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
This is the difficulty, possession is NOT a CIMT, however possession with intent to supply, is. This is why these immigration rules make very little sense to me - I went to Australia recently and all they care about is if you've committed a serious criminal offence and have done more than a year in prison. I'm convinced that rules around cautions (which in the UK law are little more than formal warnings that are on your record until 100, but drop off from all DBS checks after 6 years) need to be evaluated by the US department of immigration, as surely it just makes more work for yourself.
In regards to supporting documents, by all accounts they don't give a shit about how good a person you might be, they just want financial information and details around ones crime.
Travelman - it's undoubtedly absurd. It seems I would have been better off if i'd beaten the shit out of someone rather than been caught with a miniscule amount of drugs.
Mike1990 - did you know about the exceptions we just discussed? If your crime was indeed only one instance of moral turpitude when you under 18 or had a maximum sentence of less than one year, you maybe should have had a different result?
I had unfortunately just turned 18 when the crime took place. So was classed as an adult.
Mike, if you've been recommended for a waiver - you will get one. It will probably be a year to start, then as you apply for more they will increase this.
I've created a new email address especially for my application so I don't miss it.
Were you convicted of ABH or cautioned?
Was jointly convicted with another person who actually done the crime. But as I was with them, I got done as well. Quite annoying.
Thanks for reassuring that I will get a waiver.
The lady at the embassy did say that it will only be for 12 months and then I'll have to re apply and will probably get a 2 year one. So fingers crossed.
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!
Chris - two convictions in the last 5 years will be a difficult one, you definitely wont get a visa and you'll be lucky even to get a waiver.
If its just a holiday, I wouldn't bother with it and id roll the dice. Unless you're incredibly unlucky they wont know.
However, if you ever perhaps want to move or potentially visit for work, id apply as this will seriously impact you.
Many thanks for this, that was pretty much my thinking, but I just wanted to make sure
It's unlikely I will need to move or visit the USA for work in the future as my business is UK based.
Thanks again, very helpful.
Travelman - I'd like your opinion, do you think I would get a waiver if I applied over the summer? It would be a little under a year since my controlled substance caution. Terry reckoned no, but I've read stories of people getting visa's within a few months for the same crime before they changed the system.
No easy answer, really, its down to your own personal thoughts about breaking US immigration law.
If you're going for work, then id start the process ASAP, you may get it in before the 6 month period, but its tight. Saying that, as Terry has said, its unlikely you'll be caught up - but if you are, the repercussions will be much more serious. However, its just a holiday, forget about it and go. If you don't get it in time, your employer will most likely be understanding (in any corporate, who hasn't tried a bit of sniff, especially if your boss went through the 90's) however, if you're banned for life, its a different story. Remember, your employer CANNOT fire you on grounds of a caution, it's illegal.
I spoke to the chaps at Unlock and they seem to think cautions for possession won't need a waiver, but id take that with a pinch of salt. However each caution is investigated as its not a conviction, so again, grey area.
Its totally your call - I however am going to apply as I just cant risk it, I work for a very well known American tech firm so I don't want to be caught and be banned.
What's your thoughts?