ello, i sure this question has been asked so many times, but ive yet to find an answer that has helped me make up my mind...
anyway my situation is... @ the end of last year i was able to get hold of some festival tickets in the USA. so i went ahead and booked flights, hotels etc... but straight after i did this i was arrested for an offence that happened over 4 years ago (animal rights / black mail)
i have my court date next week and have been told that ill get off with a fine... the only trouble is my holiday is 7 days after my court date.... and ive only just found out about the visa thing if you have a CR..
does anyone know if the system would be updated that fast 7 days after court and is it worth the risk of flying out anyway??
i have a new biometric passport too so im not sure if this helps or not? and ive never been in trouble with the law b4....
what should i do?? any light on the situation would be a big help
As a British citizen, you can travel to the US on a visa waiver that you fill on the plane. But if you have any criminal convictions you have to apply for a visa at the US Embassy via appointment. Just schedule an appointment a day or two after your court date and you should be fine. When you go to the embassy, you'll need the documents stating an official conviction which you can only obtain at the court/police station once the sentence is handed. You seem kind of worried haha but you'll be fine.
Following is a URL to the US embassy site in London. The page deals with your direct situation, hope you get to go!
Oh and by any chance can you tell me what festival you intend on going to?
I have a friend who was attempting to fly to alaska for 2 weeks for his honeymoon after getting married in vanuatu. His fiancee has been in trouble in the past (over 4 years ago), but was never convicted.
They go letters from a solicitor, as well as the police involved in the case, but he rang me last week to say her visa had been declined due to this reason.
As far as the system being updated, i know that in australia they only update intersate once a month. overseas probably the same, its a risk going without the visa i guess, but a risk to apply for one as well, as if you do get rejected, they put a stamp in your passport, and from that point on, you must apply for a visa every time you want to visit the us, no more visa waiver... I learnt the hard way on that one!
It is a risk going without a visa, but if you're flying only 7 days after the court date, I think you'll be fine. I be really surprised if interpol would update thier records that fast... plus if you are likely to only get off with a fine, then it's obviously a minor charge (not like you're going to be on the top 10 wanted list!)
If it was me personally, I'd take the risk - good luck!!! Have a beer at the festival for me!
Seeing how the crime doesn't seem to be that bad I don't see any reason why you'd be denied a visa. If for some reason you are (perhaps not enough time) you should still go. Just fill the waiver on board and inspection agents in the US may question you on why your visa was denied. Unless it's something serious you should be ok. Just have proof that you're leaving within 90 days, are financially sound and also have proof of your permanent residence back in GB.
Just have proof that you're leaving within 90 days, are financially sound and also have proof of your permanent residence back in GB
Definately agree with NantesFC's advice... whether you decide to go for the visa or not, i'd definately be carrying this kind of proof.