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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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241. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 25 Jun '12 13:48

Muffin, there are NO GUARANTEES about anything!! You're dealing with the nutbars at US Customs & Border Protection, Homeland Security and the myriad of other US security agencies that have taken over the US since 9/11. Nothing is black-and-white anymore.

The constant avalanche of posters on this thread who think their personal illegal situation is somehow unique and who want complete assurances that they won't get into trouble are naive at best and self-centred at worst. They're asking for the impossible.

Bottom line: Several very knowledgeable and experienced posters have given the best possible advice under the circumstances over and over and over and over throughout this thread... It's now up to you to roll the dice.

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jun-2012, at 13:51 by CheersT ]

242. Posted by muffin_80 (Budding Member, 4 posts) 25 Jun '12 13:55

Ok, thanks for the advise. So frustrating, just wish I knew what will happen! I'm gonna have to risk it as the holiday is paid for.

Thanks again :) x

243. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 25 Jun '12 14:18

"... So frustrating, just wish I knew what will happen!..."

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

As do many, many other people on this thread who refuse to read/believe the excellent advice that has been posted ad nauseum. They still want a guarantee.... and that ain't gonna happen, period.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

PS I'm betting you'll be amazed at how easily you slip though hassle free, if you keep your mouth shut...

244. Posted by chewbaccasdad (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 26 Jun '12 04:58

First, and likely only, post here.

I am just back from a trip to the US. I have an arrest and conditional discharge for criminal damage dating back about 8 years. I filled in the ESTA form, ticked no to all questions, and was pre-approved.

I was pooping my pants that I would get turned away at customs and trawled the internet for advice and the past experiences of others, which is how I came across this site. Even then, despite the advice of Terry etc., I was still worried.

Needlessly of course.

Aside from a long queue, passing through border control was a breeze. They took my fingerprints and did a retina scan and said 'Enjoy your stay' and that was it.

At the time of my arrest, I was fingerprinted and DNA swabbed yet nothing showed up on the scan.

Seeing as the experiences of others on this site helped ease my mind, I thought I would return the favour.

Like Terry says above, I bet, like me, you'll slip through hassle-free!

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jun-2012, at 05:00 by chewbaccasdad ]

245. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 26 Jun '12 09:31

Thanks for confirming what has been said over and over here, chewbaccasdad. Not that it'll stop people from posting about their particular situation and wanting guarantees...

And to all the people who are PMing me: Read my Post #22, then read my Post #230. That's all I have to say on the subject.

Happy travels everyone!

Cheers,
Terry

246. Posted by muffin_80 (Budding Member, 4 posts) 26 Jun '12 13:07

Thanks guys, I will try not to stress lol!

x x x

247. Posted by UKNZtraveller (Budding Member, 3 posts) 26 Jun '12 19:24

Hi All,

Just had an interesting hours worth of reading this topic when I should be doing work! The thread did answer a lot of my questions, but only to a certain degree. I will give as much info as possible to get the best answer!

I am from the UK and I was arrested and cautioned for possession of ecstasy in 2007 (over 5 years ago) which at a music festival. I was 20; I am now 25. Only cautioned, not charged, but I see that is irrelevant to the US. Yes, I was arrested. Yes, they took my fingerprints and DNA. Yes, it shows up on an Enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) Check in the UK. I didn't even think this would be an issue until I came to fill in an ESTA this morning.

At the start of the thread (2007ish) I'm thinking - just fill in the ESTA and tick no. But having read the more recent threads, it would seem most advice now (except for the ever-present post #22) says it is probably not even worth risking. If I was at home in the UK and had plenty of time, I would apply for a visa and be honest - I think I would be granted one. This would mean that if I ever had to apply for a work visa or anything in the future I should have no worries or repercussions. This however is not my situation. I have been travelling for a few months and am living in NZ until mid August, so I have just less than 2 months to go until flying from Fiji to LAX and spending 7 weeks in the US. I am living in Wellington, but the US embassy is actually in Auckland, 400 miles away. I could book a cheap flight and get an appointment there. I have my passport of course, but no other paperwork concerning my arrest/caution. I don't even think I have this at home. My questions are thus:

1) Is ecstasy considered any more severe than other drugs, or are "controlled substances" lumped together? i.e. would this give me less of a chance in getting a visa than, say, a little bit of green?

2) As I don't have any paperwork relating to the caution, would the US Embassy in NZ be able to grant me a visa based solely on my passport?

3) As a British citizen, is the embassy in NZ even able to grant me a visa?

4) Would a criminal record of this nature affect me getting a work visa in the US in the future (speculative question)?

If it is the concensus that I will be OK getting a Visa, then I will be doing that instead of risking it. Otherwise, I could end up spending money on a return flight to Auckland, be refused a visa, therefore have no chance of entering the USA, when I could just take post #22's advice! Please please help guys!

Thanks in advance.

248. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 26 Jun '12 19:31

And the beat goes on......

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

249. Posted by UKNZtraveller (Budding Member, 3 posts) 26 Jun '12 20:32

Terry... is this you saying you do not have the answers to my questions? I'm sure you'll point me to #22! But I want that to be a last resort really.

Cheers.

250. Posted by dacar007 (Budding Member, 4 posts) 27 Jun '12 00:57

Quoting UKNZtraveller

Hi All,

Just had an interesting hours worth of reading this topic when I should be doing work! The thread did answer a lot of my questions, but only to a certain degree. I will give as much info as possible to get the best answer!

I am from the UK and I was arrested and cautioned for possession of ecstasy in 2007 (over 5 years ago) which at a music festival. I was 20; I am now 25. Only cautioned, not charged, but I see that is irrelevant to the US. Yes, I was arrested. Yes, they took my fingerprints and DNA. Yes, it shows up on an Enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) Check in the UK. I didn't even think this would be an issue until I came to fill in an ESTA this morning.

At the start of the thread (2007ish) I'm thinking - just fill in the ESTA and tick no. But having read the more recent threads, it would seem most advice now (except for the ever-present post #22) says it is probably not even worth risking. If I was at home in the UK and had plenty of time, I would apply for a visa and be honest - I think I would be granted one. This would mean that if I ever had to apply for a work visa or anything in the future I should have no worries or repercussions. This however is not my situation. I have been travelling for a few months and am living in NZ until mid August, so I have just less than 2 months to go until flying from Fiji to LAX and spending 7 weeks in the US. I am living in Wellington, but the US embassy is actually in Auckland, 400 miles away. I could book a cheap flight and get an appointment there. I have my passport of course, but no other paperwork concerning my arrest/caution. I don't even think I have this at home. My questions are thus:

1) Is ecstasy considered any more severe than other drugs, or are "controlled substances" lumped together? i.e. would this give me less of a chance in getting a visa than, say, a little bit of green?

2) As I don't have any paperwork relating to the caution, would the US Embassy in NZ be able to grant me a visa based solely on my passport?

3) As a British citizen, is the embassy in NZ even able to grant me a visa?

4) Would a criminal record of this nature affect me getting a work visa in the US in the future (speculative question)?

If it is the concensus that I will be OK getting a Visa, then I will be doing that instead of risking it. Otherwise, I could end up spending money on a return flight to Auckland, be refused a visa, therefore have no chance of entering the USA, when I could just take post #22's advice! Please please help guys!

Thanks in advance.

Drug conviction is a bad thing. While you have a slight chance of slipping through with other concerns, you will be stopped at the border for this one.
Don't go if you don't want to spend a night in jail and be sent back with the next available flight. I'm not trying to scare you but US is bad on drugs. Don't go.

Regarding work permits - hire a lawyer.

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