Criminal Record Northern Ireland TO USA

Travel Forums North America Criminal Record Northern Ireland TO USA

1. Posted by novatroop77ni (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I have two incidents in my history but I want to visit the usa

One is in 2014 and it was a non-non-molestation 2014 taken out against me by my brother their was no attached sentence with that just a year-long non-molestation order.

I again had issues with an ex-partner in 2018 same thing happened to a non-molestation order but this time I got a suspended sentence 2 years and 3 months both items would be considered spent by Uk law but I see that the USA law is around 15 years?

I want to travel to the USA to visit space x and see a few launches and also some air shows when over what are my chances even being able to get into the country never mind the 90 day waver program the second offense was classed as misuse of communications equipment to cause distress or anxiety.

No violence ever happened just nasty texts messages back and forth between both parties.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4271 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

You don't give your citizenship so I am going to assume that you are a UK citizen, though most of what I write below applies to all citizenships eligible for the US ESTA visa waiver.

>both items would be considered spent by Uk law but I see that the USA law is around 15 years?

The US never considers convictions in foreign jurisdictions to be 'spent'. Whether a crime involved violence or not isn't really relevant.

The US has a legal concept called a 'crime involving moral turpitude' (CIMT). Detailed information about exactly what e.g. UK crimes are and are not CIMT is not in the public domain, not least because the US legal system is not the same as e.g. the UK's: crimes often have different names and levels of seriousness.

>what are my chances even being able to get into the country

Don't despair. All is not lost.

The relevant ESTA question 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?

'Serious harm' is not defined but you were certainly considered to have caused harm to your ex-partner. You received a substantial suspended prison sentence for that offence which underlines how seriously the law regarded it.

I would not advise you to lie on the ESTA by selecting 'No'.: some people might do so. Lying on the ESTA is a US criminal offence and, if discovered, would make subsequent entry to the US very difficult indeed and potentially impossible. Applying for any US visa would bring the lie to light and, of course, if you lie once you'll have to keep lying on the ESTA forever. Even if you never intend to live or work in the US there is no guarantee that the visa-waiver ESTA option will be in place for your lifetime: the US can, at any time, require all UK (or any other) citizens to have a visa.

Imo, your best option is to apply for a B2 visitor visa. You'll need to fill in the application, obtain the necessary documentation and attend an interview either at the London Embassy or the Belfast Consulate.

All the info is on the official US site:

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

Being convicted of a CIMT means a person is automatically banned from entering the US but even if the interviewing officer decides your crime is a CIMT (which I think is possible) he/she can decide to recommend you for a 'waiver of ineligibility'.

People who are recommended for such a waiver are almost always granted it, though the processing time can be quite lengthy. Before Covid waivers processed via London were taking 6-8 months but it seems to be much quicker at the moment. The Belfast Consulate usually processes waivers a bit more speedily than the Embassy.

No-one here or anyone else can tell you (or anyone else) the exact chances of you being recommended for a waiver and/or being granted a visa (which might be valid for much less than the normal 10 years). Everything depends on all the details of your personal circumstances + all the details of your offences + how you present yourself at the interview (not just your clothing but also your manner and honesty in answering questions).

You need to convince the interviewing officer not only that you are a responsible citizen (e.g. finances, job, home, family) but also that a) you accept full responsibility for your crime, fully understand its effects and are truly sorry for your actions and b) are very highly unlikely to ever commit such a crime again, in the UK or anywhere else.

Assuming everything else is ok and that you present yourself well at interview the only potential stumbling block I can see is that your conviction was only 4 years ago. Imo it's best to wait a bit longer after a conviction before making a visa application but one visa refusal does not ban you from making another application in future.

I wish you the very best of luck in your visa application.

[ Edit: Edited on 6 Jun 2022, 12:13 GMT by leics2 ]