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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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621. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2420 posts) 2y

Same advice.

Roll the dice.

Cheers,
Terry

622. Posted by Dinkydinky (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

I've trawled through several years worth these posts now but still I suppose want a bit of clarification on my own 'affray' (I'm a British citizen)

In 2006/2007 I was originally arrested at an airport for trying to exchange currency for someone who had emailed me asking to do it for him. Mega stupid thing I know, I was low and broke and I suppose he targeted the right person. I told everything to the police, they went through my laptop and whilst at the police station said they would take no further action on it because I'd clearly been mislead by a criminal gang. Great. However my second stupid thing was that at the time I had a small amount of ketamine (class c) in my purse when I was searched. They told me that i would receive a caution for the drug but no conviction, fine or sentence. I was also fingerprinted and photographed at time of arrest. That was nearly 8 years ago and I haven't thought about it since until we've now booked to go to America and on the visa waver application it has asked about arrests or convictions for drugs. I've read so many similar posts but none quite the same hence the question. Does anyone know now in 2014 if the uk and us share data? I'm scared about clicking 'no' and getting to America with friends and colleagues and getting turned away!

Can anyone share any stories of safe passage with a similar (caution for class c possession) predicament?

623. Posted by northangel31 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

Hi, I will share my story after weeks of researching this topic. I booked a holiday to New York and after was arrested, charged and bailed. The offence comes under the questions asked in the eSTA no doubt. I had my finger prints taken two weeks prior to flying out.
I trawled the message boards looking for an answer and decided to take my chance and go as I had hidden the details from my partner Until after the holiday.
I contacted a solicitor before I flew and asked what information would show up,he told me not to worry as the UK are very lazy when it comes to sharing information. He told me, basically unless you are a murderer or sex offender you are fine. For any info to show up you have had to surrendered your passport or signed the registers that are shared with Interpol for serious offences.

I do believe the people that get pulled have either said yes on the ESTA on the plane , which you can't do any more, or look very suspicious when going through immigration.
I was a nervous wreck going through but I think I wouldn't have even got out of England if there was a problem .
So my advice is to relax and forget about it. They will only look at your history if they want to.

624. Posted by madyellow (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y

Hello all,

Last month I wrote on here re: my circumstances. And having trawled through the various forums and advice, I decided to play it safe and apply for a Visa. I thought I'd share my experience, to help those who are deciding what to do.

To recap, I received an adult caution in 2005 for possession of cannibas. I was planning to fly to New York in March for a 6 day holiday. So I followed the information on the US embassy website and paid the £45 for the ACPO check, completed a DS-160 form, completed a VCU-01 form and paid £100 to schedule a non immigrant interview.

This is what happened at my interview last week................ the interviewer told me that I am neither eligible or ineligible for a Visa!! I was officially told that my application is on hold. Basically the US Embassy is currently reviewing their policy on criminal cautions and how these are classified, and whether these should be treated the same as convictions. So what does this mean for me? I was told that I am not eligible for a visa at this time but also they can't put be forward for a waiver of ineligibility (which takes 6 months and is normally how they deal with those who present with convictions). I asked how long it will take for a decision on how they treat cautions. I was told that the US Goverment has been deciding for several months already.

So I am now officially in the US Embassy's bureaucratic limbo! Those who have convictions will likely find it quicker to gain entry to the US than those who have cautions, as you should be apply for the waiver of ineligibility.

Naturally I am disappointed, I am also furious that the Embassy did not make it clear that they were reviewing cautions (which will probally not be resolved anytime soon), prior to me taking time off work, to attend a £100 appointment, plus the £3 to store my electronic items round the corner at a pharmacy, which appears to beendorsed by the Embassy. I feel a little, like I have been strung along by the US Embassy for their own monetary gain.

