Need help: Do you think my stupid mistake will prevent VISA?

Travel Forums North America Need help: Do you think my stupid mistake will prevent VISA?

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1. Posted by Brian0 (Inactive 5 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

First and foremost, I wanna say hello to everyone and I would be more than happy if someone could help me with my problem.

I am a 28 year old guy from europe that has made a very very stupid mistake that I admit and feel sorry for. I had a job interview 14th of January 2020 and I commit my first crime in my life,.

I was in deep mental pain from my family relationship that I do not want to go in deeper with now, and I was feeling kinda "lost" and was just started on anti-depressants 4 days prior to the crime. Anyways.... I was on the way to the job interview 14th January 2020, and I edited my old bus ticket with new date and time so It looked like I bought it that day so I could drive for free. The ticket would cost 4-5 dollars if I had paid it. Anyways during the trip in the bus I was approached by two bus workers that check for tickets and they could see it was edited and I started denying it at first but they kept pushing it and said if I just said my name and date of birth, I would be getting a fine and thats it.

Here comes the second crime... I gave them wrong name and birth of date but when the police arrived I did the same, but 5 minutes later, I eventually said my real name and date and got arrested.

Now I have 3 convictions against me; Document falsification, Fraud and Identity theft.

All of this because I was stupid and I know its not an excuse but I was in very deep mental pain and sorrow that day which I also explained to them afterwards.
I wanna point out that this is my first offense ever... not even a parking ticket or anything.

I am not sentenced yet, as it will take few months to go to court, but I wonder, did this destroy my life completely? My dream since I was a child, is to move to USA at some point or atleast visit the country multiple times.

PLEASE, if anyone can tell me anything, feel free to respond to this post. Any help/advice would be appreciated, and yes I am fully aware of my crime and I regret it deeply.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1191 posts) 9w 1 Star this if you like it!

You don't say what citizenship you have but I'm going to assume you are an EU citizen. That's because EU citzens are eligible for the US ESTA but not all 'Europeans' are.

>did this destroy my life completely?

In a word, no.

You were very foolish and, in consequence, you're being taken to court. You say you were arrested and I assume you were charged. You haven't yet been to court and don't yet know what sentence you'll be given. I very much doubt that any sentence will involve a stay in prison.

Here are the facts:

The relevant question on the US ESTA is:

>Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?

There is no definition of the word 'serious' but the US has a legal concept called 'crimes involving moral turpitude' (CIMT). Fraud can be a CIMT and 'making false representation' certainly is. Giving a false name and address might be considered 'making false representation' but only a US border officer can make that decision.

It is up to each individual whether he/she answers that ESTA question truthfully. Lying on the ESTA can be a US criminal offence. The chances of being stopped at the US border are very small though they do exist. BUT if you lie on the ESTA and then apply for a US visa your lie will be found out and will cause major difficulties.

You can apply for a US visa with a criminal record. If the crimes are considered CIMT the officer may recommend you for a 'waiver of inadmissibility'. If that waiver is granted (and they usually are if the recommendation is made) you will get a visa, though the waiver process can be slow.

I would not advise anyone to lie on the ESTA.

If you want to live or work in the US in the future my advice is to apply for a visa but not until your court case has happened. If you are found guilty wait a few years before applying for a visa (I'd suggest at least 2 and preferably 5+). If the case is dropped, or you are found not guilty, I think waiting for a couple of years would still be a good idea.

At your visa interview you need to convince the officer that you are a responsible, law-abiding citizen. Waiting a while after your offence/conviction gives you a better chance of showing that you made a stupid mistake that you will never repeat.

You can certainly stop worrying about 'destroying your life'. You may have to put your plans on hold for a while, and you'll have to spend more time and money applying for a visa than for an ESTA, but things should turn out ok in the end. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2020, 19:31 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Brian0 (Inactive 5 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

You don't say what citizenship you have but I'm going to assume you are an EU citizen.

>did this destroy my life completely?

In a word, no.

You were very foolish and, in consequence, you're being taken to court. You say you were arrested and I assume you were charged. You haven't yet been to court and don't yet know what sentence you'll be given. I very much doubt that any sentence will involve a stay in prison.

Here are the facts:

The relevant question on the US ESTA is:

>Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?

There is no definition of the word 'serious' but the US has a legal concept called 'crimes involving moral turpitude' (CIMT). Fraud can be a CIMT and 'making false representation' certainly is. Giving a false name and address might be considered 'making false representation' but only a US border officer can make that decision.

It is up to each individual whether he/she answers that ESTA question truthfully. Lying on the ESTA can be a US criminal offence. The chances of being stopped at the US border are very small though they do exist. BUT if you lie on the ESTA and then apply for a US visa your lie will be found out and will cause major difficulties.

You can apply for a US visa with a criminal record. If the crimes are considered CIMT the officer may recommend you for a 'waiver of inadmissibility'. If that waiver is granted (and they usually are if the recommendation is made) you will get a visa, though the waiver process can be slow.

I would not advise anyone to lie on the ESTA.

