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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1121. Posted by mikewhite89 (Budding Member 2 posts) 47w

Hi guys just want to come back on and share my experience. 5 years ago today I was cautioned with a class A (walking out of a police station in a full skeleton suit is quite a site). Around a year ago today I booked a 2 week holiday in Florida. I like everyone else was worried that I would be knocked back at the immigration desk but thanks to others posting on here and giving their advice I went down the ESTA route. I'm happy to say that I landed back in the UK on Monday afternoon. There were no problems when going through customs although the officer did ask If I had took part in any criminal offences since my last visit to the states (6 years ago) to which I said no..

So ye, take the chance, it'll be ok! :)

1122. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 47w

Winstone - many thanks for coming back and telling us your story, and I appreciate the shout out as I'm sure Terry does.

As Terry has said throughout this thread, for any "holidays" to the states - rolling the dice is the best way to go. However, please do bare in the mind the risks around this, no one on this site can predict what they would do. However, according to Unlock, the US immigration department will usually only check criminal records via Interpol channels if you have A) committed a crime in the US, or B) they have a strong reason to believe that you will commit a crime in the US.

However, if you have business reasons to travel to the states, or there is ANY chance you will be moving to the US in the future - going through the motions at the embassy is the only way to go.

Mike white - many thanks also for coming back and tell us your story.

1123. Posted by florida2016 (Budding Member 2 posts) 47w

Travelman99 sent you a pm

1124. Posted by ss86 (Budding Member 4 posts) 47w

Hi Travelman, why would travelling to the states for business trip or for a holiday make any difference to the luck of the esta dice?

1125. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2422 posts) 47w

Visas that involves moving to or working in the US are under much more scrutiny, sometimes requiring a police report.

Cheers,
Terry

1126. Posted by ss86 (Budding Member 4 posts) 47w

Cheers Terry
So that would exclude the Esta and VWP as these are not related to a perminant move or gaining employment status in the states?

1127. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 47w

SS86 - if one gets turned away from the states and it's for a holiday, too bad, ones grotty kids don't get to go to Disney land. If one gets turned away when ones on business... It's a much bigger problem. Plus, if you ever were asked to moved out their to work locally, you will be denied straight away.

1128. Posted by holidaygirl (Budding Member 3 posts) 47w

Hi all

I thought I'd touch base as my partner and I have just returned from a month overseas (North America and Canada)

We are both Australian citizens and my partner has a criminal record for Affray.

After stressing for months as to whether or not he needed a visa (although he had already obtained an ESTA by ticking no to the moral turpitude question) we decided to test our luck.

We had no issues at all, he had previously had finger prints taken in Australia and my main concern was that this would be matched in their systems but this wasn't the case.

Of course the CBP officers were not the friendliest, even I was stressing out even though I have a clean record. They do grill you over your travel plans and I would suggest taking a copy of your itinerary to show your return date.

I thought I'd let you all know as I remember reading people's stories but there was no follow up after their trip.

It is possible affray isn't classified as moral turpitude and that's the reason he got in. But in all honestly I just think they don't know unless you tell them.

I hope this post helps others that stumble across this forum looking for answers!

Holidaygirl :)

1129. Posted by bornunlucky (Budding Member 2 posts) 47w

OK, here goes.
I have 3 moral turpetude strikes in the UK. from 25, 21 and 17 years ago. The last one resulted in 6 months prison served for a crime I did not do intentionally.
I am a british 55 yr old man, married almost 30 years, grown up kids and my own successful business.
For our anniversary I spend all the family savings on a ticket 1st class dream holiday, then after booking I tried online check in and realized the VISA has become a problem, and ticket is non refundable.
I have traveled everywhere. I have been to US many times before serving time 17 years ago, blissfully unaware there was any Visa issues over non custodial convictions. But now see that due to the prison factor I had to ensure I would be "legal"
I went US Embassy to "plead" I spent approx £500 applying for the visa, ACRO, postage, train, overnight hotel for 8am. Meeting Lasted less than 5 minutes. I wore a smart suit and rolled the dice etc as suggested here, he typed the contents of the ACRO for 3 minutes onto his PC, he asked me what the last offence was about, I answered accurately and politely, he said he "didnt believe me, but regardless my 3 strikes would ensure I wouldnt be allowed in the US". Instantly gave me a permenant ban with no appeal.

So obviously I would recommend everyone who has convictions to go through the same legitimate route....be honest, its the best policy!!
) .

My fate was already made before the meeting, it was blatantly obvious..........

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Nov-2015, at 09:07 by bornunlucky ]

1130. Posted by tabs75 (Budding Member 3 posts) 47w

Hi guys,

follow up as promised (and brief breakdown so you don't have to scroll through previous posts).

My husband has two crimes of moral turp which look terrible on his record
1. Assault on a minor (CHILD ABUSE)
2. Racially aggravated assault with intent

Real story is this
1. 15 year old daughter ran away from home, smacked her backside, neighbour complained, law just changed! £400 fine and criminal record or "we will drag your child through the courts"!!!!
2. Polish neighbour was a peeping tom, husband confronted him verbally. Polish neighbour called police and said he called him a Polish Bastard and got his wife to back him up!

Result = very costly trip to London (we live in North of Scotland). Visa, travel, hotel and transport around city & food = £1000!!!!!!!!!

830 appointment is nonsense. You turn up at 830 with around 1000 others and are seen whenever. After complaining at 2pm that he had a flight to catch at four he was seen and handed a document that said VISA DECLINED. He asked whether he could explain to someone and they said "no, we have read what you had to say on your application!)

He is apparently eligible for consideration of waiver of ineligibility however bugger them!!!! We are of to MEXICO!!!! They will get all our hard earned money!!!

advise = don't waste your time. Why go somewhere you are not wanted?? Far better giving your hard earned cash to a country that wants you and will welcome you.

Hasta la vista babies xxxx