Could someone please tell me if this is possible.
im going away to the US in june from england which is were im from but i have a criminal record in italy (i think). we were held by the police over night and they took our finger prints and photos and did all the police stuff. we then had a court hearing the next morning but we wasnt found guilty so they let us go.
would i be able to get into the US?
I think you'll be alright
I think you'll be okay as well, but would certainly recommend getting in touch with an embassy beforehand, or possibly checking with your local police in England whether the records from Italy actually show at all or not.
Use the 'search' option, top right. This question has been asked/answered a dozen times. Type 'entering the us with a criminal record'. You will read about others experienced before and after they visited the US.
The US has a self reporting system. You tell them what arrests/crimes you have committed. If the US had everyone's records in front of them, they would not need to ask. The vast majority of countries around the world have NOT shared their criminal database with the US or anyone else. This is why they ask: 'Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?'
The US & Canada have shared their criminal records. A US citizen convicted of a DUI cannot enter Canada w/o obtaining a visa. A Canadian convicted of a drug offense cannot enter the US using the visa waiver program. The US and the UK have shared records for major crimes, but not the petty stuff where you pay a fine and move on.
You have enough time. I would go over to your police dept. and obtain your record. Many countries require your police record before you can get a work permit. Pay the fee and see what is on your record. I doubt if this incident in Italy will show up. If it doesn't, then enter the US using the VWP. Answer NO to all the arrest type questions.
Relax and enjoy your visit to the US Natalie.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2011, at 09:53 by vegasmike6 ]
Ok here it is from the horse's mouth! Last year my friend got himself involved in a bar fight and i did what i will always do regardless... So basically to cut a long story short i injured the other person and i was charged with causing Grievous Bodily Harm without intend for which i am certainly not proud of by any means. I received a 51 week custodial sentence suspended for 2 years of which i have only served 5 months currently.
I only found out a couple of weeks prior to leaving about the whole ESTA and criminal record EPIC which is very well widely discussed and does not make anything clear what so ever! So just as you probably are Natalie, i spent hours reading every ****ing thread and forum on it until my head went numb worrying whether i would be able to pass immigration. And after reading i still couldn't come to a conclusion so i just decided i would be better off seeing for myself. The worst that could happen is get put on the next flight home and loose my holiday which i obviously would of lost if i hadn't tried my luck anyway!
Luckily i had a friend of mine put my mind at easy before the flight. He had just returned from Miami with a group of friends who entered on a ESTA. Two of his friends had been in prison before and they entered in to the country no problem with no questions asked. So now i was confident :D.
At the airport there customs are exactly the same as if traveling back in to Manchester airport except they like to take a scan of the fingers on your right hand and take a picture of your beautiful face :P......
I really don't know what i was so worried about, i walked straight through no questions asked as do many other UK citizens who have criminal records. That fact of the matter is US customs dont have routine access to EU criminal records. They will only have the details of serious criminal involved in serious crimes.
I hope this post helps Natalie and anybody else who is worried for the same reasons as i was.
With all due respect to Sam I Am @ #3 do NOT contact the US Embassy under ANY circumstances. Talking to them will accomplish absolutely nothing except perhaps raising a red flag at US CBP (Customs and Border Protection) then you will be truly screwed.
Bottom line: You have nothing to worry about. If you want to read a bunch of misinformed conjecture and few accurate, straightforward replies starting at #22 then have a look here:
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2011, at 13:59 by CheersT ]