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

Page ...

Last Post

21. Posted by ayoungceng (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 23 Jul '09 01:10

Hi everyone, i know this is an old threat, but my question is related so sorry for starting it again!

first let me tell you about my offence, so i shall tell you. Like some guys i liked looking at adult porn, i thought 16+ was ok, its actually 18+, i had 0.5% of my images classed as under 18 (there were 20 images in total), some were said to be under 16 too, but my lawyer said that it was subjective. The police confirmed i never went looking for these images, nor did i frequent those sort of websites either. I picked this images up over time rather than specifically search for them.

I would have got a caution, but the police made a a mistake, initially charging me for a more serious offence, which turned out to be wrong (i didn't argue because i never knew what they were referring too).

The vast majority of the images were of the lowest level (about 75%), the rest were more serious, but because i thought they were ok, i never worried about having them because i thought they were legal in terms of age.

i got a 2 month suspended sentence for one year, a sexual offences prevention order, stops me look at porn on the internet (thats fine, once bitten and all that) i was also on the SOR for 5 years and have to attend a group for a few months.

My probation officer has said i was the least worst case he has come across and thiought my punishment was dispportionally heavy compared to my offense (in my opinion of being ignorant, although i don't and won't use it as an excuse, but hopefully an explanation).

Although i am ashamed about this, I've been open and honest with everyone who has asked me about it.

My conviction was in 2004 and i am thinking of travelling to the US in a few years (by the way, i am married with a 1 year old child), my wife was with me throughout and was very supportive, as were all my friends. I've not been in trouble since and cetainly not looked at porn since either!

I realise that i ought to apply for the visa, but i was wondering if anyone had a view to whether i would actually be allowed a visa in the first place given the emotive nature of my convictions?!?!

thanks for your help in advance!

22. Posted by cflyguy (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 23 Oct '10 04:21

In my employment I have come across cases like this before, most arrests and convictions were a result of operation ore in 2003-2004. Lots of innocent people in the UK ended up with criminal convictions for being victims not offenders. Most were victims of credit card fraud but yet they still recieved convictions. One of the biggest police cover-ups in recent years. Given nature of offences most people did not fight it. Like you say the law states that anything that appears to be under the age of 18 will be classed as indecent. So beware if your wife/girlfriend dresses in a school uniform and you snap away and even though she is over 18 but appears appears to look under 18 your off to court and conviction.

Anyway regarding your question.... Really you should apply for a US visa, however given the nature of offence you will be declined and you will not be allowed into the US. Being on SOR at the time of your question you would have to give your passport details to MAPPA, so the UK authorities will have you details. If it is serious offences or its to protect the public they may share this info with other agencies.

Its a difficult one this, however I did find this link...... http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/freedom-of-information/released-information1/foi-archive-crime/13711_acess_US_info_policenatcpu?view=Html

Regards

Quoting ayoungceng

Hi everyone, i know this is an old threat, but my question is related so sorry for starting it again!

first let me tell you about my offence, so i shall tell you. Like some guys i liked looking at adult porn, i thought 16+ was ok, its actually 18+, i had 0.5% of my images classed as under 18 (there were 20 images in total), some were said to be under 16 too, but my lawyer said that it was subjective. The police confirmed i never went looking for these images, nor did i frequent those sort of websites either. I picked this images up over time rather than specifically search for them.

I would have got a caution, but the police made a a mistake, initially charging me for a more serious offence, which turned out to be wrong (i didn't argue because i never knew what they were referring too).

The vast majority of the images were of the lowest level (about 75%), the rest were more serious, but because i thought they were ok, i never worried about having them because i thought they were legal in terms of age.

i got a 2 month suspended sentence for one year, a sexual offences prevention order, stops me look at porn on the internet (thats fine, once bitten and all that) i was also on the SOR for 5 years and have to attend a group for a few months.

My probation officer has said i was the least worst case he has come across and thiought my punishment was dispportionally heavy compared to my offense (in my opinion of being ignorant, although i don't and won't use it as an excuse, but hopefully an explanation).

