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

1221. Posted by sarrums (Budding Member 2 posts) 37w

HI, Sorry if this has been posted previously - I started reading through each post but after so many pages my mind became scrambled with all of the information.
My dilemma is that my husband and myself would like to take our young boys to Disneyland and Orlando but my husband has previous convictions and has had custodial sentences. None of these have ever been for drug related incidents or anything that I would expect to be considered moral turpitude. His last sentence was for 5 months in 2010 for public disorder without violence.

It is without question that we would apply for a visa before attempting to travel to the USA, as we could never put our young children through the trauma and upset if we had to go home - they are also unaware of daddy's past. My question is, what is the likelihood of my husband being granted a visa? Should we go for the application or just go Disneyland Paris to save ourselves time and stress.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2016, at 08:46 by sarrums ]

1222. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2422 posts) 37w

As usual with almost all question on this thread you fail to give the single most important piece of information: Your nationality.

You also say his last sentence was for 5 months but give no clue what that means. He was in jail for 5 months? Probation for 5 months? Suspended sentence for 5 months?

You also give zero clue what his previous convictions were, and how long ago they occurred.

No one can offer an informed opinion with no information.

Cheers,
Terry

1223. Posted by Dingle Jo (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Hi All

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Firstly, I am a UK passport holder. I am due to visit the USA in 4 weeks time for 3 weeks. This will be a family trip where I will be getting married to my partner (also a uk passport holder). The holiday has been booked for nearly 10 months.

However, in September 2015 I received a Fine for Fare Evasion and Providing False Details. Realising that I would need to apply for a visa through the US Embassy, I attended my Non-Immigrant Visa Interview in London on 8th December 2015. I provided my ACPO police certificate and gave an honest account of my circumstances to the consular officer. At the interview my finger prints were taken. The Consular Officer was really helpful and empathic, even stating that my conviction appeared to be a little harsh. I was told to email after two weeks if I had not heard anything after being handed a letter advising me that my application was in 'administrative processing'.

It has now been 5 weeks since my interview and my visa status of 'administrative processing' still remains unchanged. Myself and my family are now trying to reschedule my wedding and holiday until October 2016 otherwise we will lose a considerable amount of money if we do not go. I am at the end of my tether with the whole visa application.

I have no previous convictions/cautions or arrests and I work in the public sector in Criminal justice. I felt that the immigration interview went well but I was not asked to show any other documentation in support of my application so I assume that it is my conviction which presents the issue here. I have visited the States on 3 separate occasions in the last 12 years without issue.

If we cancel our trip we will loose thousands of pounds but it is possible to delay it until October 2016. Do you think this will provide enough time or indeed whether or not I will be successful at obtaining a visa? Furthermore, if I do receive my visa and I am able to travel to the USA, I will need to renew my passport as I will have less than six months left on it, will this prevent further problems for me?

Apologies for such a long post, I am really not sure where to go with this. The worry of the process has made me ill over the past six months.

Many thanks

1224. Posted by Flip1991 (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Terry, I'm from UK, I forgot to state that on my post.

Apologies.

1225. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 37w

Jo Dingle, did you have to go to court for this offence and if so did you provide court paperwork to the consular officer? Or was it a fixed penalty without having to go to court?

I'm also wondering what reason they actually gave you for it having to be put forward for administrative processing? They usually would specify this such as suggesting your crime was for an offence involving moral turpitude and instead of refusing outright recommends you for a waiver, which is what appears to have happened.

Was your conviction on your arco certificate?

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2016, at 23:15 by Jetsetter100 ]

1226. Posted by Dingle Jo (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Hi Jetsetter100.

Thank you so much for your post. My offences were dealt with at Court but I was not required to attend (advised by my legal rep). I was not asked to provide any Court paperwork and the consular officer who was very helpful seemed to be satisfied with my police certificate which had details of my conviction on it.

If I remember correctly, the consular officer advised me that she would need to check whether my conviction would exclude me from travelling to the states. She told me that if it was then a waiver could be applied for but she was not sure whether or not it would leave enough time and she double checked when what date I was travelling. Finally, she gave me a letter and circled an email address which she said I could contact if I had not heard anything in I two weeks. I've emailed this address countless times but I have never received a response. She gave me my passport back and said she was sorry that she was not able to issue me with the visa at that Time.

1227. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 37w

Hi Dingle Jo,

It is exactly as I thought then, the reason and only reason they didn't approve there and then is due to a) you having a conviction and b) it is thought to be a crime involving moral turpitude. The latter is any offence that requires an intent, in cases where an attempt to deceive was found (just going on what you describe) this makes you inadmissible to the states without a waiver.

The good news is they only tend to put you forward for this if they feel that the whole case warrants a benefit of the doubt, but you need a waiver. I know people where it has taken days (similar convictions) and in some cases weeks/months. The only issue appears to be workload at the embassy ( they are short staffed currently) and time in the US to approve. I think you have provided all necessary paperwork so that won't hold it up.

I would email them again firmly pointing out travel plans (politely) and ask clearly for an update. That said weeks rather than months seem to be the average, if I was in your position I would email but wait a few more weeks (if you can) before altering or even cancelling travel plans. As you plan to travel in 3 weeks the only option you have is to use the final day in which you can put the trip back to be your deadline. I'm a believe that no news is good news but can only imagine the stress this causing.

Either sit it out up until deadline day or consider putting the trip back now. You have to think it over as there are no guarantees sadly.

You mention you have travelled to the US before on the VWP? Was this before or after the arrest related to your conviction?

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2016, at 03:08 by Jetsetter100 ]

1228. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 37w

Also to add Dingle Jo have you checked your spam and junk folders on your email? I know it's a silly suggestion but worth a look if you haven't

1229. Posted by sarrums (Budding Member 2 posts) 37w

Quoting CheersT

As usual with almost all question on this thread you fail to give the single most important piece of information: Your nationality.

You also say his last sentence was for 5 months but give no clue what that means. He was in jail for 5 months? Probation for 5 months? Suspended sentence for 5 months?

You also give zero clue what his previous convictions were, and how long ago they occurred.

No one can offer an informed opinion with no information.

Cheers,
Terry

Thanks for replying. Our nationality is British.

My husband was given a custodial sentence for 5 months in 2010 for Public Disorder without violence. After serving 3 months of his sentence he was released on home curfew/tag for the remainder two months.

The previous sentence was a short custodial one (I am not sure of the exact duration) which was issued over 20 years ago for GBH section 20, which was for self defence with excessive force.

I hope this offers enough information

1230. Posted by Dingle Jo (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Jetsetter100,

Once again, thank you for your comments and advice. Yes, I have been on holiday before to the states but this was before my conviction so I didn't need to attend the Embassy. My last trip was 2012.
I will certainly check my junk folders to make sure I haven't missed any emails so thanks for raising this.

Thanks