The ESTA asks if you were arrested or convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Visit here:
see here if you are uncertain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude
This will help you to understand whether or not your crime was a crime of moral turpitude. If you genuinely believe that your crime was not a crime of moral turpitude then it is up to you to decide what to check on the electronic form, your application may be accepted. Please be aware that you must check 'No' only if you genuinely believe that your crime was NOT a crime of moral turpitude. You can go through the ESTA before you book a holiday, (be sure to use the link found on the USA Embassy site - there are many sites that are not the direct route to the process) it will cost around $14 (I can't remember for sure how much). If accepted then it is down to the officer you speak to at border control as to whether or not you get in, and that is the case for even those who have no record of arrest. Alarmingly, even people who have been arrested where no charge or conviction have taken place must also declare their arrest on the ESTA if they were arrested for an alleged crime of moral turpitude. I agree, this is a step too far. The judicial system of the UNITED KINGDOM is one to be respected and considered to be one of the best in the world, so I have to ask why do you have to go to all this trouble even when not convicted when seeking nothing more than a holiday in the USA?
My understanding is that crimes that involve cruelty or deliberate evil to your fellow beings is generally a crime of moral turpitude, however, this is a vague statement, so I'd visit the URL above and make your own decision. It may be that you had no evil intent at all.
The USA understands that through its own massive and constant self PR through many forms of media (movies, music etc) that much of the world would like to experience a little bit of the USA for a couple of weeks a year, there are enough people with no record of arrest in the world for this method of entry to continue to be viable, however for the rest of the world the visa option is very expensive, not guaranteed, and is a great money spinner for the US, on top of that many good and fine people who have made mistakes and are now good honest citizens are being denied access to the USA. And essentially this is what it is down to as a young man who stole £495 in a rash, naive, spur of the moment mistake is hardly a threat to the USA national security. And, you have been punished already, so why put you through more pain and suffering? It's cruelty, basically.
You no longer have a criminal record so it may be worth contacting your police station and explaining you would like to see what information they have on you on their database as your case may now have been 'stepped down' which will make the details only available in an Enhanced CRB check, not a standard check. You might have to pay about £30 for the data but you'll know your situation regarding the database.
Thanks for your reply @ Tight Rope. I just wondered if anyone had been sucuessful in gaining a visa with a similar offence or if im going to struggle if the chances are remote i will just look for an alternetive holiday destination. Living in newcastle the travel and cost involved in applying for a visa would be substainsial and i dont want to waste it. I was thinking of going for it on the waiver but i see there has been an agreement to share details reached recently betwen the us and eu will that include the criminal records?
I'd go somewhere else, see here, proof that the USA considers you to be a criminal for the rest of your life, even for the tiniest, smallest, silliest, mistake.
Agree totally that the US is absolutely in the Dark Ages regarding their Immigration policies. Homeland Security and the avalanche of countless other security agencies have seen to that.
If you can get in though it's a fabulous (western) country to visit with unlimited cool geography, people and places.
Such a shame...
I have looked and looked on various websites as my crime was shoplifting as a juvinielle am I right to think this is not a cimt as it is a juvinielle delinquency? Or should I go the visa route
Im just scared re fingerprinting and what they know
The US seals juvenile records, UK as well. Your juvenile record will not be on file. Use the ESTA visa and enjoy your stay in the US.
Joanne, vegasmike6 is indeed correct. If you were under 18 years of age you are eligible to use the VWP.
US-VISIT: The US Department of Homeland Security's US-VISIT program provides visa-issuing posts and ports of entry with the biometric technology that enables the U.S. government to establish and verify your identity when you visit the United States.
In many cases, this process begins overseas at a U.S. visa issuing post, where a traveller's biometrics - digital fingerprints and a photograph - are collected and checked against a watch list of known criminals and suspected terrorists. When the traveller arrives in the United States, U.S. Immigration officials collect the same biometrics to verify that the person at the entry port is the same person who received the visa. Immigration officials use this information to help them make visa-issuance and admission decisions as part of the visa application process or entry inspection.
Unlike names and dates of birth, which can be changed, biometrics are unique and virtually impossible to forge. Collecting biomtrics helps the U.S. government prevent people from using fraudulent documents to enter the country illegally. Collecting biometrics also helps protect your identity in the event your travel documents are lost or stolen.
US-VISIT currently applies to all international visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the United States (this includes visitors travelling under the Visa Waiver program).
For what it's worth, and it may be a point of interest, see the second to last paragraph at the bottom of the page here: