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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

1131. Posted by Davethebrave (Budding Member 3 posts) 46w

So I've read the whole thread, lots of great information but my question is slightly different (I think) in that I'm Irish, living in the UK and I'm not sure whether I should make my appointment with the embassy in London or Dublin? I have a record for a single crime that happened over 15 years ago, but will need to go through the waiver of ineligibility route as it's drugs-related.

I'm visiting Ireland in December so can organise a meeting, and still have my Irish passport, but I want to be sure I choose the right location to have the meeting.

Thanks in advance!

1132. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 46w

What was the crime, did you get a caution/conviction? Where did it happen, Ireland or UK?

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Nov-2015, at 16:24 by travelman99 ]

1133. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 45w

Hi guys - for those with drug cautions, convictions. A small ray of hope here that things are changing.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/02/obama-prisoners-criminal-justice-education-housing-job-applications

1134. Posted by Davethebrave (Budding Member 3 posts) 45w

I was convicted of possession with intent - I wasn't actually dealing, just had more than would be considered acceptable for personal use, so unfortunately got the higher charge. I didn't go to jail as the judge recognised I wasn't really a dealer so it was just the conviction and a fine. I was 24, and that's the last time I've been in any sort of trouble with the law.

Anyway, it happened in Ireland. I have been living away from Ireland (mainly due to fears this prosecution would appear when applying for/accepting jobs as the rehabilitation of offenders act isn't fully formed yet) for the past 5 years, with the last 2 in the UK. My Irish passport is valid until 2018.

I'd rather not go through this at all to be honest - I visited Australia and NZ earlier in the year with no issues, and even though I disclosed everything they weren't bothered as I didn't do time and was only visiting. It really irks me that I have to jump through these hoops, but my younger brother is marrying an American girl next August in the US and all the family is going, so I have to at least try. If that wasn't happening, I wouldn't be arsed doing it at all.

1135. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 45w

Drugs related convictions, especially those concerned with supply are a huge red flag to the US, you can literally do 20 years over there for the same crime. However, you should be fine mate - the US has a rehabilitation time of 15 years - so at the very least, you'll get put forward for a waiver.

I'd say go to the one in Dublin, less of a wait and by all accounts it's a nicer environment. Make sure you go armed with as much information regarding links to the UK/Ireland as you can - mortgage docs, letter of employment, bank statements, charities you give too.

You have a very good chance of succeeding, but with waivers taking upwards of 6 months, I'd get on it as soon as you can.

1136. Posted by lewism6 (Budding Member 10 posts) 45w

Hey Travelman.
It is encouraging to see Obama doing that.

Since getting in a spin over this myself I have started getting more and more interested in rehabilitation of offenders and also the "war on drugs".
Something has to change. In UK as well.

1137. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 45w

Hi Lewis

Yeah me too, I've researched so much into the American prison system and how much it costs to keep 25% of the worlds prison population - when most incarcerated are low level non-violent drug offenders.

We are lucky here, a caution is spent immediately and after a few years it becomes protected and can only be seen by the police.

Things will change around the drug issue, it has too.

1138. Posted by Davethebrave (Budding Member 3 posts) 45w

Thanks a million Travelman, really appreciate the advice and encouraging view on things. One question - you mention to go armed with as much good stuff about me as I can, but should I also bring details of the actual crime, as in court documents, etc.? Do they need that, or is me admitting enough?

1139. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 45w

No problems.

Yes you will, I'm not an expert on ROI law, but in the UK a conviction is spent after 11 years, under new legislation some cautions and convictions also become protected, so they can only be accessed by the police themselves.

If you were from the UK, you'd have to get court documents as they would no longer show up when you order a ACPO (criminal record sheet).

Your first step is to order your record from Ireland and see what they have on you - I'm not sure how it differs over there in regards to rehabilitation of offenders.

1140. Posted by lewism6 (Budding Member 10 posts) 45w

Quoting travelman99

Hi Lewis

Yeah me too, I've researched so much into the American prison system and how much it costs to keep 25% of the worlds prison population - when most incarcerated are low level non-violent drug offenders.

We are lucky here, a caution is spent immediately and after a few years it becomes protected and can only be seen by the police.

Things will change around the drug issue, it has too.

25% housing "offenders" - think of the money that costs and the better good that could be done with it. Ridiculous!

Its either coincidence or I am just more aware of sly remarks and obvious examples of the failed war on drugs within US Film/Television - "Narcos" being a good example - good old Pablo probably starting it all off with his "imports".