US non immigrant visa form questions - drugs conviction

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1. Posted by Alwayshalffull (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hi guys,

I'm currently filling out the US non immigrant visa form because I have a drugs conviction for possession and I'm not eligible for the ESTA. One of the questions asks: "Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?" I understand that answering yes to this can cause an immediate denial of a visa on medical grounds and as my conviction was for simple possession so I would not consider myself to have ever been a addict or abuser.

My question is if I answer no to this will my possession conviction contradict this answer? Looking for help from those who have been through this process or applying with a drugs conviction (successful or not) rather then speculation.

Many thanks!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

As a bystander it seems pretty clear to me that "possession" = "drug abuser". What else could they possibly mean by using the term "drug abuser"?!

3. Posted by Alwayshalffull (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the reply AndyF!

I suppose it depends on which definition they go by. Abuser generally means using something in a harmful amount or way but this been the US government I'm thinking they go for the broader definition of any use = abuse.

4. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

As a bystander it seems pretty clear to me that "possession" = "drug abuser". What else could they possibly mean by using the term "drug abuser"?!

"Abuser" refers to use, especially excessive use or use without medical justification. The drug need not be illegal at all.

A broad question, indeed, however it is unrelated to your possession conviction.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2019, at 10:42 by road to roam ]

5. Posted by Alwayshalffull (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thats the trouble I'm having. I would not have considered myself a drug abuser for infrequent recreational use but I'm unsure how the US Gov defines it.

I just don't want to run into additional hurdles by not understanding the question properly.

Has anyone gone through the Visa application with a drugs conviction and how did you answer this question?

6. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

You have a conviction for drug possession - you are a drug abuser.

If you are going to lie and say no to this question on the visa form you may as well lie and get an ESTA; there is no difference, and no grey area about the question on the visa form.

Anything else is sophistry and self-justification, which won't help you at a visa interview.

7. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

You have a conviction for drug possession - you are a drug abuser.

Not true at all. Even if the OP was under the influence of the drug they were charged with, that would not medically make them an addict or chronic abuser.

Dependency (addiction) and habitual abuse are medical terms rather than legal. Of course, one can keep getting into trouble with the law if they keep using but the court does not decide on their own if abuse or addiction is indicated - that is a medical classification.

8. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Not true at all. Even if the OP was under the influence of the drug they were charged with, that would not medically make them an addict or chronic abuser.

Dependency (addiction) and habitual abuse are medical terms rather than legal. Of course, one can keep getting into trouble with the law if they keep using but the court does not decide on their own if abuse or addiction is indicated - that is a medical classification.

I didn't say "chronic abuser" or "habitual abuser", they may well be medical terms but so what? The OP's question was about the US government form asking "have you ever been a drug abuser?" The term "drug abuse" means user of illegal drugs, at least it does where I come from. Especially clear when asked in the context of immigration. A person with a drugs conviction who tries to say "no" is not going to be looked upon kindly by an immigration officer.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2019, at 11:36 by AndyF ]

9. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

The term "drug abuse" means user of illegal drugs, at least it does where I come from

Possession does not indicate use at all. The charge for use is "under the influence" and that STILL does not indicate abuse or addiction. Abuse and addiction is a medical determination.

Keep in mind.....and this is important....we are not talking about where you come from.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2019, at 12:24 by road to roam ]

10. Posted by Alwayshalffull (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I'm not trying to lie or be clever to get a visa. I know I'm already going to have problems because of the criminal aspect so I want to avoid adding a medical reason for denial on top if possible. I don't want to hinder my application by saying I have a history of drub abuse if they don't consider possession to mean you're a drug abuser and its more of a defined medical situation that doesn't apply to me. If thats the case then fair enough I'll accept that, it was my mistake that put me in this situation but I don't want to throw up additional roadblocks if they're unnecessary.

So to clarify my question does anyone know the definition of a drug abuser used by US immigration services?