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Types of Evidence in Adam Walsh Act Immigration Cases


The Adam Walsh Act also modified a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to protect immigrant visa applicants. As a result of the amendment, any U.S. citizen and legal permanent resident (LPR) who has been convicted of certain crimes, specifically against minors, will not be able to apply for a visa for any family member.


See our past blog with more background information about the Adam Walsh Act. Due to the popularity of our past blog on this topic, we are adding more information on how applicants working with an attorney may show that the petitioner does not pose a safety risk to their beneficiary family member(s).


To prove that they do not pose a risk to safety under the Adam Walsh Act, a petitioner must provide evidence of their rehabilitation and their current low risk of re-offending. This evidence may include:

  • Completion of sex offender treatment

  • A long period of time without any further criminal activity

  • A supportive family and community network

  • Participation in self-help groups or other programs that promote rehabilitation

  • Employment and financial stability

  • Positive character references from friends, family, and employers

In addition, the petitioner should submit a personal statement explaining their conviction, the steps they have taken to rehabilitate themselves, and why they pose no risk to the safety of the beneficiary.

The burden of proof is on the petitioner to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they do not pose a risk to safety. This means that the petitioner must show that it is more likely than not that they will not re-offend.


Here are some general examples of evidence that petitioners have used to overcome the AWA presumption:

  • Letters of recommendation from therapists, counselors, or other professionals who have worked with the petitioner and can attest to their rehabilitation

  • Proof of participation in self-help groups or other programs that promote rehabilitation

  • Evidence of employment and financial stability

  • Positive character references from friends, family, and employers

  • A personal statement explaining the petitioner's conviction, the steps they have taken to rehabilitate themselves, and why they pose no risk to the safety of the beneficiary

It is important to note that there is no single list of evidence that is guaranteed to be successful. The USCIS officer who reviews the petitioner's case will consider all of the evidence presented and make a decision based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.

It is also incredibly important to present the information in the right way and with the correct explanations, therefore working with an experienced attorney is key in these complicated cases. If you are considering filing an I-130 petition and you are subject to the Adam Walsh Act, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can help you assess your chances of success and can develop a strategy for overcoming the Adam Walsh Act presumption.


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