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The Adam Walsh Act and Family IV Petitions

Our Dallas Attorneys Can Help You with Your Case

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 was enacted to protect children from child predators after the tragic abduction and murder of Adam Walsh. In addition to expanding the U.S. sex offender registry, the law amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to “make failure to register as a sex offender a deportable offense” and “prohibit convicted child sex offenders from obtaining approval of certain family-based visas.”

Although the law was designed to protect children, it also makes the visa process more difficult and places a huge amount of discretion with the Department of Homeland Security. Any past conviction can lead to questions and significant delays, even if it does not qualify as a “specified offense against a minor” according to the Adam Walsh Act.

If you are applying for family-based immigration and have a past conviction of any kind, you should seek legal guidance. At Mathur Law Offices, we have experience and knowledge in immigration law and criminal defense, and we make your needs our top priority.

Call us at (888) 867-5191 today to discuss your rights and legal options.

How the Adam Walsh Act Affects Immigration

Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, U.S. citizens who have been convicted of a “specified offense against a minor” may not be approved for a family-based immigration petition if the beneficiary is a child.

Specified offenses include:

  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Solicitation of minors to engage in sexual conduct
  • The use of minors in a sexual performance
  • Solicitation of minors to practice prostitution
  • Video voyeurism
  • Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography
  • Criminal sexual conduct involving a minor
  • The use of the internet to facilitate or attempt misconduct against a child
  • Any sex offense against a minor

If you have been convicted of any of the offenses above, you cannot get a family-based visa for a child. There are few exceptions, but the Department of Homeland Security can choose to approve your petition if they find “no risk to the beneficiary.”

How to Prove You Are of No Risk to the Beneficiary

Any criminal charge in your background check can draw the Department of Homeland Security’s attention and lead to questions. Answering these questions and presenting yourself properly is of the utmost importance.

Whether you have been charged with an unrelated crime and simply need to complete additional paperwork, or you have been reformed or rehabilitated after being charged with a “specified offense,” you will need to provide proof that you are of no risk to the beneficiary.

By providing United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the following evidence, you can increase your chances of getting your beneficiary an IV visa:

  • Documentation of successful counseling or rehabilitation program
  • Certified evaluations by licensed professionals
  • Evidence of good and exemplary service to the community or armed forces
  • Copies of police reports and court proceedings
  • News clippings and trial transcripts
  • And more

Once it has this information, USCIS will consider several other factors, including the age and gender of the beneficiary, and make a decision.

USCIS assumes there are risks in any immigration cases involving a child. As such, a criminal charge can raise extra alarm, especially violent charges or those involving domestic abuse.

Ultimately, the USCIS will decide whether the Adam Walsh Act applies to your case under the discretion granted to the Department of Homeland Security.

If you are concerned, contact our Dallas-based Adam Walsh Act attorneys today.

Why Choose Mathur Law Offices?

Any petitioner who has been convicted of a crime faces an uphill battle when getting their immigrant visa petition approved. If you have been charged with a “specified offense against a minor,” getting approval is all but impossible.

No matter what you are facing, you need an experienced immigration attorney with knowledge of the criminal justice proceeding. Fortunately, you have found our team.

Mathur Law Offices has unmatched experience and versatility, and we offer compassionate and genuine service. When you choose us, you can expect personalized and unwavering commitment.

Tell us about your case today by calling us at (888) 867-5191 or contacting us online.

What to Expect From Mathur Law Offices, P.C.

  • A legal team with a wide breadth of legal knowledge
  • An emphasis on making your needs our top priority
  • Personalized, unwavering commitment to you
  • A team with unmatched experience and versatility
  • Compassionate and genuine service

Trusted Recommendations
From Our Clients

  • Citizenship

    “Ignatius, and his team, did a wonderful job on my journey to becoming a naturalized US citizen. They were there with my husband and I from the very beginning, until the Oath Ceremony. In the beginning, we had a wonderful consultation with Sanjay, where he explained everything step by step, and they presented all the necessary paperwork to the government for each step that we took. Part of our journey was with Anamika, where she helped us get through the first 2 parts of the legal process, and the final part was with Ignatius, who assisted us with the naturalization part. Thank you, Ignatius, for being there with me during the interview process. Your presence helped to ease my mind.”


  • The Best Help

    “Helped me with several cases I could not have done it without them.”


  • There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how happy I feel and for everything you have done for me so far.

    “Thank you for everything so far.”


  • Citizenship

    “Although the entire process was rather long, Mathur Law Offices has certainly made everything very easy for us as I transitioned into being a US Citizen. I greatly appreciate all the hard work that they have done for us, and would highly recommend them to anyone who is wanting to become a US Citizen. Rosie is a very wonderful receptionist, who is always upbeat, and welcoming to anyone who calls in or comes in for an interview. All of the lawyers that we have dealt with have been very professional, and straight forward with us. I'm really glad that we have chosen Mathur Law Offices for my citizenship journey. Thank you, Mathur Team, for all that you have done. Keep up the really excellent work.”


  • Yvette Lopez

    “Yvette is always very helpful when I call and if I can't reach anyone she makes a note and makes sure I get a response within that same day. Just wanted to say Thank you Yvette for caring and taking care of us clients..”

    Elizabeth Juarez