Got a Yellow letter for answering yes to Have you ever been arrested, cited or detained question

zombie2006

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hi All,

My cousin got a Yellow Letter for Answering 'Yes' to Question 16 D: Have you ever been arrested, cited, or detained by any law enforcement officer question.

He got a traffic ticket in 2005. That was the only incident. I had answered yes ( for my speeding tickets) in my application and i suggested the same when he filled out his application. My interview was a cake walk. Now he got this letter.

What does he need to do. We are not able to locate anything online about his ticket and don't have the payment confirmation as this was way back in 2005. We don't have any paper trail or cannot even access the bank statements online.

Please suggest.

Thanks
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#3
This is an informational letter only.
Informational letter or not, he needs to plan for it. If the fine is less than USD 500, no documents are required, but once in a while the IOs insist on them. If the fine is over USD 500, he better work to get the documents. If you can not figure it out online, visit the county clerk of the area where the incident happened.

So, what was the traffic issue? What was the fine?
 

WBH

Registered Users (C)
#4
Informational letter or not, he needs to plan for it. If the fine is less than USD 500, no documents are required, but once in a while the IOs insist on them. If the fine is over USD 500, he better work to get the documents. If you can not figure it out online, visit the county clerk of the area where the incident happened.

So, what was the traffic issue? What was the fine?
It is easy to locate. Does your cousin still remmeber where he got the ticket? If yes, then drive to that place and find out which county/township thyat place belong too. Then go to a police station nearby and ask which county court has jurisditicon
ober taht place. Then go to that court. Since it was in only 2005, court must have still kep the record.

This assume it happens in locality. If yoru cousin live in NYC and get a ticket in California when travelling there, it may be hard to remmeber where exactly he got teh ticket and it is not worth travelling to California from NYC simply to locate a where traffic ticket was issued. But anyway, I don't think the USCIS IOs will be that unreasoable to demand seeing disposition document for a minor traffic ticket
 

GungaDin

Registered Users (C)
#5
Informational letter or not, he needs to plan for it. If the fine is less than USD 500, no documents are required, but once in a while the IOs insist on them. If the fine is over USD 500, he better work to get the documents. If you can not figure it out online, visit the county clerk of the area where the incident happened.

So, what was the traffic issue? What was the fine?
Would any of the above change if OP had NOT received the Yellow Letter? No.
Hence the Yellow Letter IS informational only. OP needs to plan the presentation of documents irrespective of the YL and based on the N400 instructions.
Receipt of the YL (or Not) does not place a different documentation burden on the applicant.
 

rick92

Volunteer Moderator
#6
Traffic tickets less than 500, no need to present the documents. But some people have different opinions based on different circumstances. The legal definition of disclosing versus presenting the information to the Interviewing Officer.
 

Vorpal

Registered Users (C)
#7
As a rule of thumb, if you disclose a traffic ticket, make sure you bring proof of payment to the interview, regardless of the charge and the fine amount.
 

WBH

Registered Users (C)
#8
As a rule of thumb, if you disclose a traffic ticket, make sure you bring proof of payment to the interview, regardless of the charge and the fine amount.
The OP knows that but his question, like those of many in such cases, is: what if they did not keep proof of payment
and coan not locate it now.

Maybe there should be a federal law that requires all state to print a wanring label on citation:"Please keep it
for your record for future crminal background check in case of seeking benefits like citizenship, goevernment employment etc"
 

Vorpal

Registered Users (C)
#9
The OP knows that but his question, like those of many in such cases, is: what if they did not keep proof of payment
and coan not locate it now.

Maybe there should be a federal law that requires all state to print a wanring label on citation:"Please keep it
for your record for future crminal background check in case of seeking benefits like citizenship, goevernment employment etc"
I guess I forgot to click "Reply with quote". My answer was directed at the posts that state that no documentation is necessary if the fine is under $500. According to the instructions published by the USCIS, this is true. However, there are countless cases of IOs demanding proof of payment for minor traffic tickets (probably equally as many as the cases where IOs wave off traffic tickets), even issuing continuance letters if no proof is presented at the interview.
 
