hello can any one give me advice on travelling to the US with a drugs conviction.
it was about 4 years ago and it was for possession of a class A drug (coke basically, very silly story which i won't go into)
It was my first offence and i got a small fine and criminal record obviously.
Now do i risk travelling there and lying on the I-94W nonimmigrant visa waiver form saying i don't have a conviction and hope they don't check up on me, or do i go through the lengthy Special restricted visa application process which involves getting a copy of my record from the police and arranging an interview with the US embassy and possibly risking getting permanently denied entry to the US.
would they really be that strict over something like this or does anyone think i'd get a visa if i'm just up front and honest about my conviction? or just not mention it at all?
if anyone knows of a similar set of circumstances please let me know what happened to them.
any advice muchly appreciated.
What country are you a citizen of???
Not a good position to be in... technically you should go through the appropriate processes to get the right visa, and yes you do run the risk of being permanently barred from entering (but I don't know the circumstances of your offence/s).
Now I couldn't (for the record) recommend entering and lying about the conviction, as it is an offence to do so. There is also so many other procedures that determine entry.
If you are a respectable looking person and you genuinely are wanting to travel, I guess you would have a pretty good chance of getting through...but like I said, it is an offence to lie on the form!
If you were to try something like this, and I'm not saying that you should, it would be better to try and enter somewhere like Hawaii where customs is not so vigilant (as LAX /N.Y etc).
P.S Customs don't have access to criminal records of other countries...but that doesn't mean that they can't find out!
All the best!!
I read of a similar situation on another travel forum where the person went to the USA embassy like you are meant to and then got denied the visa (for a drug charge of possession of maijuana, so not even as serious as Coke). So I guess if they are that rediculous about something as minor as dope, then you'll have no option but to just take the risk (not that it is the right thing to do and would be illegal like kevandshan said).
I thought I remembered hearing on a local airport security show that in the UK if you get minor criminal records like I would imagine yours to be that after a certain period of time being good the slate gets cleaned. If this is infact true about your conviction maybe you could wait until this happens if it isn't going to be too far off. Goodluck!