Entering florida with a suspended sentence (please help)

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Entering florida with a suspended sentence (please help)

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1. Posted by laurenbradbury1 (Budding Member 3 posts) 15w Star this if you like it!

I have previously visited florida over 10 time, it is my favourite place and i would love to take my fiancé and baby. However, before meeting me, he was in a lot of debt and ended up marking down hot tubs in work with his manager (who gave him permission) and then sold them privately for full price. This resulted in him receiving a 12 month suspended sentence. I have tried searching to see if he would ever be able to enter the USA but everyone’s situations are different and they are all old posts. I understand there is paper work to fill out and he would have to visit the us embassy and declare everything but i’m wondering if this process would be worth it if he’s just going to get declined. I would love to take our baby for the first time so if anyone could help out or give me some advice that would be great! Thank you

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3322 posts) 15w Star this if you like it!

>if anyone could help out or give me some advice that would be great!

I've given much the same info and advice for hundreds of people over the years. All is not lost!

But you don't give your fiance's citizenship, which is a vital bit of info.

From the way you've written your post I'm going to guess that he is a UK citizen, though the process is much the same for many other citizenships.

You haven't said what your fiance's exact offence was either but I assume it was theft and/or fraud. How long ago it happened is also very relevant.

Fraud and theft are both 'crimes involving moral turpitude' (CIMT), a US legal concept which automatically bars entry to the US unless a waiver of ineligibility is granted.

>I understand there is paper work to fill out and he would have to visit the us embassy and declare everything but i’m wondering if this process would be worth it if he’s just going to get declined.

No-one here or anywhere else can tell you whether your fiance would be recommended for and granted a waiver of ineligibility if he applied for a US visa. The only way to find out is for him to make a visa application.

It is, imo, very, very unlikely that he will be granted a visa on the day of interview. The border officer who interviews him will decide whether to recommend him for a waiver or not. That decision will be based not just on his offence (he'll be asked to explain what happened) but also on all the details of his application (work, financial situation, family situation etc etc) and the way he presents himself (attitude as well as apearance) at the interview. He should answer all questions honestly and remain courteous and polite at all times. He should not just try to blame his manager: he must accept responsibility for his choices and their consequences.

If he is recommended for a waiver of ineligibility his application is referred onwards. It can take several months for a decision one way or the other. Don't make any plans until it arrives: being recommended by the interviewing officer is not a guarantee that the waiver will be granted.

When applicants are granted a waiver it is common for the tourist visa to be valid for a shorter period than the usual 10 years (UK citizens). It might be valid for e.g. one or two years and he would then have to apply for another visa.

Only you and your fiance can decide whether to spend the time and money involved in making a visa application. If his offence was fairly recent (e.g. within the past 5 years or so) it's probably better to leave it for a few years: the more recent the offence the less likely it is that a waiver will be recommended. If other aspects of his life are dubious e.g. not in regular employment than can also have an adverse effect. Interviewing officers want to be certain that the applicant acknowledges and accepts his/her guilt, is highly unlikely to offend again (in the US or the UK) and is now a trustworthy and responsible citizen who has compelling reasons to return to the UK after a trip to the US.

If your fiance decides to go ahead with an application he can apply via the US Embassy in London or the US Consulate in Belfast. Obviously, both follow exactly the same procedures. The UK pages on the US Embassy website tell him exactly what to do:

https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/tourism-visitor/how-to-apply/

Hope that helps. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 4 Jul 2021, 09:02 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by laurenbradbury1 (Budding Member 3 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

thank you! the offence was committed last september so would you recommend waiting a few years until completing the process?

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3322 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Tbh, if the offence only took place last September I think your fiance's chances of being recommended for a waiver are miniscule to none. Personally, I wouldn't waste money on an application at this time. The interviewing officer is likely to just tell your fiance to re-apply in a few years......

I'd recommend a minimum of 5 years. Your fiance needs to prove that he is a responsible, trustworthy citizen who is unlikely to commit further offences and he simply can't do that so soon after conviction which carried a prison term (the fact that it was suspended is irrelevant).

I'd also point out that in your first post you said your fiance committed the offence before he met you. A border officer would consider his relationship with you to be very new indeed (being engaged makes no difference) and won't consider it a settled, long-term relationship. That is also likely to count against his application.

I suggest your fiance gives it 5 years or so and then makes a visa application. It'll be much better time for your child too. He/she will enjoy...and retain memories of... Florida much, much more when he is 6+. Babies and toddlers remember nothing and even under-5s remember very little, if anything, of holidays they take. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 4 Jul 2021, 12:04 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by laurenbradbury1 (Budding Member 3 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your help! He committed the offence before he met me but only got charged in september, but we will wait a few years☺️