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WBH

Registered Users (C)
#10
I guess I forgot to click "Reply with quote". My answer was directed at the posts that state that no documentation is necessary if the fine is under $500. According to the instructions published by the USCIS, this is true. However, there are countless cases of IOs demanding proof of payment for minor traffic tickets, even issuing continuance letters if no proof is presented at the interview.
That is why in real life citizenshiop candidates here are determined not to report any traffic violation in teh first place
and many of them do not even know this is an issue. Unless the people who disclose traffic ticket lobby the
government to crack doan hash on those who do not disclose, the former are clearly losers and suckers in this
game
 

Vorpal

Registered Users (C)
#11
That is why in real life citizenshiop candidates here are determined not to report any traffic violation in teh first place
and many of them do not even know this is an issue. Unless the people who disclose traffic ticket lobby the
government to crack doan hash on those who do not disclose, the former are clearly losers and suckers in this
game
I don't think non-disclosure of minor traffic tickets is an issue at all. In fact, I know a few people personally who tried to disclose traffic tickets at the interview, after answering "NO to Q. 16, only to be told by the IO that they don't care about minor traffic tickets and kept the answer as "NO".
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#12
Would any of the above change if OP had NOT received the Yellow Letter? No.
Hence the Yellow Letter IS informational only. OP needs to plan the presentation of documents irrespective of the YL and based on the N400 instructions.
Receipt of the YL (or Not) does not place a different documentation burden on the applicant.
Yes, it does make a difference. If you did not receive Yellow letter, and you talk to the IO about the ticket, both you and IO can pretend and not report it on the N400 form. However, with a Yellow letter which is not issued by the IO but a different department, it puts the onus on the IO to satisfy himself/herself. Whether they spend 30 seconds in that, or 1 hours is a different question, and how they close the line item of their inquiry is a different question. However, my point is that if a question is asked in YL, you better prepare for that as there is more chance of it being scrutinized.
 

GungaDin

Registered Users (C)
#15
I don't think so. I am almost sure that the IOs never see the yellow letter.
Not that I know better, but think of it from CIS perspective. Why will they send the letter after scrutinizing the application, but waste all that effort?
:) for the same reason they sent me my 4th EAD card 2 months after I received my Green Card :)
The IO does not send out the Yellow letter as it is sent out before your file is sent for standard review. (see my signature)
USCIS and Efficiency don't always go hand in hand. Heck, they even ask you for an IRS Form 1722 that ceased to exist several years ago, so whats another useless document generated by some computer system.
Really, that Yellow Letter is a waste of postage. All it does is give you the warm and fuzzies that there's action on your application.
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#16
:) for the same reason they sent me my 4th EAD card 2 months after I received my Green Card :)
The IO does not send out the Yellow letter as it is sent out before your file is sent for standard review. (see my signature)
USCIS and Efficiency don't always go hand in hand. Heck, they even ask you for an IRS Form 1722 that ceased to exist several years ago, so whats another useless document generated by some computer system.
Really, that Yellow Letter is a waste of postage. All it does is give you the warm and fuzzies that there's action on your application.
I disagree. I can understand their various processes not being in sync, as it takes time and money to fix / improve things. When you are evolving from archaic processes to modern systems, the transitions are never smooth, especially if you talking about millions (or billions considering all the trip data) of pieces of information.

However, there still is some thought behind the process. Yes people may find loop holes. Yes people defining these process may not think through the process to the nth level. Yes, the IOs may not care about 1 issue if they find the rest of the case satisfactory. However, in general, to repeat myself, there is some thinking behind the process (even if it is paid for and written by the lobbyists) and that's why I believe that the yellow letter is more than just a piece of nothing, and if you are sent one, you must at least try to interpret what they are thinking about, and prepare that area of your case well.

My comment above said "Yellow letter which is not issued by the IO but a different department" ... same as what you are saying. I do not have any issues with that.
 
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