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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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451. Posted by anon0001 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y

Thanks Mike and Terry. The reason I was so surprised was that after reading through a few hundreds posts on here and other forum, I read about several experiences from guys that were in their 20s, 30s or evens 40s, that had be arrested for possession of a controlled substance whilst under the age of 18, whom all had their visa applications automatically pended for further investigation as soon as drug offences were discussed. This is the reason I was pessimistic about being approved.

To hellothere66 - actually I did sufficient research. If you had too you would know that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act doesn't apply to U.S. Visa Laws, so legally you DO have to admit any offense - regardless of your age or whether or not you were charged.

452. Posted by mitchym (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y

After reading through this thread i decided to chance it. I am 26 and have been found guilty of 2 assults and possesion of class A & C (about 3-4 years ago).I answered no on the ESTA form and got through customs no problem. I was nervous before we went and i couldn't get excited about the holiday for fear of being refused entry.

My advice would be risk it, if you have to.

453. Posted by Eyespy (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y

Quoting mitchym

After reading through this thread i decided to chance it. I am 26 and have been found guilty of 2 assults and possesion of class A & C (about 3-4 years ago).I answered no on the ESTA form and got through customs no problem. I was nervous before we went and i couldn't get excited about the holiday for fear of being refused entry.

My advice would be risk it, if you have to.

Thanks for the post Mitchym.

Can you confirm that you were convicted of possession of Controlled Substances and assaults in the UK courts, so this will always be on your CRB. You were not cautioned , let off etc.

Also I presume that you had Digital fingerprints taken at the time- not ink and paper - if only 3-4 years ago.

And you didn't change any passport details etc on your ESTA?

If so, that's very encouraging to me. Still a huge risk but you made it.

454. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 3y

Hi all, it's likely you're going to say my question has been answered already in the thread but after spending an absolute age reading through every single one, I'm not sure it has.

My husband was in with the wrong crowd and was arrested and convicted 7 years ago for possession of 300mg of cocaine (infact it was only 150mg but he was too embarrassed and ashamed at the time to hire a lawyer) so he paid the £300 fine and went home.

We met five years ago and he has been clean from the day I met him (and for at least a year before that, he only did it a handful of times, socially) but I guess he shouldn't have done it at all and now must face the consequences. I have always said that although he hates to think about it, it's part of his past and what has made him the man he is today - which is a Director and Manager of a successful automotive business, a wonderful husband and a mortgage payer. The arrest scared the life into him and made him pull his socks up and make better friends!

I visited the states a lot as a child and my dream is to return. We have been to the Carribean, Thailand, Mexico etc etc and now I want to go back to the States and ideally would plan a trip for next April 2014 but being an honest and law abiding citizen now, my husband must apply for his B2 Visa.

We have sent off for is ACRO Police Report and I am quite informed about the whole process but I just want to know if it's all going to be a waste of time? We have no intention of ticking 'no' on the ESTA form as I would probably get arrested at the airport sweating and looking guilty. If we go I want to do it the right way but I also don't want to waste his time when someone knows that he cannot get a visa or a waiver of inelegibilty with a possession charge.

Yes he looks smart and is well mannered and polite but it sounds as though they don't really give you a chance to speak or explain at the embassy?

Does he stand a chance of getting a visa should he suggest taking the drug medical?

If a visa is refused, would having a single conviction of 300mg of cocaine with just a fine mean that he can apply for a waiver of inelegibilty? Online nformation on the waiver is very conflicting, some information says that it would fall under the waiver and other information says only those convictions of 30mg of cannibis and nothing else have a chance of an approval?

I just don't want to go through the entire process if it's a guaranteed waste of time. Has anyone been successul with a similar conviction at getting either a visa or waiver of inelegibilty??

Thanks in advance...

All though helpful, after reading this thread, I feel dizzy!!

455. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 3y

I forgot to mention that my husband was 22 at the time and is 29 now.


456. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 3y

There is no way to predict what will happen. You roll the dice and you take your chances.

Good luck.


457. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 3y

Hi Terry, thanks for getting back to me.

I understand that and that every case is different but I was wondering whether anyone with a similar conviction had any luck?

After looking at many other forums now re. Waiver of Inelegibility (& speaking to a few people with experience in getting one), I think it's 99.9% positive he wont get a B2 visa (as he has a conviction involving a controlled substance (not less than 30mg of cannibis) but fingers crossed they'll put him forward for a Waiver of Inelegibility as I have heard that (although they can up to 6 months to get) he would be more likely to get one of these (as the 30mg rule is only applicable when applying for a Waiver of Inelegibility for an Immigrant visa and they are much more leniant with non-immigrant visas when considering a waiver).

Fingers crossed. I'll keep everyone posted either way as it may offer some hope to those with a minor conviction (or encourage them not to be honest on the ESTA depending on the outcome!!)

458. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 3y

You have a firm grasp of the situation.

Good luck and please let us know how it turned out.


459. Posted by dragontm (Budding Member 6 posts) 3y

Good Morning.

I have read over and over this forum and am still lost lol

Ok let me explain.

My wife in 2002 - 2008 claimed benifits that she was not entitled to (Without me knowing)
She was caught and went to court for overpayment of benifits which she is paying off.

She recieved a 6 months sentance suspended for 2 years and 100 hours community service.

She is british and holds a UK passport.

I did the ESTA for our family and clicked No and printed off the aproval forms.

What i am a little unsure of, is she never had her prints taken by the police, she never got arrested by any police officer it was the benifits taking her to court for overpayment.

Also she never got told she had a criminal record for fraud or recieved a letter from solicitor about any records.

Now we fly to Florida in 2 weeks, has she got a high chance of being turned away? as we are totaly confused if she has a record or not.

Please dont flame me for what my wife did yes its wrong and we have paid the price.


460. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 3y

Hi dragontm

I have done extensive research on the subject and have found out the following :

Your wife should have said 'yes' on the ESTA and then applied for her ACRO Police Certificate. This would list all of her arrests / convictions.

She then should have got herself an interview at the embassy to apply for a Visa (which she would most likely be denied as I think Fraud is Moral Turpitude (correct me if I'm wrong). She then may or may not be referred for a Waiver of Ineligibility which it seems that if more time has passed than the maximum sentence, you are not considered a risk to US society and have enough ties back in the UK (presuming you are in the UK), the waiver should be granted. This however takes between 6 - 8 months at the moment and should all be completed before booking your flights.

This is the route my husband and I are taking as I always believe in being honest and if he is denied a Visa, we will simply holiday elsewhere.

You obviously don't have the time needed and have already ticked the box on the ESTA 'no'. This in the eyes of the US is a crime in itself and if you are caught, your wife will be deported from the US on the first flight home and will receive a premenant ban.

It would however appear that the liklihood she will get caught is slim (however still possible). They will do a finger print and eye scan (and from the thousands of threads I have read) let your wife in no worries but there is a small chance they may call her aside (should she look nervous / worried) and interview her more thoroughly and its whether or not she can hold her ground as to whether they request an individual check from the UK.

The other thing to remember (should you ever return to the US) is that from now on your wife must always tick 'no' on the Visa as she is in fact committing a crime in the eyes of the UK by lying on the ESTA.

In my opinion, it just isnt worth the risk. You do the crime, pay the time and accept your mistakes. However we all have a past and I don't agree with the law regarding Visas and don't understand it (my husband did cocaine twice in his entire life and is being scrutinised to go in a country that sell guns to under 18s with no license!) Makes no sense and I wish you every bit of luck, you're braver than I am (and it's not even me with the record!!)

Please let me know how you get on.

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