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I was arrested and charged with petty larceny (shoplifting) recently after filing a visa application a month ago. My application is still pending decision. My biometrics was taken in US a month ago.

In my application, I checked "No" to all questions related to criminal history.

Should I contact UK Immigration regarding this recent arrest now? Or should I wait for a decision? Should my application be refused, what is my best route to appeal/reapply?

I am currently working with a criminal lawyer to have the charge dismissed.

--- UPDATE---

I believe that one of the visa application question is "Have you ever had an arrest and charge for which you are currently on or awaiting trial?" and I answered "no" but my criminal lawyer said the correct answer is "Yes".

Should I contact the visa application center about the arrest? I have not talked with a immigration lawyer yet.

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    Unless you are convicted and given a custodial sentence, your eligibility to enter the UK is not affected. Your circumstances have not changed enough for mandatory refusal of viss/entry. You should still consult a lawyer for confirmation. – greatone Dec 11 '18 at 5:08
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    You should post that as an answer, @greatone ... Unless an actual lawyer can answer it, then I would assume that's as close to an answer one can come. – Zeth Dec 11 '18 at 7:43
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    Note that if your circumstance changes materially in between your application and the time you enter the UK, you can be denied entry at the border if they find out. Ultimately all visa approvals are conditional on contributing to meet the eligibility criteria at entry. – Honorary World Citizen Dec 11 '18 at 11:25
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In the application process they ask a variety of questions about criminal convictions, cautions, speeding offences, civil penalties, immigration convictions and bankruptcy type proceedings. Presumably, you ticked “no” as that was correct at the time of application. This also includes “spent” convictions (assuming that has meaning in your jurisdiction), so old convictions that no-longer appear on a criminal record must be reported. It does NOT mention “pending” or alleged offences.

There is then, at the end of the process the following declaration.

By sending this application, you confirm that to the best of your knowledge and belief the following is correct: • the information relating to your application • your supporting documents Also, the application will be processed according to the privacy policy and terms and conditions. If false information is given, your application will be refused and you may be banned from the UK and prosecuted.

The problem is the “terms and conditions” that you must accept. If you read those they say:

You must contact your visa application centre if any of the information in your application changes.

Whilst an alleged offence does not result in a change of answer, should you accept a formal caution/warning/probation or (worse!) be convicted, that is a matter which is notifiable.

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    +1 Excellent answer/ – Honorary World Citizen Dec 11 '18 at 16:58
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    I believe that one of the visa application question is "Have you ever had an arrest and charge for which you are currently on or awaiting trial?" and I answered "no" but my criminal lawyer said the correct answer is "Yes". Should I contact the visa application center about the arrest? I have not talked with a immigration lawyer yet. – asoego Dec 11 '18 at 18:29
  • Using that criteria, a person who changes address or even has an increase in income would have the notify the VAC. – greatone Dec 11 '18 at 19:35
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    @HonoraryWorldCitizen The OP was arrested and charged after they submitted the visa application, so the answers were completely correct at the time of the submission.There was provably no misrepresentation. The OP should note the date of the arrest and charge to make this clear. – user71659 Dec 12 '18 at 0:46
  • Be careful about trying to change your answer at this stage. Personally under these circumstances I would just stay silent and accept the consequences if they find out. Drawing attention to it yourself although a noble thing to do can very well be disastrous for you. – Honorary World Citizen Dec 12 '18 at 11:03

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