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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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911. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 159 posts) 1y

Hi Terry

What drugs test do they do at the embassy, is it blood, urine, swab, or hair?

Also - i saw a clause for inadmissibility on their website, basically saying that if the maximum sentence is 1 year or less, youre not inadmissible. I also read that a first offence for simple possession (in my case intent to possess) with no other circumstance, carries a maximum sentence of only one year. Does that make me admissible if I apply for a Visa???


912. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 159 posts) 1y

^ Maximum sentence above relates to US law

913. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 159 posts) 1y

+ it was a caution, not conviction,

914. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2477 posts) 1y

Sorry travelman, I have no idea what you're talking about. What's your nationality? Drug tests? Which Embassy are you referring too? In any case I've never heard of that anywhere.

If you're referring to a US Embassy then they don't care if it's a conviction or caution, they only care that there was an arrest. They're real pricks about it.


915. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 1y

Hi all, looking for some quick advice....

I'm a UK citizen moving to Qatar shortly for work (July 2015). I am anticipating having to make some short business trips to the USA as part of my work in early 2016.

My problem is I have simple adult caution from late 2005 for possession of a class A substance. I was also arrested in 2009 for theft - I did this voluntarily as money had gone missing at work and then subsequently been recovered - I wanted to rule myself out and had to be arrested in order to provide finger prints/DNA. I was released and eliminated from enquiries following this (I now realise this was a potentially stupid thing to have done but I didn't want to have any association with being a thief!)

I'm wary of following advice to just follow the VWP/ESTA route and saying no previous arrests, this could result in bigger problems with my employer if I'm ever denied entry. A one-off holiday I could cope with being denied, but permanently barred when there is the possibility of going there for work is too big a gamble.

As I understand from previous posts here there is the distinct possibility I may not be granted a visa following an interview and it may take up to 6 months or more. If this is true, I'd be keen (despite the obvious cost involved) to perhaps start the process now by applying ASAP (so that I know where I stand and don't have the delay further down the line and end up having to explain why I needed to go through the interview etc) but would the entire process have to be completed through the London embassy? Or if anyone has any guess as to whether the process taking 6 months is UK specific - I ask this as I note the time to wait for an interview is only 4 days in Doha instead of the 24 days for London.

Also if I am allowed travel, are they likely to restrict me to one trip in XX months? Or is it possible that I can make multiple entries?

Thanks in advance for any advice, JS.

916. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2477 posts) 1y

No one can guarantee specific times or detail the differences in the bureaucratic process between London and Doha. Obviously trying to guess the travel restriction that may or may not be applied to you is impossible as well.

Simply start the process immediately in London and see where it goes from there.

Good luck.


917. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 1y

Thanks Terry.

B1 visa would be the correct one I'm guessing?


[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2015, at 03:24 by jetset2015 ]

918. Posted by travelman99 (Full Member 159 posts) 1y

Recent legislation changes for American issuing of Visa's states that a caution received before 2007 is not an admission of guilt, so your drug charge should be okay, However, theft from an employer is a crime of moral turpitude, whether you were guilty or not doesn't matter, it's the arrest they are after... land of the free huh?

You should be fine to get a waiver, but generally they start with a 1 year unlimited travel, then you have to keep applying once this is up, they will then start giving you longer durations if you stick to your Visa obligations.

I've become a bit of an expert in all this as I'm going through pretty much the same thing as you!

919. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 1y

Thanks travelman99!

I'm hopeful that the time since both will help my case as well as my personal circumstances since - I've been working for the same employer for 10 years and studying throughout for a masters degree with a lot of voluntary work in there too. Do you happen to know where I might be able to find anything that confirms the pre-2007 cautions do not count as conviction?

I'm not actually too fussed about having to be interviewed, I accept that it's my own stupid fault for the class A offence (I was 19 at the time). It's the prospect of the 6 months delay and having to explain why that's going on to my new employer; I doubt they would look to kindly knowing that I'd ever been arrested given that Qatar/UAE employers can sack you if they please with no recourse to appeal!

In the meantime I've applied for subject access to what is on the PNC about me. To further complicate that the class A arrest happened in England which will probably show up on that, but the theft one was in Scotland which I suspect may not! Why are things always so complicated


920. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 1y

I found the following article which gives some rationale for the change of heart on cautions. There's also some advice for the previous poster about drug tests etc.

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