Hi I have an important question concerning the visa application: 25 years ago I was in the US and was arrested for minor criminal offense (shop lifting of stupid thing) Without any arrest obviously. When I was back in Israel I changed my passport and name and since then I received a visa twice without any problems, and entered the US several times since (mainly for business reasons). In my last visit (business trip) to the US several months ago they stopped me at the immigration and started questioning me for the first time about this very old violation, after short questioning they allowed me to enter and the officer asked me why didn't I stated that on my visa application? (I told him that it was many years ago and I hardly have any memory of it and also didn't think after so many years it is important to still note it) in any case he told me since this visa is close to expiring in few months, it is important that in my new application I should state that and that it shouldn't be any problem. I am really hesitant about it and wondering if it is really crucial that I state it and shouldn't give my any problems getting my visa? (I travel about twice a year to the US from work and it is very important to me to get this visa) Kindly advise what it the best safe way to apply? Thanks
Thank you for explaining your situation in such detail (and in English).
Just based on the fact that the officer at the airport is aware of this very old criminal issue and advised you to disclose this information on your next application, tells me that you should definitely follow his instructions. Their computer system is integrated and if the US Government finds out that you tried to hide this issue AFTER the officer at the airport instructed you to disclose it, then you could be banned from entering the US for an extremely long time (possibly for life).
Additionally, based on what you told me, it sounds very unlikely that this "criminal" issue will prevent visa issuance.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you follow the officer's advice and disclose this information in your next US visa application.
Hi Tami - If you do not disclose this, it is possible that you can be found ineligible for a visa due to misrepresentation, which comes with a lifetime ban from the United States. This is why I recommend disclosing.