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Travelling to the US with a criminal record

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

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1. Posted by Amesjay (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hi.. I know this question has probably been asked many times before but I suppose I just want some confirmation and advice if possible.. About 1 month ago I was convicted for possession of cannibis (approx 1 gram) in Sydney, Australia (I'm an Australian citizen) and given a $100 fine. My travel agent advised me to apply for a visa to enter the US (I plan to go there for a 2 week holiday in January 2010), so I applied for the visa and was denied because of the conviction and was told I was ineligible for a visa waiver and would be for approx 5 years. I am currently in the process of appealing the conviction but I'm told I can still be refused a visa as I would need to re-apply because I have now been denied a visa. Does someone know if I would be refused again if I no longer have a conviction? Also, by reading some forums it looks as though I was better of not applying for a visa because now the US knows all about the conviction, but they wouldn't have if I didn't tell them. Is this correct? Lastly, if I do not get rid of this conviction, is there any way that I can travel to the US in January? Anyone's response would be appreciated. Thanks.

2. Posted by Amesjay (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hi again.. Also, will I be able to travel through the US to get to another destination? (stay in transit)

3. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y

Basically ya blew it. Now you are in the US immigration and Homeland Security computers with a drug conviction profile.
Its going to be very tough at this point to enter the USA, there maybe some savvy people on some of the forums dedicated to US visa and immigration who could give you some advice.
Being honest to friends and family is a good idea,being honest to a huge bureaucracy brings no rewards,just tell them what they want to hear..
To the question "have you ever been arrested" NO is the appropriate answer.
Good Luck

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Oct-2009, at 01:29 by jambo101 ]

4. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y

Canada is not any better
http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=729&category=35

5. Posted by Amesjay (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Thanks for the reply. So there's no way of getting around this to go to the US in January?

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y

If you have already been denied an entry visa to the USA i doubt that applying for another one will give different results.
Of course you have nothing to lose by trying again but this time dont mention the conviction.

7. Posted by claire16c (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

There is no point applying for a visa again and not mentioning the conviction, because the only reason an Australian would need a visa would be because they had a conviction or some kind of other problem. Otherwise theyd travel under the visa waiver programme and would not need a visa.

So yeah basically if you had just gone under the visa waiver programme you may have been ok - unless your conviction had shown up somewhere. But now they know about it and its on their records apart from appealing I dont see how you can get into the US.

8. Posted by Amesjay (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

OK.. so I appealed the conviction with the court and they let me off with a warning. No conviction recorded and no penalty. I then went back to the US consulate and applied for another visa. They said I still couldn't travel to the US beacause even though I have no conviction, I was still found guilty which is as good as a conviction in US law. They also said I can't enter or transit the US for about 5 years. Does this seem ridiculous to anyone else? I mean, I'm not allowed to enter the US for 5 years (which is a pretty long time) for such a minor offence which I didn't even get convicted for..

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by petermeanie (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

Why bother going to the US, Russia is much more friendly nowadays.