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VISA proceedings with a criminal record

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean VISA proceedings with a criminal record

1. Posted by Ebcg (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Hi all
I am looking for some advice about non immigrant visas. I have a criminal conviction from 2009, I am going to apply for a visitors visa to go to Florida in October, I am going with my boyfriend who doesn't know about my conviction and I would like it to stay that way.
He is travelling via the VWP, I am wondering what happens at the airport in immigration. I have never travelled to the U.S. Before so have no idea. I have a new type passport and assume my visa will be electronic on that.
Providing all goes smoothly what happens when I go through immigration - I.e will my bf see that I have a visa? I assume we will be going through immigration separately because we have different surnames and are not married. It is going take some explaining that I can't go on the VWP. I know I should tell him before I travel but that's another story so please don't judge.
Any help is much appreciated

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

1.) As usual with almost all questions regarding Visas and international border crossings you fail to give the single most important piece of information: Your nationality.

2.) You also fail to give the second most important bit of info: What was the conviction and what was the penalty?

That said, I'll assume you're from the UK. If that's the case then you're likely fine with the VWP. Read the last few dozen pages of this thread:

Good luck.


3. Posted by Ebcg (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Hi terry, I am sorry but I am new to this as I explained before.
I am English and in the UK, my conviction was for theft and I got 8weeks inprisionment

4. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 713 posts) 1y

Maybe I'm being dumb here, and not knowing your nationality I could be completely wrong, but why can't you apply online for an ESTA without mentioning the conviction?

Ah, replies crossed.

As i understand it the uk doesn't share data with the usa. So I think that means they only know about your conviction if you tell them.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jul-2015, at 15:16 by Andyf ]

5. Posted by Ebcg (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Yeah I am getting all kinds of mixed messages, under UK law my conviction is spent but under U.S. Law that does not apply, from what I can see as you say they don't know unless I tell them, but I do not want to get to immigration to have it all fall in on me.
One person from unlock to me that I do not need to get a visa and another told me I do so as you can imagine I am most confused.

6. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 713 posts) 1y

Well I think your choices are:
1) Lie to them
2) Don't go.

If you apply for the full visa, saying you have a conviction, aren't they going to refuse you the visa?

The usual advice given on here is forget about your spent conviction and enjoy your trip.

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

Follow my instructions regarding reading the link I gave you. Everything you need to know is there.


8. Posted by Ebcg (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Hi terry
Thank you for all your help, it's nice to speak to someone who can help, I think I have made up my mind on what I am going to do re ESTA V visas,
Just out of interest, how does one find out if their conviction is of moral turpitude?


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

Google is your friend.

voluntary manslaughter
involuntary manslaughter, in some cases
spousal abuse
child abuse
aggravated assault
animal fighting
fraud, and
conspiracy, attempt, or acting as an accessory to a crime if that crime involved moral turpitude.

That said, it's NOT a cut-and-dried situation. There is NO definitive answer. Consider almost all crimes as something that will red flag a US Visa application.