Criminal Record and travel to the US

Travel Forums North America Criminal Record and travel to the US

1. Posted by alextravel (Full Member 75 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Its a sad day when i have to post a question like this, but i need some advice and information if anyone can offer it.

a friend of my whom i am meant to be travelling through latin america with has just been caught on drug charges. although this has happened at home before leaving, we are due to fly out to Los Angeles in 3 weeks and i need any information people may have on Americas policy on letting people in who have drug convictions. it is only a minor offence and he may not even get a record for it, but as his court case is a mere 8 days before we fly out i need to have some sort of idea whether or not he may be allowed to transit through america to mexico or if he wont be allowed to enter america at all........PLEASE ASSIST IF YOU CAN OFFER ANY ADVICE AT ALL.


thanks for you time.

2. Posted by friscokid (Full Member 122 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I personally think your friend will be ok. Unless your friend is on a terrorist watch list, I doubt the U.S. will even know your friend has a conviction (which sounds like it will be a minor conviction at that since his home country will let him travel after his court date), let alone an arrest -- maybe he can get his court date postponed.

U.S. Customs checks out passengers who are staying in the US; thus if your layover is at LAX and your friend stays in the terminal, customs will not be interviewing him. I actually doubt his home country is sharing criminal histories of its citizens with the U.S.

Good luck to your friend and you. Have a safe trip.

3. Posted by friscokid (Full Member 122 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

p.s. i now see you and your friend are actually staying in LA, Las Vegas, etc.... I still think your friend will be OK to enter the US and customs will have no idea of his legal problems in his home country

4. Posted by applegirl (Full Member 144 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

What aj415 said. I don't think countries share records for minor criminal offences.
(Your friend must be able to aks his/her lawyer about this btw.)

5. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

If it helps, I got a DUI in New Zealand and to my knowledge, it is completely unbeknownst to anybody in the States. Except you all I guess. . Then again, I'm a citizen, but I don't think that'll matter in the case of your friend.

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Check out this website: US Embassy in Australia.

Some travelers are not eligible by law to enter the United States. These include people with certain serious communicable illnesses, criminal records (particularly those involved with drugs), previous deportations from the U.S., certain visa refusals and other problems with U.S. immigration laws or visas.

Generally, anyone with a drug offense will not be allowed into the U.S. At the very least, they will not be eligible for the visa waiver program and will be required to get a visa to travel to the United States. Your friends may be able to get a travel waiver from the United States and a Visa to still allow him to travel to the United States legally.

Without a visa and a travel waiver, your friend would be travelling illegally in the U.S. I believe that the new forms in coming to the U.S. ask if you have been convicted of a crime. Your friend would have to lie on the form to be allowed into the U.S., which is a serious offense if caught.

As for the chances of getting caught, I am not sure. I do know that Canada and the U.S. do share databases listing criminal records. I have no idea of Australia and the U.S. have a similar sharing in place.

Of course, if he isn't convicted of the offense, then no concerns. Any chance he'll get off?