US Visa with a criminal record

Travel Forums North America US Visa with a criminal record

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Overseas Territories (United States of America)
1. Posted by Avapasfield (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi All

I want to surprise my boyfriend with a trip to New York for his 30th Birthday next year. He was arrested for possession of a class C drug (small amount) more than 10 years ago and was not convicted (when he was 17). In 2016 he applied for a VISA for the US and declared details of his arrest but was originally declined the ESTA. He had to attend an interview in London, his passport was submitted to Washington and he was granted a VISA for 1 year. He was advised that every time he wanted to enter the US in future he would need to attend an interview again to obtain a VISA each time. I am assuming this means that he would be granted one the second time, but I'm wondering if anyone has experienced the same thing and if you can advise how long the application process takes the second time round. His birthday is in January so I need to work out how far in advance I need to book the trip for, to allow enough time for the VISA application process.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)

2. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 174 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

There is another blog called 'Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK' with thousands of comments at this stage. I'm sure you can find a lot of useful information there...

3. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 647 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

>I am assuming this means that he would be granted one the second time

Not necessarily, I'm afraid. It all depends on all the details of the individual's circumstances, the interview and the officer who does the interview on the day.

> He was advised that every time he wanted to enter the US in future he would need to attend an interview again to obtain a VISA each time.

He may well need a further waiver of ineligibility before another visa is granted.

>how long the application process takes the second time round.

How many visas an individual has had does not affect the processing time. When a waiver is required the processing time via the London embassy is presently 6-8 months. Belfast is a little quicker.

It would be very risky indeed to assume that the 2016 waiver your boyfriend was granted remains valid.

So I'm afraid you won't be able to properly surprise your boyfriend with a trip to the US.

If you really want to surprise him you'll need to book a trip somewhere which doesn't require UK citizens to have a visa before arrival e.g. the EU and EAA countries.