Immigration Criminal Records

A criminal record certificate is a crucial document that summarizes any arrest record and its corresponding details, including causes and outcomes, of an individual within a specific jurisdiction.

This certificate is indispensable for those who apply for a family or marriage residence card from abroad, requiring the presentation of such certificate by the police authorities of each country where the applicant has previously resided, regardless of the absence of a criminal record.

Even with a criminal record, it is possible to qualify for a green card, and it is crucial to understand the regulations applicable to applicants in such circumstances.

This guide explains where and how to apply for a criminal record certificate and what to do if the certificate is not available.

For cases requiring additional records, such as judicial or police records, it is recommended to consult specialized guides, as these are required only under specific circumstances.

Who Needs to Submit a Criminal Record Certificate?

The criminal record certificate must be presented exclusively by those applying for the residence card from abroad.

Those over 16 years of age must obtain this certificate from the following countries:

  • The country of nationality, if you have resided there for at least six months.
  • The country of current residence, if different from the country of nationality, having resided there for at least six months.
  • Any country where you have resided for at least 12 months since the age of 16.
  • Any country where you have been arrested, regardless of the length of stay.
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Validity of Criminal Record Certificates

The validity of Criminal Record Certificates plays a crucial role in the residency application process, establishing clear requirements to ensure the timeliness of the information they present.

The regulations stipulate that applicants must obtain these certificates within a maximum period of two years prior to the date of their interview for residency. This rule ensures that the document accurately reflects the individual’s recent history.

Certificate Update Requirements

To maintain the relevance and accuracy of the criminal history submitted, applicants must issue a new certificate under certain conditions:

  • Certificate Age: If the certificate in possession of the applicant exceeds the year of issue, it becomes necessary to request a new version. This measure prevents the submission of outdated information and ensures that the document reflects the individual’s most recent criminal history.
  • Residence in the Country of Issuance: In cases where the applicant has continued to reside in the country that issued the certificate, or has returned to that country after leaving it, it is imperative to update the certificate. This requirement responds to the possibility that the individual may have incurred new criminal records during his stay or after his return.
  • Age of Applicant: The regulations specify that any person over 16 years of age must present an updated certificate if he/she meets the above-mentioned conditions. This requirement underscores the importance of having a recent and complete criminal record, regardless of the age of the individual, as long as he or she is over the 16-year threshold.

In addition, it is important to note that certificates in another language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

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Procedure for Obtaining the Certificate

If you are Honduran and live in the United States, you can obtain a criminal record certificate in two ways:

1. Through the Honduran Consulate in the United States:

  • Request an appointment at the consulate. You can do it online or by phone.
  • Submit the following documents:
    • Valid Honduran passport
    • Copy of your U.S. green card or visa
    • Criminal Record Certificate Application Form (downloadable from the consulate website)
    • Payment of the application fee

2. Through the National Police of Honduras:

  • Apply for a criminal record certificate online. You can do so on the website of the Honduran National Police.
  • Submit the following documents:
    • Copy of your Honduran identity card
    • Payment of the application fee

In both cases, the criminal record certificate will be ready in a few days.

In Case of Impossibility of Obtaining

If the certificate cannot be obtained for valid reasons, except in countries where it is indicated that these are “not available”, it is necessary to submit a notarized affidavit explaining why it was not possible to obtain it.

The criminal record certificate is an indispensable requirement in the green card application process, representing a critical step that reflects the applicant’s commitment and integrity.

Proper preparation and understanding of the requirements and procedures will facilitate this process, bringing you closer to achieving your goal of U.S. residency.

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