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 1 ... ...

Last Post

891. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

Thank you for confirming what has been posted here dozens and dozens of times.

Hope you're having fun in Florida.


892. Posted by Narissa1980 (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Yes he was charged, he didn't serve prison time he had 180 hours community service. He also has 3 or 4 other petty crimes eg fighting and drunk and disorderly. The last time was 15 years ago.

893. Posted by curleyqueen (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Hi went down the line of applying for a visa because of criminal record got all the paper work sent in then didn't continue will all my details stay on file in the U.S. embassy I sent my police check passport number everything but then decided not to go to the U.S. now do I just go to us tick no on plane to no convictions or will I flag up

894. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y


895. Posted by julia48 (Budding Member 11 posts) 1y

Hello Terry & the others,

I have gone through all the thread, thank you for all the advice you gave. However my situation is slightly different and this is why i need your help Terry please
I am a french citizen and I've been arrested in UK one year and half ago for possession of class A. I had a caution. I was in UK only for the week end.

I plan to go to US this summer but I am very stressed because I don't know what to do. Of course I don't expect you to tell me what to do because there's no a single solution. However I was wondering if the fact that the offense happened in another country than my country of nationality/living change something ?

Thank you very much

896. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 1y

As has been stated many times throughout this thread under normal circumstances the US can't access the general criminal databases from the UK. They also can't access France's database either. The only database they have direct access to is Canada. So under normal circumstances forget the offence ever happened, you should face no issues.

That said, nothing is ever guaranteed. There can always be extenuating circumstances...


897. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 166 posts) 1y

Hi all

It may help (for those in the same circumstance) that a caution for possession is NOT a crime of moral turpitude, and will therefore (depending on the amount) NOT make you inadmissible... Especially if its only a caution (I.e not convicted in a court of law).

But... You still cannot legally travel under ESTA, and WILL have to visit the embassy, but you are more than likely to still get a visa at the consulate without the need to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility, because again, possession is NOT crime of moral turpitude.

Again - this only matters if you're going to own up and do it properly, and as Terry as mentioned this isn't necessary for tourism, but please think twice before you commit immigration fraud if there is ANY chance you may need to live there or travel on work one day.

British expats forum is a good place for more detailed information on this.

Kind regards

898. Posted by houmous-enjoyer (Budding Member 12 posts) 1y

The law has changed recently in regard to cautions - they are now viewed officially as convictions by the U.S. government. This means you'll probably need a waiver of inadmissibility. Whilst it's highly likely you will be granted one, they can take the best part of a year to process. So I'd get the ball rolling asap if you want to be going in the summer, even then I wouldn't be too hopeful.

There are still a lot of 'may's and 'likely's being thrown around in the legal text I've read so I think there is still potential on getting a visa straight up! That's the best case scenario though.

899. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 166 posts) 1y


This is correct, but its still a grey area, its how you approach it at the consulate - but only crimes of moral turpitude make you inadmissable (I got this information from unlock website).

In my case I wasn't found with any drugs on me, just powdered paracetamol, and I told a policeman id tried to buy some (yes stupid I know).

Who knows though, until I get down there its up in the air!

900. Posted by julia48 (Budding Member 11 posts) 1y

Travelman99, did you finally go to the US with the esta or did you get a visa ?

I'm gonna ask for a visa. I don't want to spend money on flight tickets and hotels without being sure that everything will be ok at the arrival. But I am very stressed...

Page 1 ... ...

Last Post