Visa denial based on admission to a crime involving moral turpitude and controlled substance violation

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

Before going to your visa interview with the Consul at the U.S. Embassy, you should be aware that mere admission of committing a crime involving Moral Turpitude and admitting Controlled Substance violation may lead to visa denial. This is because there is a questionnaire in the Form DS 260 Application for Immigrant Visa asking “Have you ever committed a crime? and “Have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?

Under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i) a foreign national is inadmissible to the U.S. if he or she has been convicted of, or admitted to, committing a crime involving moral turpitude, or a controlled substance violation. In this regard it is important to understand what actions constitute an “admission” to identify a client’s possible inadmissibility.

The procedure is governed by Foreign Affairs Manual 9 FAM 302.3-2(B)(4) which discusses admissions to crimes involving moral turpitude, specifying rules of procedure for eliciting admissions for crimes involving moral turpitude from visa applicants which have been imposed by the court and Board of Immigration Appeals decisions. Specifically, consular officers must abide by the following provisions regarding admissions:

  • The crime committed by the applicant must appear to constitute moral turpitude based on the statute. It is not necessary for the applicant to admit that the crime involves moral turpitude;
  • Before the actual questioning, the consular officer must give the applicant an adequate definition of the crime, including all of the essential elements. The consular officer must explain the definition to the applicant in terms he or she understands; making certain the explanation conforms carefully to the law of the jurisdiction where the offense is alleged to have been committed;
  • The consular officer must give the applicant a full explanation of the purpose of the questioning. The applicant must then be placed under oath and the proceedings must be recorded verbatim;
  • The applicant must admit all of the factual elements which constituted the crime; and
  • The applicant’s admission of the crime must be explicit, unequivocal and unqualified.

In addition, 9 FAM 302.4-2(B) (4) discusses admissions to controlled substance violations, stating that a foreign national may be found inadmissible if he or she admits to the essential elements of a drug violation.  Thus, informal statements of prior conduct to a consular officer at a visa interview do not constitute admissions for determining a foreign national’s admissibility.  Please note that the Consulate may have proof of your past history of drug use by checking on your physical examination result.  If this happen your best situation is to tell the consul that you have already been doing drug rehabilitation.


Note:  This is not a legal advice.



  1. On January 16, 2019, we received an approval of naturalization for a client who received a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.
  2. On January 28, 2019 we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client who entered on a visa waiver.
  3. On December 6, 2018, we received an approval from Immigration Judge an adjustment of status for a client in removal proceedings.
  4. On December 26, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS of adjustment of status for a client after our response to Notice of Intent to Deny the case based on good faith marriage issues.
  5. On December 28, 2018, we received an approval of a naturalization from USCIS for a client who was granted a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.
  6. For the month of December 2018, we received approvals of I-751 for three clients.
  7. For the month of November 2018, we received approvals of two adjustment of status, one naturalization and one U visa petition.
  8. For the month of October 2018, we received five approvals of N-400 and one approval for adjustment of status, two approvals of I-601A waiver of unlawful presence and one I-751 Removal of Condition on Residence.
  9. On September 19, 2018, we received an approval of N-400 naturalization application and one Fiancée visa petition..
  10. For the month of August 2018, we received an approval of four Naturalization applications and five adjustment of status applications.
  11. On July 27, 2018, we received an approval for permanent resident for a client who was abused by her spouse under VAWA.
  12. For the months of May to June 2018, we have received four Naturalization applications approvals and two Adjustment of Status approvals
  13. On April 18, 2018, we received a grant of waiver from Immigration Court for a husband and wife client who made a misrepresentation of their  marital status but has no criminal records, has long residence and strong family ties in the U.S.
  14. On April 12, 2018, the Immigration Judge in San Francisco approved a waiver of misrepresentation in applying for a visa for our client who has been in the      U.S. for 26 years, no criminal record and strong family ties in the U.S.
  15. On April 3, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for a U visa for a client who was a victim of crime.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment