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Access into to the US

Travel Forums North America Access into to the US

1. Posted by Bpatty (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hi all please help I'm going to New York in 3 weeks I have applied for a tourist visa which I have - Howevet I didnt declare I have a criminal record!
Basically 12 years ago I was involved with the wrong crowd and stole money from my employer stupid I know! I had community service and a fine to pay!
I am now a teacher I'm so scared that I did t declare this in the visa and when I get I will be refused!
What shall I do

2. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 84 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

You don't give your citizenship, which means it's more difficult to advise you. I'm wondering if you applied for a Visa Waiver (an ESTA), which is not a tourist visa (or any sort of visa) or for a full visa (which means attending an interview)?

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear but I'm just going to be factual and straight:

Whether you 'got in with the wrong crowd' or whatever, the fact is that you were arrested, charged, tried, found guilty and sentenced.......and you thus have a criminal record. By omitting to mention that fact (whether you applied for an online ESTA or attended an interview for a full visa) you deliberately made a false declaration. In the eyes of any border official anywhere, knowingly making a false declaration is not good.

No-one here, or anywhere else, can tell you for certain what will happen when you arrive at US Customs. You may go through the normal entry process of fingerprints, photo & questioning with no problems or you may be questioned in more detail. No-one here or anywhere else can tell you with any certainty what access the USA may have to your personal info.

You really have only two options:

1. Go to NYC and take the risk. I am no expert, nor is anyone else on any internet forum, but imo the chances of you being stopped for further questioning are slim (though you know you have lied and that in itself may affect your appearance/manner and potentially raise suspicions).

If you are denied entry you will be returned to wherever you flew from (almost certainly at your expense) and it's pretty certain that you will be denied any further entry to the USA for a number of years.

2. Don't go to NYC, allow your existing ESTA or visa to lapse and then be honest when you re-apply.

Only you can make that decision.

I don't think being a teacher has anything to do with this unless, of course, you lied about not having a criminal record in order to become a teacher (which is a very serious matter indeed). Being refused entry to the USA, or to any country, should not impact on your teaching status in any way, though if it does happen you may have to think up another explanation if you don't want colleagues to know you've got a record.

I'm sorry I can't be more reassuring. As I said, imo the chances of you being stopped are pretty slim though I suspect you're going to feel uncomfortable until you're through US Customs.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Aug-2017, at 04:49 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Bpatty (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for this much appricated, I have read so many blogs and messages
It's too late for me to apply for an interview so I will ha e to take my chances
They did do a full check when teaching and I was very JHomer's with them from the start

Please wish me luck I defiantly need it

4. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 84 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

You're welcome.

When it comes to visas and entering countries (anywhere), the individual experiences of other people really aren't relevant. They can only tell you what has happened to others on the individual occasions they passed through a country's border. They simply cannot tell you with any certainty what will happen to you. Facts are the only things which are relevant, so that's what I gave you above.

I hope your trip to NYC is problem-free.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Aug-2017, at 11:49 by leics2 ]

5. Posted by Danny09 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hey guys/gals
I am an Irish citizen.
I am heading to the states in 2 weeks i was filling out (for the first time) the ESTA online form.
A question asks / have you over stayed on a visa or travel document in the US before.
I did 15 years ago, about 40/60 days over. However.... at the time being young and foolish i filled out a visa extension form . Not realizing a visa waiver isnt actually a visa. I submitted the form within the 90 day visa waiver and received a reply stating that i am legal in the US until a decision has been made on my application.
I left of my own accord in early January, i hadnt heard anything about my application. At the check in desk the lady informed me i shouldnt be here i am an overstayer. I handed her the form where it says i am legal until a decision is reached. I had no problems leaving after that.
A letter did arrive at my postal address in the US around April that year. It pretty much said i need to leave the US immediately.

Do i need to say i over stayed on ESTA form? I am worried and running out of time!!

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Aug-2017, at 06:42 by Danny09 ]

6. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 84 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

>Do i need to say i over stayed on ESTA form?

You did overstay, regardless of circumstances, so to tick 'no' would be a lie. From the US point of view, it could potentially be seen as a deliberate act of deception. You cannot assume that your previous overstay is not recorded on the US system and no-one here or anywhere else can tell you for certain one way or the other.

If you tick 'yes' to that question on the ESTA form the chances are that you'll be told to apply for a visa. If your trip is in 2 weeks' time I'm afraid you've left it far, far too late to do that.

No-one here or anywhere else can tell you exactly what data is held on the US system nor what questions you might face at US border control. So your options are as above:

1. Don't get an ESTA, don't go to the US, apply for a visa.

2. Lie on the ESTA and accept that if you are questioned in more detail and your previous overstay is known about, the decision may be that you may be deported (at your own expense) and refused further entry to the US for any number of years.

As above, again, only you can decide what to do. No-one can tell you what will happen at US border control other than that you will certainly have your photo and all 10 fingerprints taken and will be asked at least some questions.

Sorry if the above sounds harsh. It's not intended to be any sort of's just the facts.