Skip Navigation

Traveling to America with a UK criminal record

Travel Forums North America Traveling to America with a UK criminal record

1. Posted by Mrniceguy (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 31 Mar '12 03:00

Hello I'm going to Florida in 10 days time with my girlfriends family for a two week holiday her mum has paid for the whole thing and I'm really looking forward to going and having a good time but whilst I'm exited there is an underlining fear that I won't be aloud in When we all arrive in Florida, because I have a criminal record from 7 years ago for possession with intent to supply a class c drug (which back in 2005 cannabis was a class c drug in the uk), now I served 8 months in a young offenders institute (16-21 year olds) as I was 18 at the time of the offence it was my first offence you could say i was in the wrong place at the wrong time and since then I have been to university and graduated with an honors degree I'm a quantity surveyor now and I haven't looked back since being released in 2005. Anyway back to my question my esta visa is all sorted out my girlfriends sister who is also coming on this holiday booked them for everyone and when she asked about criminal records I said no I have none, so visa booked spending money sorted new clothes bought and were looking forward to this holiday I've always wanted to go and do the great theme parks in Florida but now the time is coming close I'm getting nervous, nervous for the fact I might not even get into america, nervous for the fact my past might be brought out infront of my girlfriends family and nervous that I don't want to spend 8 hours on a flight only to be told I'm going straight back for another 8 hour flight Pissed off wishing I'd of been as upfront as I am now on this forum.

So in summary are the customs officials in America going to know about my criminal record and unfortunate past experience of going to jail well Young offenders institute and refuse me entry into the US i mean do US customs offiels have access to a countrys criminal records? or will I be ok and just get in and have a great to for two weeks.? And please don't judge me as you dont know me just constructive answers on which I've asked please.

Cheers andy

2. Posted by rland (Budding Member, 14 posts) 31 Mar '12 09:18

This has been discussed before. You should ask those other posters how it went.

You probably shouldn't have lied on your visa application about not having a criminal record. Then, there'd be nothing to worry about.

See this 20 page thread to start.

If you are coming to the USA from a Visa Waiver Country and have a previous conviction, you will most likely have to apply to get a visa to enter the country. It's a little more hassle, but unless your offense was pretty serious (in the eyes of the USA), doesn't mean that you can't come. If you are coming from a country that doesn't participate in the VWP (and isn't part of NAFTA), then you'll need to apply for a visa anyways, so no difference.

To be ineligible to recieve a visa, you would need to have committed a crime "involving moral turpitude" or related to "a controlled substance" (source: Ineligible for Visa), though if the crime was committed when you were under 18 years of age or the maximum penalty of the crime is less than 1 year or you didn't serve more than 6 months.

If you have multiple convictions, regardless of the offense, you are not allowed to obtain a USA Visa, and cannot visit the country.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Mar-2012, at 09:21 by rland ]

3. Posted by Mike1990 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 18 Dec '12 10:51

Mrniceguy..
I have the same problem but with ABH. How did you get on? Cheers