Visa Denial based on Admissions to Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude and Controlled Substance Violations

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

Before 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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. The applicant must admit all of the factual elements which constituted the crime; and
  5. 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.

Note:   This is not a legal advice.


  1. On May 25, 2017, we received an approval of Form I-140 for a caregiver from the Philippines.
  2. On April 28, 2017, we received an approval of N-400 for a client who was under Removal Proceedings before.
  3. On April 21, 2017, we received an approval of I-601A Provisional Waiver for a client who was denied I-601A before from a previous lawyer.
  4. On March 22, 2017, we received an Immigrant Visa approval for a child of Permanent Resident who is already 25 years of age but classified as minor under CSPA.
  5. On March 8, 2017, we received an approval of Provisional Waiver from USCIS for a seaman client.
  6. On March 2, 2017 we received an approval of Dismissal of Criminal Case for a client who is in Removal Proceedings.
  7. On February 23, 2017, we received an approval of Naturalization of a client whose spouse had a prior misrepresentation.
  8. On January 7, 2017, we received an approval of Provisional Waiver for a client who entered as crewman but has two autistic children.


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 Association.  He specializes in immigration law and personal injury.  For free consultation email or call ( 1-877-456-9266)

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