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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

1161. Posted by usatravely (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Forgot to add post 1159, i am a uk citizen.

1162. Posted by usatravely (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Another question will they see all details of arrest if i went down the visa route or would they just see the possesion arrest? What details will they access from the police acro?

1163. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 158 posts) 1y

They only see what you show them - and because your conviction 15 years ago is now spent, they will only see the possession. If it happened 4 months ago don't even bother applying - under a year ago cautions didn't matter to the USA, now they do.

They've even reworded the Drugs question on the ESTA so you have to admit straight off that you violated a law.

1164. Posted by anonymous123 (Inactive 14 posts) 1y

Hi guys, my situation is a bit different from others in this post - I was arrested in the UK for an offence classified as a 'moral turpitude' when I was 17. But i ended up with no cautions or convictions. However, the ESTA question, which now reads:
Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?
but the explanation still effectively says that this relates to crimes of moral turpitude.
So, my questions is if I tick no on the ESTA form, am I likely to have any problems? In this document ( it says that if the crime was committed before 18 it doesn't count?

1165. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 158 posts) 1y

You've answered your own question - happy travels.

1166. Posted by anonymous123 (Inactive 14 posts) 1y

Hi, I'm just trying to see how others interpret the document (please do read it if you have the time...) as it seems to be directed to people applying for 'waivers of inadmissibility' rather than for ESTA or work visa purposes (I could potentially get a transfer to NY, but that's another matter...) so I'm not sure if it entitles someone to tick 'no' on the ESTA question which DOES ask about all arrests/convictions/charges. Please don't criticise me for this but I'm sorta planning on 'testing' the system out first by a trip to the US with ESTA, and if there aren't any problems I'll go on ahead and apply for a transfer with my company to NYC.

1167. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 158 posts) 1y


Technically you're supposed to disclose any arrest, whether it resulted in a conviction or not. However, if you were to request an ACRO (which highlights your record) it would simply say "no trace" as you have no convictions against your name.

Also, the States have a petty crime rule which means that one CIMT committed under the age of 18 will not make you inadmissible. However, technically, you are still ineligible for ESTA as you have had negative contact with the the police - ridiculous isn't it? The US and Canada are the only countries that get over excited about records that didn't result in convictions/prison time.

If it's a work transfer you will need to use a different type of visa anyway that the standard ESTA or B1, and you will need to disclose your ACPO anyway - this will not show anything, so, in essence, you're absolutely fine.

The US does NOT have access to the UK records. They cannot view your notes and details unless you show them.

1168. Posted by anonymous123 (Inactive 14 posts) 1y

I probably shouldve mentioned earlier that I'm a French citizen. A police certificate isn't required for either an L or an H1B visa, but I have to list on the DS-190 form that I have studied in the UK (it asks about previous education as well as countries visited in the past 5 years). Would this prompt them to ask for access to the UK police national computer? I'm really tempted by the possible work opportunities in the US and if the risk isn't too great, I'll take the risk and tick 'no' on the visa form - please don't judge my character... Also, can anyone who has been to a US visa interview tell me whether they ask you explicitly whether you've been arrested? Thanks a million.

1169. Posted by anonymous123 (Inactive 14 posts) 1y

travelman99: I completely agree with you. What is supposedly the freest country in the world seems to have disproportionately strict immigration rules and from what I've heard the most unfriendly and intimidating border officials in the world...

1170. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 158 posts) 1y


Okay I was under the impression an ACPO was required for an H1B as you're effectively going to be in the US long term.

To be honest - you may as well do it properly, you're not inadmissible to the US under the petty offenses rule. They also wouldn't ask to see the PNC, they can't, they rely on the applicant to provide this information.

The overwhelming amount of people just tick the 'no' box and have no problems getting in. They only tend to check Interpol channels (which again only show up those with serious criminal records) if you commit a crime whilst in the states or look shifty enough to warrant extra checks.

It's a little different for most of us here with cautions or convictions as you have neither.