Skip Navigation

Holiday to America with a criminal record

Travel Forums North America Holiday to America with a criminal record

1. Posted by UKLass (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


would like to start by saying sorry. I know this has been asked many times before but I am really worried

In 2005 (when I was 19) I made some very silly and stupid mistakes, and I've ended up with about 8 convictions for theft and deception, all dealt with at magistrates court in one session. I didn't go to jail, I was given community service.

Since then I've not been in any trouble. I have a good job, a degree and a mortgage etc etc. Basically I've just moved onwards and upwards as much as I can.

I've recently passed a basic DBS check.

I am very worried about going on holiday to America though.

on the ETSA form, can I select no for the conviction question?

If I should say yes, but choose to "risk it" and say no, what are the chances of me being found out and denied entry when I arrive in America? Would my passport, or when they take fingerprints, show up that at one point in my life I was a baddie?

if I go down the embassy route and they say yes I can, will I be allowed in for sure? Or could I get there and be turned away still?

Sorry for long post, and thanks in advance!

2. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Your situation is simple:

1.) If you have lots of time before your trip then go ahead and do the paperwork. That's a lot of convictions, but they happened a long time ago and you can easily prove you've "turned over a new leaf" so your application should be approved. This route takes a lot of time, some money and hassle.

2.) Forget your earlier shenanigans. Wipe it from your memory banks. The UK doesn't share its "normal" criminal database with the US so you're in the clear. That said, nothing is ever guaranteed so it's still a bit of a gamble.

Good luck with whichever route you choose.


3. Posted by UKLass (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Terry, appreciate your comments.

I've a couple of follow up questions,hope you don't mind.

1) can I complete the embassy interview before I book my holiday?
2) does it last for x amount of years, or only for that one trip?
3) from my internet reading the US would only hold criminal record information of "people of interest", would I be on this list simply because I have multiple convictions?
4) if the embassy say yes, will I definitely be allowed through when I arrive in America?

Thanks, again.

Have a lovely day

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2015, at 00:14 by UKLass ]

4. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

1.) You should absolutely complete all the paperwork and the interview before you book anything. The process can sometimes take several months minimum to complete.

2.) It depends.

3.) Impossible to guess. As per my Point #2 above you're very likely not on any database, but who knows. Nothing is ever 100% guaranteed.

4.) Nope. No Visa or paperwork of any kind guarantees you entry to any country. The Immigration official always has final say.