I did some hacking (for a good cause) a while ago and was convicted of it. I'm kind of sick of this country now and I wonder what my chances are of getting a work visa in the U.S.A?

The misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of 2 years in the country of conviction, and I was only fined the equivalent of $ 700 for it and told not to do it again - so an ESTA doesn't seem like a problem.

  • You were convicted of a crime. That means that your are ineligible for ESTA (especially given the possible penalty of 2 years in jail, which makes it a felony) Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


Under Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (or I.N.A.) you are very clearly inadmissible as the possible sentence exceeded one year.

In theory you could apply for a so called 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver but your chances are extremely low because you committed the crime less than 15 years ago (except in a case of prostitution for which there is no required waiting period).

That was the law. Now let me add my two cents: after what happened to Dmitry Sklyarov it is crystal clear the USA takes its outdated, badly written, overbroad hacking related laws extremely seriously so they will certainly not issue a waiver for you as they weigh whether what you've done would be a crime in the USA. They are perfectly willing to damage the very reputation of their country (when I was deciding where to immigrate, one of the main reasons for crossing off USA from the list was the Sklyarov case and there are still standing warnings for certain researchers to avoid travel to the USA) just to upkeep laws written as a hasty answer to a movie (see for example this article ). And do not get me started on Marcus Hutchins.

Just pick a better country. There are quite a few. (Although Canada can get picky with people with records, too.)

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