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Travel to USA with minor criminal conviction

Travel Forums North America Travel to USA with minor criminal conviction

1. Posted by travelfreak1990 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 27 Feb '13 04:51

travelfreak1990 has indicated that this thread is about Visas (USA)

Hi, I know there are so many threads about this issue but my question is slightly different.

I have a trip in 4 weeks to USA for 3 weeks. I have a DUI from 4 years ago and have only just found out i need to apply for a visa! I would happily risk going there this time and see that its unlikely to get caught, however I am hoping to get an internship in USA once iv graduated from uni later this year. For that i'm sure i will be going through a criminal record check and they will see that i entered the country earlier and lied about the record.

So what i was thinking to do is arrive in USA without the visa, but on the arrivals card i can declare that i have the criminal record, this way i have not lied. then I just play dumb and say that i had no idea i had to apply for a visa in advance! As far as i knew brits could get in on the waiver and so i hadnt even though about it! I imagine i would be held in the airport for a quite a while and probably questioned extensively but would they really send me back to uk for a mistake rather than a lie?

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1512 posts) 27 Feb '13 08:15

Your question is not different, the DUI issue has been addressed dozens of times on many threads like this one:

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

Bottom line: US CBP doesn't care about a DUI. It's not a crime of moral turpitude so (unlike Canada) it's not a reason for denying entry.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by travelfreak1990 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 27 Feb '13 09:34

But all threads have either said you just say No on the declaration form when you arrive. what I said is that I want to state YES on the arrival card... will they turn me around then if i didn't go through the visa process? Maybe they will ask me to pay the visa cost?

Thanks

4. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1512 posts) 27 Feb '13 09:42

When people have no interest in a US Visa at a later date then it's simpler to forget the incident ever happened and come straight into the country with no paperwork.

You say you're going to apply for a Visa at some point that requires a Police Record. If that's the case then why lie? As stated above a DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude to it's not a reason for any entry hassle so there's no reason not to mention it. There's no reason to lie and perhaps cause problems in the future with the Visa Application.

Cheers,
Terry

5. Posted by AussieAdam (Budding Member, 6 posts) 27 Feb '13 19:09

Go to the US consulate and get the visa in your country. It is not worth the risks, If you are caught lying on the entry form especially in a country like the United States you could face entry bans from not only the united states but other allied countries. It is just not worth the risk!

My Australian friends with the same problem (DUI charge) went to the consulate and got the ok from then to enter America, this is far easier then flying all that way to get denied at the airport and sent home!

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1512 posts) 27 Feb '13 19:48

That's fine advice Adam, but don't try to insinuate that a DUI will result in denied entrance into the US for an Aussie.

Keep it in perspective.

Cheers,
Terry

7. Posted by Bw92 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 9 Apr '13 06:44

Quoting travelfreak1990

Hi, I know there are so many threads about this issue but my question is slightly different.

I have a trip in 4 weeks to USA for 3 weeks. I have a DUI from 4 years ago and have only just found out i need to apply for a visa! I would happily risk going there this time and see that its unlikely to get caught, however I am hoping to get an internship in USA once iv graduated from uni later this year. For that i'm sure i will be going through a criminal record check and they will see that i entered the country earlier and lied about the record.

So what i was thinking to do is arrive in USA without the visa, but on the arrivals card i can declare that i have the criminal record, this way i have not lied. then I just play dumb and say that i had no idea i had to apply for a visa in advance! As far as i knew brits could get in on the waiver and so i hadnt even though about it! I imagine i would be held in the airport for a quite a while and probably questioned extensively but would they really send me back to uk for a mistake rather than a lie?

After countless hours of research on the exact same topic and emails to the DOH Im aware a singular case of 'simple' DUI (Dr10 in the Uk) is not a crime involving moral turpitude therefore you can with a clear conscience tick no to that question. If your in doubt still have a look around/search the British Expats forum loads of similar questions. If your still doubtful simply apply for the VWP using Esta and if it gets approved as im sure it will you will have no worries and have absolutely done the right thing. Its rare the embassy issues a visa to one who is eligible to travel under VWP therefore if you applied and were denied a visa for that reason you would in future have to declare it on Esta and most probably not be able to travel to the States for an extended amount of time.

All the above information is what I have found through countless hours of worry and research. Hope this helps.

8. Posted by Bw92 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 9 Apr '13 06:45

Also on other VWP eligible countries such as Australia it clearly states that a single case does not warrant ineligibility of Esta.