When I came back I found this tucked away on the US Embassy's website, which may be useful for some, please go to Page 4, tip number 5:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/unitedkingdom/164203/cons-visa/20131126VCUNIVWebchat.pdf

Perhaps it would have been a lot easier and cheaper to travel and risk being dishonest on the ESTA form. Best of luck to anyone who opts for this.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jan-2014, at 14:53 by madyellow ]

625. Posted by bluemick2011 (Budding Member 3 posts) 2y

I'm sorry to again post when so many questions have been answered in such detail.

My query in both in relation to a not guilty verdict and to the specifics of moral turpitude . I was arrested for the first time in my life several years ago in relation to an allegation of 'conspiracy to pervert the course of justice' after I'd been the victim of an assault . The case was dismissed by the judge and as an unrelated aside I'm currently suing the police and their main witness has been charged with perjury.

My point is regardless of my aquittal I'm not sure if that offence falls under moral turpide ? I know there are a number of caveats and I feel that it may 'slip under the radar' . Several co-accused on this matter formed that opinion and have travelled to the US without applying for a Visa .

I'm confident that given the situation a visa application should be fairly straightforward but obviously there is a lot more to it that the standard simple visa waiver scheme. I'm just interested in the general thoughts and observations of posters.

Thanks in advance

626. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2420 posts) 2y

It never ceases to amaze how many quasi legal questions like this fail to state the single most important piece of information: Nationality.

In any case assuming you're from the UK you are in my opinion completely over thinking this.

The entire situation regarding the UK/US (not) sharing their databases has been discussed ad nauseam throughout this entire thread and I can't imagine what else there is to say. Questions that delve into complicated issues that are beyond the most basic legal points are impossible to answer without waaaaay more detail than an Internet forum allows.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Feb-2014, at 02:44 by CheersT ]

627. Posted by bluemick2011 (Budding Member 3 posts) 2y

Quoting CheersT

It never ceases to amaze how many quasi legal questions like this fail to state the single most important piece of information: Nationality.

In any case assuming you're from the UK you are in my opinion completely over thinking this.

The entire situation regarding the UK/US (not) sharing their databases has been discussed ad nauseam throughout this entire thread and I can't imagine what else there is to say. Questions that delve into complicated issues that are beyond the most basic legal points are impossible to answer without waaaaay more detail than an Internet forum allows.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

Thank you for the reply , I'm reading through the thread mate but you'll appreciate it's incredibly lengthy. I'll presume that the non-sharing of info is the crux of your point ? Hopefully I'll see that discussed but if you feel you can clarify (I appreciate your clearly repeating yourself) than that'd be great, if not then at least thanks for the reply and your earlier replies.

Yeah I am a uk citizen

628. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2420 posts) 2y

Yes, this thread is a monster. It's a shame it couldn't be edited down to the basic 30 or 40 posts that actually contain accurate information.

For a tiny sliver of the general consensus read Post #24, but keep in mind you're asking questions that without a LOT more detail are way beyond even an expert opinion, so anyone who makes blanket statements about the "truth" in your particular case is full of rubbish.

Cheers,
Terry

629. Posted by bluemick2011 (Budding Member 3 posts) 2y

Terry thanks that post is pretty informative so thanks for your help.

It also gels with My opinion & the experiences of my friends . Given my not guilty my view of the offence perhaps not falling into the 'moral turpitude' catch all is suggest even if it 'went wrong' I could present a lucid and reasoned defence.

Terry scanning the thread I'm sure your tired of repeating yourself so thanks for spending the time to answer

Cheers and regards

630. Posted by Lanzatan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

Hi there. I have been scrolling through the various threads dating back years but cannot see whether this applies to us. We are British nationals but live in the Canary Islands. My husband had a 6 month suspended sentance given to him back in 2010 for disrespecting a police officer in Barcelona. So, my question is, if anyone knows whether this will show up when entering the USA when he shows his UK Passport. We may be travelling from Spain or we may go via the UK as usually easier flight wise .

Sorry if this has been posted before somewhere or if it just falls under the same thing as anyone else has been asking ;)
Thanks
Tania

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