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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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91. Posted by Gracie12 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 16 Nov '11 07:00

Hi guys

This is for all with the same question, as I also have a recent conviction. just been to the states prayed all the way there, nearly wetting myself as I stood on the que for immigration n passport control. She said to me tell me wats happening at the Marriott hotel then. I told her I was there for a function....... Finger prints got taken ..... Have a nice stay she said at the end. I was ther less than 5 mins even felt like 2 mins. Clearly have nothing with ur convictions on ur passport and they don't have access to uk records.

92. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 16 Nov '11 09:26

Gracie12 - You were lucky and it all depended on the crime that was committed. The US & UK do share criminal records. There have been some TP members who have been sent back home on their own dime because of the shared information. It all comes down to the airport, number of people passing through immigration, the immigration person and the severity of your crime.

Maneeka - You state you committed a crime at 16 and are now 22. Entrance into the US will depend on the crime and if you admit to it. You take your chances there... The US won't care that you are dealing with Krones disease. They will only care about the conviction.

93. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 16 Nov '11 10:16

"... The US & UK do share criminal records. There have been some TP members who have been sent back home on their own dime because of the shared information..."

The US and the UK do not yet share "normal" criminal databases. Felony convictions and stuff that raises red flags with Interpol are different matters. In other words, no one gets sent back home because of a simple shoplifting or common assault or DUI.

If there are TP members who were Kicked back then there were other matters complicating the situation.

Cheers,
Terry

94. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 16 Nov '11 13:04

Quoting CheersT

"... The US & UK do share criminal records. There have been some TP members who have been sent back home on their own dime because of the shared information..."

The US and the UK do not yet share "normal" criminal databases. Felony convictions and stuff that raises red flags with Interpol are different matters. In other words, no one gets sent back home because of a simple shoplifting or common assault or DUI.

If there are TP members who were Kicked back then there were other matters complicating the situation.

Cheers,
Terry

I agree. But, neither poster specified their offenses. Gracie12 may have actually been lucky and Maneeka has not commented on his/her arrest and conviction. Just because one slips through doesn't mean another will - again, depending on the criminal act. A general "I was convicted of a crime, can I come to the US?" question can not be answered with a simple yes or no reply.

I am in no means trying to be confrontational. I also know, from personal experience and friends visiting us from other countries, that it isn't necessarily felony convictions that raise red flags. It's a combination of things, including posting on sites like these.

My personal opinion - depending on the crime and length of time since that crime -go for it.

95. Posted by izzy8808 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 20 Nov '11 13:50

Hello, I was wondering if either of you would be able to offer me some more specific advice, CheersT i have read the majority of your posts and I dont understand what your saying but I was wondering if you could offer more specific advice. I am an American citizen but currently studying under a Tier 4 student visa in the UK (Edinburgh, Scotland) I am planning on going home for a month for the Christmas holidays. My boyfriend ( a UK citizen) is planning on joining me however four years ago at the age of 16 at a music festival he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

He received a 160 pound fine, however he was never actually arrested and did NOT receive jail time, community service, or any other punishment. Still, it would seem he does not qualify for the visa waiver program I do understand that a lot of people would say risk it, however at some point in the future me and my boyfriend are considering marriage. A couple years down the road from now, but either way we would like to be able to look into being able to obtaining some sort of long term visa in the future. My worry is if he were to use the visa waiver later it could effect a longer term visa.

Also, i understand the visa process (b2) can be a lengthy process. I think it is faster to go through the embassy in Belfast but would 1 month even be adequate time to get everything in order?

And help would be SO SO SO appreciated!

Sincerely,
Izzy

96. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 20 Nov '11 16:03

"... He received a 160 pound fine, however he was never actually arrested..."

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

I doubt that very much. A court can't find you guilty and levy a fine without some kind of paperwork. Just because he never went to jail doesn't mean he wasn't "arrested" in the eyes of the law. (By the way, were mug shots taken or fingerprints?)

In any case, I've made my opinions clear on this thread and many others so I'm not going to continue repeating myself.

Good luck and all the best to you.

Cheers,
Terry

97. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3536 posts) 20 Nov '11 23:06

Terry,
You missed your chance to say, again, READ POST #22!! I will try to stand in for you when you are tired or on holiday!