Although i am ashamed about this, I've been open and honest with everyone who has asked me about it.

My conviction was in 2004 and i am thinking of travelling to the US in a few years (by the way, i am married with a 1 year old child), my wife was with me throughout and was very supportive, as were all my friends. I've not been in trouble since and cetainly not looked at porn since either!

I realise that i ought to apply for the visa, but i was wondering if anyone had a view to whether i would actually be allowed a visa in the first place given the emotive nature of my convictions?!?!

thanks for your help in advance!

23. Posted by Marc1987 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 10 Feb '11 08:52

I know this thread is years old but again I have a similar question, so sorry for brining it up and thanks for the advice.

When I was 14 I was arrested for shop lifting. I have never done anything illegal before I am now 23 and have not done since. They took my photo and prints ect, and all I remember is them saying the crime will be taken off my record when i am 16 but my details will remain on the system.

I am wanting to travel to the Las Vegas and filled out the online ESTA form, and when it came to the 'have you ever been arrested or convicted' bit, I ticked NO! not because I was trying to hide it, but because I have never thought about it since I was 14 and only really thought about after I filled the form in. The Visa Waiver form was approved but now I am a little worried regarding my situation. Would it be best to make an appointment at the embassy in London and apply for a MRV or just stick with the visa waiver?

Thanks in advance guys

Marc

24. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 10 Feb '11 09:46

There is so much misinformation on this thread that it's mind boggling. Honestly, the situation between the UK and the US is not that complicated.

1.) Minor convictions are a complete non issue because (unlike Canada) the UK does NOT share its criminal database with the US, so for minor offences that didn't result in jail time simply forget they ever happened - this includes DUIs.

2.) For felonies with jail time it can be an issue because your conviction may end up on other databases like Interpol, etc. Get a pardon and clear your record before contacting any embassy or applying for any Visa - you do not want a permanent red flag on your file.

Cheers,
Terry

25. Posted by Marc1987 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 10 Feb '11 09:50

Quoting CheersT

There is so much misinformation on this thread that it's mind boggling. Honestly, the situation between the UK and the US is not that complicated.

1.) Minor convictions are a complete non issue because (unlike Canada) the UK does NOT share its criminal database with the US, so for minor offences that didn't result in jail time simply forget they ever happened - this includes DUIs.

2.) For felonies with jail time it can be an issue because your conviction may end up on other databases like Interpol, etc. Get a pardon and clear your record before contacting any embassy or applying for any Visa - you do not want a permanent red flag on your file.

Cheers,
Terry

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah having read through the thread there is alot of information thats a little hard to digest.

So you would say given the situation, there should not be a problem traveling on the visa waiver program?

I wish there was a source of information on this whole topic rather than the official US government blurry information.

Thanks Mark.

26. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 10 Feb '11 09:57

One more thing...

3.) If you can't get a pardon and clear your record then you need to apply for a Waiver of Inadmissibility. This can be a time consuming process.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=bb515f56ff55d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD

Cheers,
Terry

27. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 10 Feb '11 09:59

"... So you would say given the situation, there should not be a problem traveling on the visa waiver program?..."

===========================

Read Point #1 in Post #22.

Cheers,
Terry

28. Posted by Ronnin88 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 10 Feb '11 13:53

@Marc, I greed with Terry on both points,
A guy of the same age as you read my post and he e-mailed me last year asking about the same thing. He was charged and convicted of procession (minor) in the UK at a young age. I told him to go for it and he did. I asked him to let me know how it went so I can pass information to other like yourself. It went well with no issue for him. Hope this help.

29. Posted by CallumWeir (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 25 Feb '11 06:33

Hello,

Im 17 and just got asked by a few university's in America if i would want to join them on a soccer scholarship. Im from Scotland
I got caught eating half a sandwich in tesco's and they took my details down and said the police might get involved, if i end up getting a criminal record or something for this would i be able to to to America?

30. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 25 Feb '11 08:01

Read Point #1 in Post #22.

Cheers,
Terry

Page ...

Last Post