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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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1011. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Quoting djjmc

I'm amazed by the amount of people who are giving advice on here -without any facts!

Everything you've posted has been stated throughout the thread over and over and over again ad nauseam. You're not breaking any new ground whatsoever.

Thanks for your contribution.

Cheers,
Terry

1012. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 150 posts) 1y

Djj

Canada let you become a permanent resident with a manslaughter + theft conviction?? I assume you served substantial prison time for this - so I assume the Canadian authorities would have looked into this closely?

And surely now the US would have access to your records as a Canadian resident?

Kind regards

1013. Posted by roofio (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Hello everyone,

I was referred to this thread via the online forum for the charity Unlock, for ex-offenders.

I am considering embarking on the US visa process (again!) and wondered if anyone who may share a slighly similar situation can give some realistic expectations of success.

Firstly, I was cautioned for the possession of a controlled substance back in the winter of 2007. I applied for a Visa at the US Embassy in London about 16 months later and received a 10 year tourist class Visa (forget the code, sorry!), so I'm not new to the process and know what to expect when travelling down.

Actually, my experience with the embassy was very straightforward and although it was ultimately quite a costly process I didn't find it particularly arduous and from what I remember the interview proper lasted no more than 20 minutes and revolved around my ties, an assertion that I wasn't addicted to or continuing to take any drugs and reasons for travelling etc. So it kind of surprises me that people on here are consulting immigration lawyers for simple possession cautions and worrying about drug tests etc.

Ok, fast forward to 2011, unfortunately, I got into a drunk situation whereby I assaulted a bloke in a club, which eventually led to me being convicted of wounding / inflicting grievous bodily harm. I'm fairly certain that is what my disposal would be on a ACPO certificate, but there are quite a few alternative ways of naming the offence. Importantly, I beat a rap for wounding with intent (i.e. the mens rea was negated due to my drunken state).

There are two important aspects I consider:

1). Assault isn't necessarily an offence of moral turpitude.
2). I used a bottle in the offence, which I would have to speak to a lawyer about whether would be considered a 'deadly weapon', which would result in the offence being one of moral turpitude.

I received a custodial sentence of 16 months a year to the day after the offence. I served 4 months incarcerated and 4 months on home detention curfew. I had a very good job prior to imprisonment and received plenty of character references. On my release I was pretty much back in employment within a few weeks with a different employer, where I still am today. I earn £35k+ per annum. Have a mortgage (pre-dating the offense) and am engaged to be wed next year. Also, I am coming towards the end of a degree in business studies - all I hope will play in my favour.

My motivation for applying for the Visa is two-fold. One, I would like the opportunity to travel to the States for holidaying purposes as I've done Asia to death now. Two, I work in the O&G industry and obviously the Gulf of Mexico is one of the major hubs. I would like to travel for business meetings, conference attendendance and also to transit to South America (i.e. Brazil).

Apologies for the long winded post! Basically, has anyone personally or know of anyone who has successfully gained a Visa or gone down the waiver route with a fairly serious conviction (i.e. offense against person). What timescales am I looking at?

I read with interest on a recent post about someone emigrating to Canada with a manslaughter conviction - do you have more details on that process? Thanks.

1014. Posted by Samg1932 (Budding Member 5 posts) 1y

Hi Roofio,

Before anyone jumps down your throat about this being answered hundreds of times throughout this forum, I thought I'd let you know that they advise around 16 weeks (at least) to 1 year. And the waiver might not even be approved; I personally had to wait 10 months for mine, so I wouldn't book any tickets not make travel plans before you've got that visa

1015. Posted by roofio (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Thanks Samg1932. Actually, the process isn't time critical for me - I'm fully aware of the constraints when approaching the subject of US Customs. I'm really hoping for some indication from someone in a similar boat.

Two other thoughts:

1). If a waiver isn't forthcoming, is that the end of the line as far as border entry is concerned? Is there an appeals process?

2). Assuming you get knocked back for the Visa, I take it you hold custody of your passport whilst the waiver application trundles along? I ask because I travel internationally quite frequently for business and pleasure.

Thanks.

1016. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 150 posts) 1y

Roofio

Tough luck - I'm in a similar position, albiet a caution for attempt to possess in 2013, however I work for a very well known American tech firm and I may need to travel to the US.

Now - because your caution dates from 2007, the US do not see this as an "admittance of guilt" as per their "Matter of K" guidelines... As from 2014 however, they do, so a caution for any possession related violation (bar weed, I assume yours was class A?) will most likely require a waiver now. Hence why lawyers may worth being consulted.

Now to your current predicament - because you have already applied for a B1/B2, you would have to reapply at the embassy. Obviously your caution will no longer show on your ACPO as it would have been stepped down, but the most recent conviction will.

The bad news is that although assault isn't a CIMT, GBH is, and a bottle would certainly count as a weapon.

However the good news is that you have lots of ties to the Uk, employment, and you're clearly well educated. But, most importantly, you have already been given a waiver. This is all in your favour.

If the waiver is not forthcoming, you're entitled to ask why - you'd then be free to apply again at your own leisure.

During the process you keep your passport - its only required once your inadmissibility has been waived.

Kind regards

1017. Posted by Marcovich (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y

Hi guys
I am in the USA now ...
Posting right now ..
I was charged with domestic abuse ( caught my wife having an affair ) , however I was not convicted
The police are human you know ...., some are anyway
So I had the great dilema do I complete the ESTA saying I am squeaky clean or not ????
I am squeaky clean America , and you know what they let me in
God bless America!!
Anyway here's fact ... If your not a peedo ...
If u have not planted a bomb
Or a member of a fuzzy wuzzy bomb squad
If your not just out of jail
For armed robbery
Then fill in your ESTA and go to America and enjoy your holiday

Enjoy

Cheers

1018. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

So you've never been convicted of anything - zero criminal record - and yet you're ecstatic that the US let you in?

Okay.

Glad you're having fun.

Cheers,
Terry

1019. Posted by roofio (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

travelman99,

Thanks for your reply. You state with some confidence that GBH is a CIMT, could I just ask whether that's been clarified to you?

Under Section 20 of the offence, GBH is a crime of basic intent, unlike a Section 18 which is one of specific intent. I.e., the defendent set out to cause GBH specifically.

The caveat to the above is that UK criminal law and US criminal law are not comparable.

Reading the guidance by US immigration on CIMT, basic intent does not fall within that bracket. Actually on the contrary, it says an assault with basic intent is not a CIMT and may or may not include the use of a weapon "which is niether deadly nor dangerous".

That is why the last line is a sticking point in my case, but it depends on how onerous the interview is, whether they will conduct a comprehensive review of the court record etc. Hence I'd like to hear from people in a similar boat.

1020. Posted by mikewhite89 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Haven't seen too much on this lately, is this thread still active?

Thanks