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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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781. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Jack - I'm in the same situation. Mine happened over a year ago now though.

Don't let it stress you out too much, it occasionally gets me down as I've effectively got a record now. Unless you're looking to work with kids or disadvantaged adults it wont ever come up as its covered under the rehabilitation act and spent immediately. After 6 years it will be filtered from all records as well, you also don't have to disclose it to any other job unless you work as the above, that's your legal right.

In regards to travelling, no, its only the States. Everywhere else is only concerned with convictions. I've just come back from Australia and I had no problems.

I'm going to apply for my Visa for the states over the next few months for non-immigrant travel I.e holidays/work. This however is massively stressing me out - however, you're free to blag it if you like, i very much doubt you're on the Interpol list, and Britain would not share petty cautions with the states for data protection reasons.

782. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Plus - being indian shouldn't matter, and to answer your other question, no if you answer the esta properly you are not admissible to the states without a waiver of inadmissibility. If you're looking to try and lie to the US customs officers, do not under any circumstances fill the the esta in truthfully.

We all make mistakes, I own a house, a nice car and have a high paid job. I'm you're typical tax paying law abiding citizen, one stupid decision to try and buy drugs (I wasn't found with any on me I just admitted to trying to buy them, I was cautioned for intent to possess) has somewhat challenged my travel plans to America.

Just learn from it, stay away from drugs and become a better person.

783. Posted by sillymistake (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Thanks for your feedback travelman99

Has anyone applied for a visa at the embassy and been refused?

Also has anyone been successful at the embassy the still been refused entry when they land in the US?


784. Posted by Mike1990 (Budding Member 13 posts) 1y

Hey everyone. New to this so don't know how it really works so bare with me.

Me and my girlfriend want to travel to Vegas or New York later this year. Probably August time.

Only problem is, I have a criminal record for ABH from back in 2009 when I was 18. Jointly convicted. Wrong place wrong time sort of thing. Got a suspended sentence and 6 months on tag.

Never been in trouble with the police before or after the incedent which was nearly 6 years ago.

Just wondering if anyone on here has had the same sort of problem and how they went about getting a visa. I guess I'm going to have to go to the American embassy in London which I'm fine with. Just wondering what my chances are and what the interview is actually like.

Thanks in advance. Mike

Ps, I'm from the UK

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jan-2015, at 14:58 by Mike1990 ]

785. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Hi Mike

It will count as a Crime of Moral Turpitude so officially, you would need to apply for a Visa at the embassy. However to quote Terry, It's a roll of the dice, US and UK don't share regular records, imagine their airport database, it would be a monster... think of it logically, who would manage the IT side of that?

I'm going to be applying for a Visa at the embassy shortly (8-9 day wait for VISA). I assume I will be denied and i'll have to go for a waiver which takes a while.

My question though, am I able to apply for a Visa even if I'm not planning on going to the states, but may need it "just in case?", and how long will my passport be away for if I take this route

Also, because I wasn't found with any drugs on me but got a caution for "intent to possess a class A". will this work in my favor do you think?

Terry, one for you maybe here?

786. Posted by Mike1990 (Budding Member 13 posts) 1y

Hey travelman99.

Thanks for the quick response. I applied for the ESTA VISA a good 3-4 years ago and got rejected as I answered truthfully. I had to put all my details in such as my passport number and whatnot. Do you think it would flag up if I tried again but answered dishonestly? I would rather pay more money to go to the embassy if I was likely to get accepted, just so I knew 100% that I wouldn't get refused at the American airport. Thanks

787. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Hi Mike

Without working in the embassy myself, I'd assume that if you've applied for an ESTA before, answered honestly, and been rejected, this would be logged on their systems.

Again without being an expert in this, i'd assume your only option now is to go to the embassy. It's a tough one, there is no real black and white with this, it will be a case of if they think you're a danger to American society and that is what they will judge you on. My advice is to go for it, get some character references from any police/lawyers etc you may know, and roll the dice. The worst they will say is no, but you can then apply for a waiver of inadmissibility which they will give you if you can prove sufficient ties to the UK... i.e you're not going to go missing in search of the American Dream.

I feel confident that I could "blag" my way into the states with an arrest and caution for "intent to possess a class A" with no drugs found on me. However, I am going to go down the honest route like yourself - which is probably in fairness the wrong thing to do, because if I get rejected for a VISA i'm screwed as I work for an American company.

It's a terrible system and prime evidence that the idea of rehabilitation doesn't exist.

788. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Sorry guys, I just wanted to add this slight glimmer of hope to anyone with petty drug related cautions/arrest (possession of small amounts) as many of us on this forum seem to have.

It seems America (after over 30 years of ineffective drug policy and mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crime costing well over 1 trillion dollars and having 25% of the worlds prison population) is finally seeing the error of their ways.

If this goes through, it may make applying for a VISA MUCH easier if you fall under this. Remember, one third of adults have tried illegal drugs ( at some point in their lives, either due to falling in with the wrong crowd, serious addiction, or just giving it a go. Some people get caught, most don't - this shouldn't hold anyone back, if there has been any sort of modern use for human rights... it's this.

Fingers crossed.

Kind regards

789. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2434 posts) 1y

Unfortunately Travelman that article has nothing whatsoever to do with any changes in regulations regarding entry into the US. What one individual US state may or may not implement is immaterial to the US Department of State and US Customs and Border Protection.

Those government agencies are completely separate from each other; there's no back-and-forth political or legislative influence whatsoever.


790. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 145 posts) 1y

Hi Terry

I agree with you, it's not definitive quick fix for those with petty drug cautions. However, it surely denotes a changing in attitudes which can only be a good thing.

Kind regards

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