Tattoos can make it harder to qualify for a visa or permanent residency. Moreover, if the tattoo is gang-related, it could cause the permits to be denied.
For the State Department, a tattoo can be evidence that the applicant is dangerous for the United States, due to a possible criminal record or an obscure past implicated in crime and gang-related activities. This is the case of some immigrants who say that their cases are coming under increased scrutiny after their medical examination evidenced that they had tattoos.
Although, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there is no restriction or discrimination against people with tattoos, the Immigration Lawyers Association has indicated that, for many tattooed customers, the process was difficult, slow and even rejected on the grounds that such applicants are a risk to the United States.
Tattoos removed by laser are also taken into account and are worthy of investigation. It is important to highlight residency applicants are examined by doctors who write a report in which they describe the individual in detail.
As a residency applicant, you may submit a written explanation about your tattoos. In this way, you can clarify any doubts about their origin.
If the case is a bit more complex and your tattoo refers to a gang or a criminal past, it is very important to explain that it is just part of the past, and that you are currently away from such immoral and dangerous behaviors.
Our essential recommendation for you is to count on an immigration attorney who can help and guide you in your process so as to avoid problems and uncertainties.
Beltran Brito LLP has years of experience in advising immigrants on the process of applying for a work visa or a green card. Feel free to visit.