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Getting a US Visa with an arrest

Travel Forums North America Getting a US Visa with an arrest

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1. Posted by Peter-S (Inactive 7 posts) 1y

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if you could help me because I am a bit stressed out right now. I am from the UK and I have an interview at the US Embassy in London on the 23rd of this month. My problem is back in December 2010 me and someone was involved in a minor scuffle and me and them were both arrested and given a reprimand for minor assault and I was 13 years old at the time. That has been my only run in with the law and I have searched my offence and I understand that simple assault isn't a crime involving oral turpitude.

At the time of the interview I will still be 17 so I will have to bring my mum with me but by the time I travel in June I will be 18 since my birthday is in May (this trip is a birthday present) and my flight to Texas has been already booked because I got the ESTA approval. I am in the process of obtaining a police certificate for my interview. I did originally fill out the ESTA about the arrest question which asks have you ever been arrested for serious damage to property, serious harm to another person or government authority and I truthfully answered no to that question because it wasn't serious harm and it wasn't like I was arrested for Grievous Bodily Harm and I got it approved but then I later learnt that I am unable to travel under it with the arrest so that's why I'm doing the right thing and applying for a visa because my fear is being sent back at the border.

I just want to know what do you think my chances of getting the visa are since I was obviously a minor and it wasn't a crime of moral turpitude and I was charged or convicted. I don't want my 18th birthday to be ruined :(

Thank you.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Apr-2015, at 07:38 by Peter-S ]

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

You would have to be really unfortunate to be turned down. Show up with you and your Mom looking very presentable, dressed very nicely and of course act respectfully and you should have no problems getting the Visa approved.

Please let us know what happens.


3. Posted by Peter-S (Inactive 7 posts) 1y

Thanks for your support Terry, I heard that they exclude anything which occurred under 18 is that true?

4. Posted by Peter-S (Inactive 7 posts) 1y

Oops sorry I was meant to say that I WASN'T charged or convicted.

5. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

What they include/exclude is immaterial because the officer never has to follow the rules, Homeland Security and US CBP personnel are given great latitude in their decisions.

Bottom line: Stop worrying about this. Show up as if you and your Mom are going to church and everything will be fine.


6. Posted by Peter-S (Inactive 7 posts) 1y

Hey Terry,

I got my certificate back and interestingly it said no trace. Is that good?

7. Posted by robmer (Full Member 105 posts) 1y


I felt sure that you would not have a problem based on what you said. It looks like things are going to go well for you and you should be on your way. Welcome to the USA!

8. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

If you had come here for advice at the beginning I would have told you that the UK does not share their normal criminal database with the US so you should simply forget the incident ever happened and that a visa was entirely unnecessary.

Now that you're going to the Embassy - which never should have happened - you're in their database so you have to jump through the bureaucratic hoops and get the paperwork done. Just be honest and you should be rubber stamped.

Good luck and let us know what happens.


9. Posted by Peter-S (Inactive 7 posts) 1y

Hey Terry

I know the UK doesn't share databases but it's just that the US Embassy website says that anyone who has been arrested must apply for the visa. I only think I'm doing the right thing since I don't want to get into trouble. My worst fear is getting sent back.I do have all the paperwork sorted.

Thanks for your support.

10. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

Tranquilo, it'll all be fine.

Brush your teeth, comb your hair, dress nicely and the interview should be a formality.