Hello all, I'm new to this forum and I hope you guys can help me. I am a US citizen planning to travel to Europe after I graduate college in a couple years, and I am worried that I will run into problems because of a criminal record. Last year I was convicted of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, and paid all my fines, did everything I had to do, didn't have to serve jail time or anything. All this is now "water under the bridge" as I have completed everything I was ordered to do, and it is the only thing I have on my record, ever. I read that in order to go to Canada, you have to go through a long process to be admissable and you have to wait like 5 years and such.
I was just planning on sight seeing, vising famous places, etc..as I've never been out of the USA before. What countries would I be excluded from entering because of this offense? And what should I do in the mean time if I plan on trying to travel overseas in the future? Thanks a lot, any help is much appreciated.
As the laws currently are:
It is not a problem. US-citizens can still enter visa-free as long as their stay is less than 90 days and their purpose is tourism, so all you would need to do is flash your shiny brand-new US-passport at the officials at the border.
But getting your passport from the US-Government or applying for a a residence permit in europe (because you want to spend a trimester abroad or got yourself a European girlfriend) might be another matter.
and who knows what the law will be when you graduate...
(The above refers to the Schengen states..)
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 27, 2006, at 5:43 AM by t_maia ]
I am from the US and me and a few friends drove up to Montreal for a weekend. And one of them had a DUI in the past, and it presented a big problem. He was granted a one time visitor pass and cost a few hundred bucks. Not sure about Europe though. But if you plan on going to Canada at some point I would make some phone calls. Have fun on your trip.
I think to come to Europe, as a tourist, they wont even ask, to see your police record.
Also, for tourism, to most countries, in the world, i dont think they will ask.
I have only been asked to produce a police report, when i wanted to apply, for a work visa, for Canada. I had to produce a police report, on one other occassion. That was when i wanted to work, on a US army base, in Germany.
I presume, that nobody can get information, about your criminal record, unless u actually allow it. If u were a murderer, then maybe the authorities in various countries could have information about u. But I dont think your crime is so serious, that an international alert will be put out.
well these replies are reassuring, because I was worried I would run into trouble trying to travel...Thanks a lot for everyone who replied
When filling out the required forms, I wonder what would happen if you answered "no" to the question of do you have a criminal conviction? Is there are database somewhere that gets queried everytime one of these forms gets filled out?
By the way, I'm not suggesting you lie. I'm simply curious.
Is there such a question, on the visa forms, for sure?
I never have had to answer that, for any tourist visa. Well, not that I remember.
As a British citizen I'm not totally sure about visas to Europe as I don't need one (!) but I seem to remember when I arrived in USA the arrival form you fill in on the plane has a section about declaring criminal convictions... I'd do a little research and see if you have to fill in something similar when you come into Europe, just to be on the safe side.
what i would do if i were you. i would pick a country in europe where you can enter and it is less likely for them to check these things. The new Members are usually your best bet like Bulgaria and Romania and then from there you can enter any other European country which is part of the Eurozone with no issues. I remember in the border from Greece to Italy they did not even check passports and there were not even custom stops..