On April 5, 2018, Conor McGregor was reportedly arrested in Brooklyn, NY and charged with one count of felony criminal mischief and three counts of assault. The criminal complaint alleged that the MMA  star threw a metal hand cart into the tour bus window of rival UFC fighters and punched a security guard in the head.

It was subsequently reported, on July 26, 2018, that McGregor had entered into a plea deal, for a much lesser charge – disorderly conduct. The plea deal struck means McGregor is not inadmissible to the US and therefore is not ineligible to receive a US work visa.

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

Under US immigration law, any individual convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (hereafter “CIMT”), is deemed inadmissible to the US. CIMTs have generally been defined by the Board of Immigration Appeals as crimes which  “shock the public conscience” and are “inherently base, vile, or depraved”. CIMTs include murder, rape and fraud offenses.

If McGregor had been convicted of the original charge of felony criminal mischief, he may have been found inadmissible to the US, if the conviction was deemed to constitute a CIMT. Similarly, although simple assault is generally not considered a CIMT, if the charges against McGregor had been elevated, there was a real risk he may have been deemed inadmissible to the US, due to the commission of a CIMT.

If McGregor had been convicted of a CIMT, he would have been inadmissible to the US and would subsequently have required a visa and waiver of inadmissibility in order to successfully obtain entry to the US. If McGregor was unable to obtain a visa and waiver of inadmissibility, his inability to enter the US may have had devastating consequences for his career, potentially reducing his earning capacity and limiting his ability to progress his career on the international stage.

The Plea Deal  

Fortunately in this case, McGregor was able to enter into a plea deal in respect of a much lesser charge – disorderly conduct – which does not constitute a CIMT and therefore will not render him inadmissible to the US. As such, McGregor will be eligible to receive US visas in future and will not require a waiver of inadmissibility. The upshot is, the impact of the conviction on McGregor’s career and ability to enter the US is likely to be significantly less than it may have been, had McGregor not entered into the plea deal.

Davies Legal Immigration

At Davies Legal Immigration, amongst others, we represent professional sportsmen in connection with non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications. We understand the importance of travel to the US at short notice and therefore offer a comprehensive, efficient, diligent service, tailored to your unique needs. Call now for a complimentary assessment of eligibility and take your first step towards achieving your true potential, on the international stage.

Published: 22nd August 2018