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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

Travel Forums North America Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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981. Posted by Heasley123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Hi all,

I've read through every post on this article and understand that I have one of three options I can pursue. 1. Stay at home. 2. Tick no on all the questions on the waiver. 3. Apply for a visa. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time until my holiday, I cannot go through the "correct" process of applying for a visa. So basically, I'm having to bite the bullet and hope that there isn't an issue with ticking no on the waiver.

My question is for CheersT, who has been active throughout the whole thread and seems to know what he's talking about. You always refer back to number 2 of one of your first comments you made. Stating that you'll be fine with minor offences. I'm going to take the plunge regardless and see what happens, but I want to know whether you think I'll be lucky enough to get through with my record. When I was 19, (22 now) I came out of a club and saw 5 lads beating up my brother. Like any sane human would do, I intervened. The end result unfortunately, for such a ridiculous affair was me being convicted of the following:
1. Assault of a police constable whilst on shift. (Assault being so dramatic and over the top)
2. The use of threatening or abusive language with the intent to cause fear.

The criminal record for these were spent after 1 year since the change in the law, and the outcome was simply a fine. I certainly consider this a minor offence since I understand the true series of events, however on paper, it sounds much worse than it was. I would just like to know your thoughts Terry, and whether you think ticking no on the waiver questions is respectable?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Tom

982. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

As has been stated ad nauseam throughout this entire thread under normal circumstances the US can't access the general criminal databases from the UK. The only database they have direct access to is Canada.

So under normal circumstances forget the offence ever happened, you should face no issues whatsoever.

That said, nothing is ever guaranteed.

Cheers,
Terry

983. Posted by Gopher (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

I have a slightly different problem, I do have a spent criminal record and I'm happy to take my chances but I went to the U.S. And over stayed on my visa in 1993. I know I can go back now but wondered if the combination of the two things might cause bother.

Any advice gratefully received.

984. Posted by Heasley123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Ideal, I just wanted a bit more reassurance before I went ahead with it so thought I'd ask. Also I've had a look at the waiver questions, and selecting no to them seems reasonable for my offence anyway.

Just want to say how much of a top bloke you are terry. You've given advise to so many people on here and had such minimal credit for it. Really appreciate the time you've given to the article and thanks for the reply. Legend.

985. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Thanks Heasley. Have a great trip. If you do a side trip to the Canadian Rockies drop me a line. First 10 rounds on me.

Cheers,
Terry in Banff.

986. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Quoting Gopher

I have a slightly different problem, I do have a spent criminal record and I'm happy to take my chances but I went to the U.S. And over stayed on my visa in 1993. I know I can go back now but wondered if the combination of the two things might cause bother.

Any advice gratefully received.

Your problem is not different. Same answer as always.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

987. Posted by Gopher (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Won't I get pulled up for over staying previously?

988. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Yes, the computer never forgets, but as you posted it was so long ago that it should be forgiven. If you're nervous and you have the time go ahead and submit the paperwork, it'll be rubber stamped at the Embassy.

Cheers,
Terry

989. Posted by Thewetbandit (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Hi guys,

Much like a lot of you I was nervous about applying for an ESTA. I don't actually have a criminal record but I was a victim of bank fraud which went against me. Therefore applying for an ESTA and all the problems that came through it were running through my mind.

However let me tell you, unless you're on the FBI's most wanted or on the run from Interpol you will be fine.

Firstly, just apply for your ESTA & get it over with. The American government know who they don't want in, and chances are, considering we don't share records with the USA, it isn't you! What's the worse that can happen by applying?

Secondly, you've got more chance of getting stopped before you leave the UK then you have when you're there. The airline will approve you before you check in. When I arrived in JFK the staff were pretty light on the ground & they were processing people very quickly. All they asked me was why I was here. Nothing about my ESTA or anything.

Cutting a long story short just apply for an ESTA and tick no. Unless it's really playing on your mind apply for a visa, and you've still got a high chance of getting in!

Hope this helps

990. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Quoting Thewetbandit

Secondly, you've got more chance of getting stopped before you leave the UK then you have when you're there.

Sorry, I don't follow that statement at all. Your airline check-in agent isn't an Immigration or Law Enforcement official. If you're leaving the UK legally with a valid passport and permission to enter the country you're flying to then your airline has no control whether you can travel or not.

Your chances of being stopped and turned back are much greater at US CBP.

Agree with everything else...

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jun-2015, at 16:43 by CheersT ]