If you want to live or work in the US in the future my advice is to apply for a visa but not until your court case has happened. If you are found guilty wait a few years before applying for a visa (I'd suggest at least 2 and preferably 5+). If the case is dropped, or you are found not guilty, I think waiting for a couple of years would still be a good idea.

At your visa interview you need to convince the officer that you are a responsible, law-abiding citizen. Waiting a while after your offence/conviction gives you a better chance of showing that you made a stupid mistake that you will never repeat.

You can certainly stop worrying about 'destroying your life'. You may have to put your plans on hold for a while, and you'll have to spend more time and money applying for a visa than for an ESTA, but things should turn out ok in the end. :-)

Thank you so much for your reply! Means alot to me.

I will not be travelling on ESTA anyways so I need to apply for VISA because my european country is not on the ESTA waiver list. Anyway, thats not a big issue for me, since I do not mind getting a VISA, but the things I am charged for and will most likely be sentenced with, I am worried I can ever get a VISA as USA is very strict about any offenses. :(

The thing that hurts me most is that no one will look and see that it was "just" a bus ticket, but will only look for the three charges/convictions...

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1191 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

> I am worried I can ever get a VISA as USA is very strict about any offenses

I have already explained that only offences which are considered CIMT affect visa applications. I have also explained that even people who are convicted of CIMT offences may be recommended for a waiver of inadmissibility.

>no one will look and see that it was "just" a bus ticket,

That isn't true.

You will have a visa interview when the officer will ask you questions about your arrest etc. You will be able to explain how things happened.

You have said that your citizenship is not eligible for an ESTA. Although everything I have said is correct there may be more difficulty in getting a US visa if you have e.g. Russian or Belarussian citizenship.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2020, 20:00 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by Brian0 (Inactive 5 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

>no one will look and see that it was "just" a bus ticket,

That isn't true.

You will have a visa interview when the officer will ask you questions about your arrest etc. You will be able to explain how things happened.

You have said that your citizenship is not eligible for an ESTA. Although everything I have said is correct there may be more difficulty in getting a US visa if you have e.g. Russian or Belarussian citizenship.

My citizenship is Bosnian, but I live in Denmark for the past 18 years. I just dont have danish citizenship/passport. As far as Ive read, Bosnia have very good relationship with USA but you are welcome to correct me if Im wrong.

Do you personally think that police and other authorities will check that my felony was "only" a bus ticket and not "just" Fraud, document falsification?

6. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1191 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

I assume you will apply through the Danish US Embassy.

>Do you personally think that police and other authorities will check that my felony was "only" a bus ticket and not "just" Fraud, document falsification?

The officers will have the basic details at your interview:

>In order for the consular officer to proceed with processing your case we request that you submit the court documents and/or fines for ALL convictions you received in the past (but not including speeding tickets). Court documents (domsudskrift) are generally available from the courthouse where you received the conviction. For copies of fines (boedeforelaeg) you should contact the police. We recommend that you make your request in writing/by e-mail in order for you to receive a written reply.

From Q21 here: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/dk/dk-gen-faq.asp#qlistgen5

Depending on whether the officer needs to more details, you may be asked about the circumstances of your offence at your interview.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2020, 20:19 GMT by leics2 ]

7. Posted by Brian0 (Inactive 5 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I assume you will apply through the Danish US Embassy.

>Do you personally think that police and other authorities will check that my felony was "only" a bus ticket and not "just" Fraud, document falsification?

The officers will have the basic details at your interview:

>In order for the consular officer to proceed with processing your case we request that you submit the court documents and/or fines for ALL convictions you received in the past (but not including speeding tickets). Court documents (domsudskrift) are generally available from the courthouse where you received the conviction. For copies of fines (boedeforelaeg) you should contact the police. We recommend that you make your request in writing/by e-mail in order for you to receive a written reply.

From Q21 here: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/dk/dk-gen-faq.asp#qlistgen5

Depending on whether the officer needs to more details, you may be asked about the circumstances of your offence at your interview.

Thank you much appreciated. I hope for the best.

Have a lovely day/night sir.

8. Posted by 55vineyard (Budding Member 79 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

I think when you go for your interview you should admit responsibility and apologize for your mistake, etc. rather than keep making excuses (eg "I am not making excuses BUT..." "It was ONLY a bus ticket...").

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1191 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Brian0:

55vineyard has given you some good advice.

>I hope for the best. Have a lovely day/night sir.

I wish you the very best of luck. And I'm a woman. :-)

10. Posted by Brian0 (Inactive 5 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Quoting 55vineyard

I think when you go for your interview you should admit responsibility and apologize for your mistake, etc. rather than keep making excuses (eg "I am not making excuses BUT..." "It was ONLY a bus ticket...").

I 100 % agree and ofcourse I will admit I did it, but what I was trying to point out is that the convictions I will get (fraud and document falsification) can sound cruel when in reality its a bus ticket. I am not saying it makes it okay to do it, but I wonder if they can see in detail what the crime is and not just the overview. I hope you understand my point. Sorry for any grammar or langual errors.