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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

1561. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 167 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!


This is a little more complex than the usual questions we have. Ultimately the term "criminal damage" is vague, my understanding is that "moral turpitude" are immoral or base crimes committed with intent, hence why simple assault ISNT a CIMT but ABH/GBH is. I'll come back to this later...

Ultimately you will need to provide an ACRO which will show all crimes you have committed and the sentences alongside this. Now this is where it's complex - depending on what resource you read, you're either supposed to declare ANY arrest, or just arrests related to CIMT. Now in your case you need to be able to prove that your arrest was not for a CIMT, and therefore you are best placed contacting a immigration lawyer - because if it is, it will make your situation quite uncomfortable as you will only be able to plead ignorance for your use of the ESTA in the past. If however it is NOT a CIMT then you would have no problem proving your ACRO as you are not inadmissible under their own regulations.

I wouldn't feel comfortable offering you a complete answer on this, but from my understanding, simple criminal damage without intent is NOT a CIMT - I.e being drunk and kicking a door down, opposed to taking a baseball bat to your arch enemies car. Therefore to my introduction, you might be best placed request your police notes from the force that arrested you to prove it wasn't damage with intent.

Go speak to a lawyer about this to be sure.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2017, at 09:03 by travelman99 ]

1562. Posted by tml (Budding Member 4 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Travelman99, Thank you for your response, the criminal damage and assault all rolled into one arrest as a group of us got into a fight and some of the bar we were in was damaged in the scuffle so i don't believe it would be a CIMT.

I've requested my ACRO already so i will see what details are on there, my main concern is the fact I've been using the ESTA and they will ask why none of this was declared sooner,

To your knowledge do the US embassy's have any extra power to see your criminal record or are they the same as the ESTA and immigration process?


1563. Posted by broxyburd (Budding Member 7 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Ok here goes .... Big group of us traveling to Florida 2018 with kids

My partner , British, has conviction from 10 years ago. He was in the army and got into a fight... Was charged with malicious wounding and got 2 year sentance and served a year.

Now we're taking our Wee boy and the thought of getting refused entry makes me feel sick but then from what I've researched the US hold no info between the UK and the only way of actuslly bringing this information to light is by actually going for a visa???

My head says go for the esta and tic no to the CIMT question as I really think there's bigger fish in the sea to be worrying about than my partner lol but I'm scared of the 'rolling the dice' and getting caught

Any advice please???

Many thanks

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jan-2017, at 12:43 by broxyburd ]

1564. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 167 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!


Firstly - you need to understand if that particular conviction falls under CIMT, also, was his conviction from the civilian courts? If it's not a CIMT then there isn't an issue here.

Secondly - it was a long time ago, and chances are your partner would be given a waiver, and you'd be allowed to move freely. You also have a year so he will have plenty of time to apply. You sound like a worrier, and trust me you will be worrying yourself sick about getting caught and no doubt ruin your holiday.

Thirdly - Lying on the ESTA is also an option. The USA do NOT have regular access to our criminal record database. Chances of being caught are very slim, but not impossible. If he is caught get ready to feel the full force of federal law, and be ready to explain to your kids why daddy has gone to prison.

Ultimately as it's been said many times - it is a roll of the dice, but if your not likely to ever move to, or work in, the USA, then it's the easiest option.

As I mentioned before - unlike most people on this forum who tend to ask this question a few months before they fly - you have plenty of time to get it sorted. My advice is to speak to a lawyer, see if your husbands conviction is a CIMT, if it is, do the paper work and get it done properly to save yourself the worry.

The choice however is yours.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jan-2017, at 13:02 by travelman99 ]

1565. Posted by broxyburd (Budding Member 7 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Travel man , thanks for your quick reply.

I've researched it and I'm sure it does fall under CIMT.
I've heard and read of so many people with worse or similar convictions entering the US without an problem, there not interested in someone like my partner, it's only tur big fish there looking for.?

I've also read people saying they regretted going down the proper route and they should Just have ticked the esta as its just brought everything up which they didn't know about previously.

As you say it's a 2 week holiday , not moving or working over there ....,

Decisions decisions lol

1566. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 167 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Indeed! Let us know what you decide.

Please do read a few comments up as some people have recently had success with the legitimate route.

1567. Posted by tml (Budding Member 4 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Just jumping back in on this guys,

Cold anyone answer my previous question, do you know if the US embassy in London has access to records or do you know anyone who has applied for a visa but ticked no to the arrests question?

I'm still deciding wether to go through the long drawn out legitimate way and potentially get denied or risk it and just play the fool and see if that works, as I mentioned before I'm not eligible for an ESTA either way because I've travel to the Middle East in my work,

Thanks guys

1568. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 167 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Hi TML - They don't have access, but can request with your permission only.

As I mentioned to you before - you have no choice as you're going to need to apply for a VISA due to your recent visits to certain countries. That requires you to provide an ACRO.

1569. Posted by Toomany (Budding Member 2 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

I've followed this thread for a long time and I know what needs to be done and they have no access to your records etc.

Decided to go down this route, got esta approved and due to travel end of May on big family holiday.

However I had an awful realization this week. Months ago I emailed CBP (possibly Orlando airport direct- I don't remember) asking whether my husband needed a visa - giving his conviction, fine and community service details. I didn't give any personal info other than my email address. I can't remember the reply - it was either he needs a visa or contact embassy.

Months later apply for esta, tick "no" and it's approved. The stupid thing - I used the same email to apply for the parties' estas .

Will this be flagged up? Or do CBP not store query emails?

Bricking it now as doubt he has time to get a visa. Can't believe I was so stupid.

1570. Posted by Toomany (Budding Member 2 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Would it help if I reapply for estas under different email address?