Hi, I'm looking for some advice.
During my younger years I went a bit off the rails. I deeply regret everything I done, however to receive the best advice I need to go into details.
I was arrested quite a few times as a teenager,
Before I was 18 I had been arrested and cautioned for car theft,
After that I was arrested for criminal damage and received a caution.
Later in life I was arrested for kidnap but was never convicted, It went to court but I was found not guilty.
Since then i have kept my nose clean, The last time I was in trouble was 12 years ago for drunk and dis-orderly.
I know I don't paint a good picture of my self but I was involved with the wrong people and I made some really bad choices.
I have been in my current job for 12 years now and have 2 wonderful children,
I would love to take them to Disney World however I think I have ruined my chances with my previous life choices.
Would I ever get a Visa if I declare everything going through the Embassy?
If I filled out the ESTA and just answered 'NO' to all the questions whats the likely hood of me being stopped at customs?
Please don't judge me by what I have posted, I know I have made some bad choices, I have only listed my offences in order to get the best advice, I fear I have ruined my chances of ever going to the states.
My usual advice is to forget it ever happened, but with your extensive record you never know what might have ended up on what database - especially the kidnapping - so you're one of the very few cases where I'd suggest to jump through the hoops and apply for a Visa.
Get all your paperwork in order... with the last offence being 12+ years ago and if you make a good impression at the Embassy you might squeak through. If not, then be prepared for some time/hassle to go through all the rehabilitation paperwork.
Buy a nice suit and good luck.
All else fails you can take your kids to Disney land Paris, which is lovely.
Thank you for the advice, I am really ashamed of my past.
I wish I could turn back time but its just not possible,
So even though the kidnap was dropped it will still show?
How long does the Embassy process take?
I am going to start getting things rolling this week as I would like to take the kids next year,
Paris is all ways an option, but I would like to travel to the states.
My wife has family in Texas which we would like to visit as well.
As I mentioned above with such an extensive record there is no way to know what has and hasn't stuck to what database. Kidnapping is a major felony so even an arrest with no conviction might be recorded somewhere that the US CBP can access.
In my opinion it simply isn't worth risking the "maybe" factor. Jump through the hoops, it's the safest course of action.