Under United States visa law, people who have been arrested at anytime are required to declare the arrest when applying for a visa. If the arrest resulted in a conviction, the individual may be permanently ineligible to receive a visa. In order to travel, a waiver of the permanent ineligibility is required. Section 67 of the Czech Criminal Code does not apply to United States visa law. Therefore, even travelers whose criminal record has been wiped clean are required to declare the arrest/conviction.
Documents relating to your arrest and/or conviction
Czech applicants applying for visas at the U.S. Embassy in Prague are required to furnish a police certificate from the Czech courts within 6 months of the date of the visa interview. Information on obtaining the police certificate is available from the Rejstřík trestů Praha website.
Please note: The original police certificate will be retained on file by the Embassy. Applicants who wish to have the original document returned to them on the day of the interview should also bring a photocopy of the document.
Drink Related Offenses
Applicants who have been arrested and/or convicted of a drink related offense may be referred to the Embassy’s panel physician for evaluation. You will be advised further on the day of the interview. As we cannot pre-adjudicate a visa application, we are unable to provide further guidance until you formally apply for the visa, at which time you will be given the opportunity to discuss your application with a Consular Officer.
What if I was convicted in the United States?
If you were arrested and/or convicted of an offense in the United States, you are required to obtain a court record from the court(s) in which you were tried. Such court records must show the nature of the offense(s) committed, the section(s) of law contravened and the actual penalty imposed. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, you may submit with your application the documents relating to the arrest. If you are no longer in possession of these documents, you may submit a sworn statement which gives the reason and location of the arrest, state and county. If you do not know the address of the court, the information is available from the internet at http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html. Applicants are also required to obtain a police certificate from the Czech court issued within 6 months of the visa interview.
What if I was convicted in a country other than the United States or the Czech Republic?
If you were arrested and/or convicted of an offense, you are required to obtain a court record from the court(s) in which you were tried. Such court records must show the nature of the offense(s) committed, the section(s) of law contravened and the actual penalty imposed. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, you may submit with your application the documents relating to the arrest. If you are no longer in possession of these documents, you may submit a sworn statement which gives reason and location of the arrest, state and county. All documents must be translated into English. Applicants are also required to obtain a police certificate from the Czech Court issued within 6 months of the visa interview.
What if I’m found ineligible?
If the conviction(s) results in the applicant being found permanently ineligible to receive a visa, it will mean a lifetime exclusion from the United States unless he or she obtains a waiver of the permanent ineligibility from the United States Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (DHSCBP). The granting of a waiver is not automatic and is based on several factors, including nature of the crime committed, sentence served and the period of time which has elapsed since the conviction.
If a favorable recommendation is made to DHSCBP for a waiver of the permanent ineligibility, the application will take a minimum of eight weeks to process; some applications may take longer.
Please note: Delays in processing can and will occur. The processing times quoted are approximate and cannot be guaranteed. It is important that you keep this in mind when applying for the visa. It will not be possible to expedite a case simply because an applicant has not allowed sufficient time for the application to be processed.
Reminder: Applicants should apply for visas well before the anticipated date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of nonrefundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
Come to the Embassy on the day of your interview. Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your interview time and be aware of our security requirements. Please bring the following documents:
- Your passport
- DS-160 Confirmation Page (see the example, JPG, 166 kB)
- Appointment Confirmation Page (see the example, JPG, 197 kB)
- One 2 x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm) photo on a white background (see Photo Requirements)
You may also wish to bring any of the recommended documents listed below:
- Bank statements for the last 3 months
- Letter of Employment
- Invitation letter from the US business or individual you will be visiting
- Copy of transcripts and confirmation of studies for students
- Business registration documents for business owners
- Marriage certificates for couples; birth certificates if a child is applying for a visa
- Petitions and supporting documents for certain work visas
Depending upon the type of visa you are applying for, there will be additional required documents.