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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

Quoting travelman99

Hi Houmous

Confident, no, optimistic, yes.

It all depends how I play it at the embassy as I wasn't found with any narcotics on me, I took a caution because I've not been in trouble before and I was terrified, I just wanted to get out of there.

Could you link me to these stories?

Here's the only one I can find right now but I have definitely come across more in my endless scouring:

http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/travelling-to-canada-after-us-visa-refusal-uk-citizen-t229880.0.html

Also I would point out in your case, I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, that in the inadmissibility guidelines in does say "A violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation relating to a controlled substance."

So I hate to break it but it doesn't look like your case is any more forgivable by the embassy. I found that info here: http://www.usvisalawyers.co.uk/article7.htm

Good luck though and please keep updating us with what you find or experience! It is much appreciated.

922. Posted by grin1408 (Budding Member 5 posts) 1y

Quoting CheersT

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.

Cheers,
Terry

Hi Terry,

What if you were charged with possession with intent to supply, but then found not guilty and all charges dropped?

Thanks

923. Posted by Wookey7 (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hi Terry

I am from the UK and planning a family holiday to Orlando later in the year - the only problem I have is that I have two convictions in the last five years for ABH (lesson learnt).

I have read and read this thread and I am more than happy to "roll the dice", as I think a visa could possibly be turned down due to my convictions anyway.

My question is this - has anything changed with regards to this recently (as this thread is quite old, and some of the info may be dated) - i.e. with the introduction of ESTA do the US carry out any further checks than they used to etc? Or is the process as it was say two years ago?

Sorry for repeating an old question but I only ask as I can't see anything similar recently!

Thanks

Chris

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

UPDATE ON INTERVIEW.

Hey everyone. Just thought I'd share my experience of the interview as I had it earlier today.

I'd like to start by saying that I have a criminal record for ABH from back in 2009.

The interview itself is pretty quick but there was quite a long waiting time. Got there at around 8.30ish but didn't get seen until 12. People with criminal records have a different waiting list to the others and it takes substatioally longer.

Anyway. I read on here people saying that the staff at the embassy are all rude. That wasn't the case at all. Every member of staff I spoke to seemed really nice.

To cut a long story short, I didn't get granted a visa due to the fact that my crime is a crime of moral turpitude. As it is the only crime I've ever been involved in and that it happened 6 years ago, the counsolour recommended me to have a visa waiver so I now have to wait 6 months to find out if I'll be granted a visa. (Pretty annoying as I wanted to go Vegas in September) I am going to remain positive and optimistic that I will receive the visa. Will update on here when I get the email.

Any questions about the interview, please ask and I'll try my best to answer them for you.

Mike

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

Hi Mike
Thanks for sharing your story
I am quite nervous because I have an interview in a few days regarding the caution I got 1 year and half ago
What does ABH mean ?
What type of question did they ask you?
Should I bring with me some specific documents to show that I am "a good citizen" and that Ive got a good situation?
Thank you for your answers

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

From what I've read Julia, dressing smart and bringing along evidence of your good character (volunteer work, charity patronage, community stuff) cannot hurt at all, even if it ultimately does nothing to change the process.

Please please let us know how it goes for you, as I'll be going through the same for the same later this year! I would be insanely grateful. :)

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

Quoting houmous-enjoyer

Quoting travelman99

Hi Houmous

Confident, no, optimistic, yes.

It all depends how I play it at the embassy as I wasn't found with any narcotics on me, I took a caution because I've not been in trouble before and I was terrified, I just wanted to get out of there.

Could you link me to these stories?

Here's the only one I can find right now but I have definitely come across more in my endless scouring:

http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/travelling-to-canada-after-us-visa-refusal-uk-citizen-t229880.0.html

Also I would point out in your case, I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, that in the inadmissibility guidelines in does say "A violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation relating to a controlled substance."

So I hate to break it but it doesn't look like your case is any more forgivable by the embassy. I found that info here: http://www.usvisalawyers.co.uk/article7.htm

Good luck though and please keep updating us with what you find or experience! It is much appreciated.

Hi Enjoyer

You're absolutely right, i'll be accountable, as I made a statement - although it depends how I play it at the Embassy.

Also, I did read that if the maximum sentence for any crime (either drug related or CIMT) is 1 year or less in prison, then it does not make one inadmissable, and after some careful research, the maximum sentence for a first time offender in the States for possession is 1 year and $1000 fine... now, it all depends if they are basing it on US law or UK law, as the maximum sentence in UK law is 7 years for possession of a class A (although i read somewhere only 1% of simple possession arrests end in any sort of jail time, and practically none are given the full 7 year sentence for simple possession.

My gut instinct is that I'll have to get a Waiver, but I'm hoping that I may fall into a grey area and manage to blag it. Lets face it, being caught with a bag of paracetamol I thought was cocaine isn't the crime of the century, but still a mistake I'm ashamed of.

I find it strange though how you can still go to Prison for 6 months and get let into the US, but get a caution and you're treated like a terrorist!

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

Quoting houmous-enjoyer

From what I've read Julia, dressing smart and bringing along evidence of your good character (volunteer work, charity patronage, community stuff) cannot hurt at all, even if it ultimately does nothing to change the process.

Please please let us know how it goes for you, as I'll be going through the same for the same later this year! I would be insanely grateful. :)

No problem, I will let you know as soon as I have the interview
fingers crossed!

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

Very interesting angle there travelman, I'd be inclined to think it is based on U.S. Law since the whole fact that cautions are causing so much trouble for people like us is because it's the U.S. Law that does not recognise the Rehabilitation act or spent convictions.

Exceptions: an alien will not be ineligible for a visa if the alien committed only one crime involving moral turpitude and if
i) the crime was committed when the alien was under the age of 18 and the crime was committed (and the alien was released from any confinement imposed for the crime) more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or admission to the U.S., or
ii) the maximum penalty possible for the crime did not exceed imprisonment for 1 year, and if the alien was convicted of such crime, the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months.

To scrutinise this further - does this exception only apply to moral turpitude issues? I don't think controlled substances offences are classed as turpitude.
Does and if imply that you have to meet all 5 of those conditions? or just one of the points given?

Wish I could dish out for a lawyer to clear this up! I don't see the embassy agent putting up with me arguing over small print for the whole appointment...

Either way, Julia - consider all this when you go to your appointment! It could save you a lot of hassle :)

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

Hey Julia.

ABH is assault causing actual bodily harm.

They asked the usual questions. From what I can remember they were:
Why are you travelling to America?
Do you have any family in America?
What do you do for work?
Do you own a house?
Did you serve any prison time for your crime?
And then they asked to explain the situation of the crime.

I wore a suit there and made myself look more presentable which I thought helped.
Also took with me loads of documents showing that I've ran a marathon for charity and that I've got more coming up, and took payslips and pictures of my family to show that I have enough ties in the UK. She wasn't really interested in any of that though and just wanted to know about the questions she asked me.

Hope this helps.

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