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Obtaining a visa to visit USA with a criminal record

Travel Forums North America Obtaining a visa to visit USA with a criminal record

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1. Posted by Sophie Alex (Budding Member, 5 posts) 4 Jan '13 12:24

Hi, I am hoping to travel to the US to visit a family member whom I have not seen for a long time- however I am not eligible to travel under the VWP as I made one stupid mistake as a juvenile (more than 40+ years ago) and therefore have a criminal conviction for theft (I was fined).
I have led an exemplary life since that time, married, worked hard, brought up a large family etc. etc. I am extremely embarrassed and I bitterly regret my foolish action so many years ago and had not given it any thought in recent years.

I am now very worried about the process of applying for a visa, I have heard that the embassy staff are rude and uncompromising - I am not the most confident of persons at the best of times, and if it is likely that I will be refused a visa is it worth applying, as it is also a costly process

I wonder if anyone has any experience like this and if anyone has any idea how likely it is that I would be granted a visa?

I would appreciate any views ...........thankyou.

2. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 4 Jan '13 13:29

Sophie, Your profile does not state your country of origin but this thread may be of help:

http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=22639

Not every entry is related to entering the US from the UK. It's a lot of comments but it also covers a lot of useful information about our system.

3. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1537 posts) 4 Jan '13 13:59

Even in out-of-control USA where Homeland Security and the myriad of other security branches of the government make border crossing a game of Russian Roulette a juvenile conviction from 40+ years ago is utterly meaningless.

Forget it ever happened. Wipe it from your memory banks. Literally.

Have a great visit.

Cheers,
Terry

4. Posted by yankeedoodle (Budding Member, 4 posts) 6 Jan '13 03:17

Similar question to Sophie above.

We want to travel from the UK to the US for a holiday.

My husband was convicted of fraudulent use of a tax disc in 1996 and fined £200. I believe this would come under moral turpitude.

If we went down the route of trying to obtain a tourist visa and attended an interview at the US Embassy I believe we could try for an "exception" of a single minor offence.

If this is correct (I might have misread the situation!) what do you think our chances of success would be??

Thanks in anticipation of any assistance.

5. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1537 posts) 6 Jan '13 04:52

If the circumstances are as you state the chances of success are almost 100%. It would basically be rubber stamped.

Cheers,
Terry

6. Posted by yankeedoodle (Budding Member, 4 posts) 6 Jan '13 23:31

Thanks Terry. It gives us hope that we are not embarking on a fruitless journey, so to speak!!

7. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1537 posts) 7 Jan '13 00:07

No worries, have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

8. Posted by reddy1 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 7 Jan '13 13:01

Hi I`m from the UK. Can anyone advise me on the following, I have recently been arrested for swearing at a football match and charged with section 5 (uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment,_alarm_or_distress

I have not been to court as yet but neet to get a ESTA for travelling to the USA with my family for the second time. Will I have a problem if I get the ESTA now? will I need to declare if found guilty afterwards and even if found guilty for using bad language in a public place would this stop me being able to enter the USA?.

9. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1537 posts) 7 Jan '13 13:18

Your situation has been addressed dozens and dozens of times on this thread:

http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=22639

Bottom line, there are NO guarantees but personally I would forget it ever happened.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

10. Posted by Sophie Alex (Budding Member, 5 posts) 9 Jan '13 01:57

Quoting CheersT

Even in out-of-control USA where Homeland Security and the myriad of other security branches of the government make border crossing a game of Russian Roulette a juvenile conviction from 40+ years ago is utterly meaningless.

Forget it ever happened. Wipe it from your memory banks. Literally.

Have a great visit.

Cheers,
Terry

Hi Terry, thanks for taking the time to reply - are you suggesting I should not apply for a visa but instead travel under the Visa Waiver process?

Sophie