Define "clean criminal record"

Both my partner and I have never been convicted of anything. THIRTY YEARS AGO-she was (wrongfully) arrested and charged with shoplifting something “under $300” and the case was dismissed by the state three months later.
I have a somewhat similar situation, charged with marijuana possession but it was dismissed (thanks to someone else having it in a car) but plead guilty to having beer and being under 21. SO there is a “guilty” on the FBI report (for the beer) but then the other is “Dismissed” This was also over thirty years ago! I’ve read if you would not have done a year or more of jail time in Portugal, it won’t be an issue but without knowing what a “clean” record means to immigration…thoughts?

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Canadian immigration held us at the USA-Canada border as we entered Canada via our motorcycles, because one member of our party was arrested 30 years ago. I was surprised by that.


According to my lawyer, if you had a conviction resulting in an imprisonment of three years or more, that would disqualify you from applying for the Golden Visa. My lawyer actually had former experience working with/in SEF, and so I would place enough credibility on her claim. If you would like, I can put you in touch with her so that you can discuss your particular situation.

Thank you!!

My understanding is that if the conviction resulted in anything more than a year in jail that would disqualify you. My husband and I both had DUIs 20+ years ago and that didn’t impact our approval.

That’s correct. Per Lei n.º 23/2007, Artigo 77.º “Condições gerais de concessão de autorização de residência temporária”:

1 - Sem prejuízo das condições especiais aplicáveis, para a concessão da autorização de residência deve o requerente satisfazer os seguintes requisitos cumulativos:

g) Ausência de condenação por crime que em Portugal seja punível com pena privativa de liberdade de duração superior a um ano;

DUI is probably a sufficiently minor offence to warrant imprisonment of more than one year.

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Anybody have experience getting pre-approval if you were arrested for something, but the charges were dropped and you were never convicted?