98. Posted by hilbob1980 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 5 Dec '11 16:53

Hey Guys,

Thought we would let you know about our story to help you decide the right route for you in what to do.
We had booked a holiday to go to the US for a friends wedding and to take our child to disney earlly next year. we decided to book and only pay deposit for the time being as we were not sure as to whether my husband would get in to the USA.
My husband has got a conviction from nearly 15yrs ago after getting in with the wrong crowd when he was 19 years old. It was 'intent to supply'.. he got 2 yrs but let out after 10 months for good behavior. He has never re-offended since.

Now nearly 15 years later, married with kids, stable job for nearly 10 years.. you would think he would stand a chance as he has been a law-abiding citizen and totally reformed since that silly episode of his life. (when he was a kid might i add)

He had an interview today at the embassy after we did things the 'Honest way'. He told the truth and followed all the proceedures. He had a file of everything they asked for and more.
The cost of it all was not cheap either, $140 for the meeting, Police certificates £40, the cost of getting to london for 8.30am - we had to book a hotel as we live 150 miles away, time out of work.
He waited 3 hours to see someone and was told NO after 4 minutes into the meeting. They asked a total of 5 questions, nothing to do with now, just to do with the drug conviction 15 years ago.

When we origanally looked into the whole holiday We were told by the embassy not to book the appt till nearer the holiday date just incase he only got a 3 month visa. which meant we had no choice but to take our chances and pay for the holiday as it had to be paid last month, and hope for the best.
Really they should have told us not to waste our time, money and effort.
They had already made their mind up before we had even set off from home, and it was totally pointless!!

a friend of mine was telling me about their other friend, who got done for serious crimes 12 months ago and did NOT declare it and has been to america twice in the last 6 months.
I really do think did we do the right thing after all?
The US embassy taught us a very valuable lession today...'honesty is not always the best policy'
needless to say holiday cancelled, my friend and ourselves are heartbroken we cant go to the wedding, and a daughter upset she cant see mickey mouse... thank god for disneyparis ay!!

Honestly dont waste your money, holidays are meant to be stress free.. planning a trip to america has been nothing but a headache even without this. And not to mention my husband is still being punished for something he did as a silly teenager!!!

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Dec-2011, at 17:05 by hilbob1980 ]

99. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3536 posts) 5 Dec '11 23:40

Hilbob1980,
Thank you for sharing your experience. It really is a shame what US Immigration is doing to those trying to visit the US with a minor arrest or conviction. Apparently they do not believe a person can be reformed from a past indiscretion.

Hopefully this will be instructive for future TP members from the UK that plan on visiting the US. Read post #22 as 'Cheers Terry' likes to say. The UK has not shared its criminal database with the US. If you self report arrests/convictions, you will almost certainly be denied a visa. If you just tick 'NO' to all arrest questions, you have a very good chance of getting into the US w/o a problem. Your decision.

100. Posted by ajvirtue (Budding Member, 3 posts) 7 Dec '11 14:15

Hello,
I have just done a search and found this post and I have a question and I'm hoping someone can help me.
I am a New Zealander currently living in London. In April next year I plan on going to NYC for 6 nights for a holiday and to visit a friend.
In 2007 and again in 2010 I was convicted of drink driving back in New Zealand. Please dont judge me, I was going through a bad stage, I have learnt my lesson, I paid all the charges and did everything I had to do, and I have even given up drinking since this all happened and moved on. It was a really terrible thing, what I did, but it happened and I cannot change that.
Anyway I am in the process of getting a ACPO record to show I am clear in the UK, once I have this I will send my application off to the US embassy in London.
I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me if they think I will be successful or not? I have paid for my air tickets and organised accommodation already. I'm now really worried that I wont be able to go.
So basically I am already in the process of applying for the special visa as I didnt want to take the risk of not doing it, but I read somewhere that if you have two convictions they dont let you in. Does anyone know this?
The other thing is that once I have the UK record showing I am clear here, and then send my application off to the US embassy, it asks for my conviction record from NZ. But then it says that if I dont have the record I have to write a sworn statement. Will they even check this if I say I only have one conviction? I'm so worried.
Please help me.
Thanks

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