrest will not be reported on his background check.

    If it does, I think he's been hard done by. Whatever happened to actual innocence never mind presumption of innocence. If someone has no convictions, their criminal record should be clean. However, from the research, I've done into this so far - in some countries an arrest alone can mean that you have a criminal record.
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  10. #10
    Mitsui Mitsui is offline

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    I'm speaking in legal ignorance here, but surely having a criminal record means you've been convicted of a crime?

    Otherwise everyone who's ever been arrested for any reason whatsoever would have one, even if the arrest was a mistake or the case never came to court. That would cause bureaucratic nightmares!

    Common sense (at least) suggests that it all hinges on conviction - it is, after all, a criminal record, and while arrested people are presumably always suspects, only convicted people can sanely be classed as criminals.
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