Skip Navigation

Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

Travel Forums North America Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

1091. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 51w

Greeners29 - if I may ask a few questions:-

What was the nature of your criminal record?
Was this the first time you had applied for a visa?
What was the process like on the day?
What documentation did you take with you?
How long did it take to find out the outcome?

Many thanks, look forward to hear about your experiences as I am due to attend mine next month so would appreciate hearing from someone who has been there and done it!

1092. Posted by lewism6 (Budding Member 10 posts) 50w

Quoting travelman99

Hi Lewis

That was my post - not Terry's 😅

You're incorrect on one point - a possession caution drops off from ALL DBS checks, even enhanced, 6 years after the initial crime. Your criminal record is then "protected" from all but the police, and could be used against you if you were ever to get into trouble. However, you're correct that it would still show up on a ACRO as "No Live Trace"

SS86 raised a good point earlier about if this would show up on Interpol after the 6 years was up, my answer is I don't know, might be worth looking into.

There is no way to appeal their decision, but they are supposed to give you a reason why you have not been put forward, and usually a time frame when you should apply again. But there is nothing to stop you reapplying straight away.

In regards to convincing them, everything you mentioned, plus proof you are a "reformed" character I.e charity work, volunteering, showing remorse etc and yes, wear a suit and tie. But also take a copy of your savings and payslips to prove you're self sufficient. I am lucky in the fact I have good savings, and excellent salary, I'm a Freemason, I give to 3 charities and I own a house - but even so, I might have an arsehole on the day.

Ultimately, the US are just trying to collect a data base of the worlds criminals - it's completely unnecessary when that person as not been convicted by a court of law, and in my opinion goes against the whole idea of civil liberty.

Remember, and a ray of hope, Cautions ARE a grey area in US law - they do accept that it isn't a conviction, and each case must be properly assessed as per their 'Matter of K' principle, that admittance of guilt must meet their criteria. In my case, I was told to take a caution by the copper, if I hadn't, I would have not got one as I had no drugs on me - I was basically cautioned for 'attempting' to procure drugs, a very minor crime in the US when it comes to controlled substances. However, it's my word against the Met. However, I have seen stories of people getting straight up Visas with drug cautions, but not enough people seem to share the outcome of their interviews, or simply don't go - most of this forum is in relation to full convictions.

It's one of those situations where we won't know until we try, 6 years have passed since your 'crime', and you weren't convicted, you stand a very good chance of getting, at the very least, put forward for a waiver. Everything is in your favour.

If you still feel like you need advice, get a lawyer, preferably in London, they will charge a bit, but that one hour you get is very useful, and they will give you a clear indication on your situation.

Cheers

Sorry Andy! Thanks again for the reply.
You have been a great help for me in getting some clarity, accepting the situation (no matter how absurd), giving me some hope and allowing me to worry a little less.

I just wish I had a mortgage and did some charity work to further increase my chances - but that isn't going to happen in the next month realistically.

Can I ask how you sourced your lawyer, price you paid and why you recommend a London based lawyer?

I'm just about to start my ACRO certificate application - biting the bullet!

Thanks again.

1093. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 50w

Hi Lewis

No problems - I'm a worrier too, and with my job, and the company I work for, it's not a matter of "if" I get asked to go the US, it's a matter of "when". Not a day goes by when I'm not worrying - I've had a degree of counselling about it. Might sound like a complete fanny, but one silly mistake that I didn't actually make, which didn't end up with a conviction, has caused so much stress.

Try at least giving to charity if you can afford it - at least you can show you're giving something back.

In regards to a Lawyer, only think about seeing one if you want to validate what you have read on this forum. They cannot necessarily help you anymore than that as they cannot represent you at the embassy. I paid £180 for an hour and they basically told me everything I already knew. The London based lawyers generally deal with the city boys who smash drugs down like it's going out of fashion and may have records, so are generally more experienced in this area. When I asked my guy, he said he deals with drug cautions on a weekly basis.

However, It's a small price to pay for the peace of mind - I got mine from the US Embassy website:

http://london.usembassy.gov/us_attorneys_in_uk.html

Let me know if i can be of further assistance.

1094. Posted by Hopefulpeace (Budding Member 2 posts) 50w

Thanks for your feedbacks!
Regarding my case I just got back my police record which I ordered from UK and it is stated that Im caution. I have really messed up big time I have met a girl online dating site and she was 16 but stated she was legal. We more or less became in a relationship and shared some prohibited photos which I was cautioned with. I have talked to my lawyer in Canada and he informed me this info will most likely be shared public which will affect my career. He advised me to find a lawyer in UK to deal with this matter and try to make disclose it.
I've emailed several of them and I was just wondering how hard is it to get my name off that list? And how much does it cost to disclose everything? It was really boneheaded move by me and I just feel like I threw my life away. If you can give me any more inputs it will be great..
Thanks again..

1095. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2424 posts) 50w

All I can say is, good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

1096. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 50w

Hmm - no judgement I guess on this site.

Anyway, you haven't received a record in Canada, so this wouldn't affect employment, unless applying for jobs in the UK.

However, this thread is about immigration, and I assume you were deported from the UK, if so, you would have to technically declare this when you're applying for entry into any country.

However

1097. Posted by broxyburd (Budding Member 3 posts) 49w

hi guys

me and my boyfriend are going to book up for las vegas next year - he has a conviction from 9 years ago which is a CIMT and got a years jail sentance

were going to roll the dice and chance it..... but my question is

is it best to book from DUBLIN (alot cheaper prices)- i know they do they customs before entering US in ireland but will they have any knowledge of his convitions on their systems as its kinda within the uk??
or go from our own local airport and chance it in the US???

kind regards

1098. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2424 posts) 49w

It doesn't make any difference. US CBP doesn't magically have access to UK databases just because they're located outside the US.

Cheers,
Terry

1099. Posted by broxyburd (Budding Member 3 posts) 49w

i just thought because it was ireland they might have had more info on files lol

thanks terry

1100. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2424 posts) 49w

No worries. Have a great trip.

Cheers,
Terry