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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

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1511. Posted by desertfox27 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4w

I am an Indonesian citizen, and i live and work in the caribbean, in a UK territory. I have a 10 years US visa B1/B2 and will expire 2020. I committed the crime last year and was convicted. Now, i am out of prison and qants to travel to new york for a week. Would they deny me an entry?

1512. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 4w

No - you'll likely sail through customs.

However, if for what ever reason they pull you over, and do back checks through Interpol, you'll be in a lot of trouble. The likelihood of this though is low,

1513. Posted by desertfox27 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4w

Thanks so much for your positive reply. :)

1514. Posted by Itsovernow (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1w

Earlier this year my partner won a trip to NYC for two people for a few days. Initially we were thrilled. However after a day or two of Internet searching and wrestling with the intricacies of moral turpitude it didn't take long for me to realise that there could be an issue with a conviction that I had acquired in my mid twenties for fraud/ deception which I was sucked into during a relationship with a pretty girl who was a few years older than me and more streetwise. Something that otherwise I would have had nothing to do with, and have long since moved on from now being in my forties.

Like many on this site, I had a choice of either going the US Embassy route which would have been a huge inconvenience being from up north and the added extra cost involved just for a 15 minute interview, or taking my chances on the ESTA form questions. After searching this forum and many others, I reached the conclusion that I was simply not going to leave the decision as to whether I was able to visit the US now or in the future, in the hands of a disgruntled overworked embassy clerk who for example, may have had an argument with his girlfriend that morning and takes it out on me by rubber stamping my application denied.

So we completed the online ESTA form questions asking me if I had been convicted of a crime resulting in either serious injury to a person or serious damage to property and so on. Submitted them and waited. To my relief they were accepted two days later and as we weren't going for another six months I pushed it to the back of my mind as best I could notwithstanding the constant “you must be so excited” from those that didn't know the full story.

Fast forward 6 months and we take off from Heathrow enjoy a pleasant flight landing in JFK. I'll be honest at this point I was actually very nervous after hearing of some people being pulled aside and interrogated thoroughly only to be sent back to the UK on the very next flight. The missus and I approached the immigration queue at the end of which were several booths each manned by three Customs Border Patrol officers. All the while trying to reassure myself of the logic used in assuming they would have no idea on the details of my past, after all I had answered the ESTA questions truthfully.

Finally it was my turn, then just as I stepped forward one of the officials in charge of the queue signalled for me to stop and pulled across the elastic cord to close it at which point I froze. He then opened another and guided us to a different booth that was separated from the rest. My missus and I looked at each other in a way that said a thousand expletives. The stern looking CBP officer sitting in the booth signals for us to approach him and we smile and say hello. He asks us for our Customs declaration form which should have been given out on the plane which we don't have. He tells us to go to another area to find one of these forms complete it and bring it back which we do. His then asks us a plethora of questions concerning our stay and proceeds to fingerprint and photograph, first the missus, then me. This of course is the moment of truth, is there sharing of information on a database that will send a flashing message to his screen?

As he typed my passport details into his computer, he stopped and stared right at me in a way that only a father could look at his son before an impending walloping. I gritted my teeth and smiled in a way that said I am no more a threat to you, your country or the people in it than Mickey Mouse and promised god that if he let me through I would be a better father husband and friend to all that I knew.

It appears that on this day I was in favour, the CBP officer stamped our passports, muttered to his colleagues that it was indeed lunchtime, and we were waved through.

Of course we had a great time and with hindsight I needn't have worried so much, but those irrational niggling fears at the back of your mind infer that you could well be starring in your very own episode of banged up abroad. My conclusion is that they have bigger fish to fry in today's climate. Terrorists, sex offenders, organised crime and the rest, and are only too pleased to have another dumb Brit tourist wandering around spending their hard earned cash.

Best wishes, hope this helps.

1515. Posted by broxyburd (Budding Member 4 posts) 1w

Itsovernow ..... that was some griping story there!!! U had me on the edge of my seat lol
So glad it all worked out for you

Can I ask why they took you to a diff que???


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