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Help! traveling to USA in Feb 10 with criminal record!

Travel Forums North America Help! traveling to USA in Feb 10 with criminal record!

1. Posted by bluelight (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hello there

Unfortunately and sadly I have an offense with arrest of 20 years ago for shoplifting.:(
I got a small fine.

I am visiting relatives in January in USA, travelling from UK.
I wonder If I should declare the ofense or not. If I take the honest route of doing this, I risk being rejected for a visa Or not having enough time to organize a visa with the Embassy.

I already visited USA in 2006 not problem, as I was told my charge had been 'spent', and I should not worry. I know know that the law is different in USA.

Is the current system more efficient, is it bound to catch people more easily?

Please anyone has had similar situation RECENTLY who can advice me??

Light to you all

Many thanks

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Nov-2009, at 08:52 by bluelight ]

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

There have been quite a few questions about criminal records recently though most of them involve possession of pot and one for skipping out on a hotel bill. Your arrest is a 20 year old offense. By "spent", I take it the statues of limitation have expired in the UK. Yes, we wacky Americans do look at things differently but a record that old would not pop up on any screen as it's a non-issue. If, in fact the statues of limitation have expired, your authorities would not be obliged to upload that information into their database. You did not have a problem in 2006 and are very unlikely to see that change in 2010.

Only you can decide how you wish to proceed on this. But, if you did not declare the conviction in 2006, it's not worth declaring it now. The only caveat to that... Have you been arrested/convicted of a crime since the shoplifting situation? If not, consider yourself rehabilitated, an older and wiser person, and having a conviction that has run it's course. Oh, you must promise not to nick a candy bar or pack of smokes during your visit.

3. Posted by bluelight (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi Isadora

I really thank you for your very helpful reply.

It has made me feel a bit more reassured about my future trip to USA!

If I make it to USA, I promise not to knick a candy bar or anything as such!!

Warm wishes