North America

Travel Forums General Talk North America

1. Posted by london449 (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Isadora,

Its me again,

About 20 years i applied for American Visa when i was African student studying in the UK but was refused a visa but have since become a British citizen and have travelled under the visa waiver program to the states about 3-4 times. Recently i received a minor criminal record which means i have to apply for a visa. i have looked at the application for for a visa and there is a section there that asked specifically asked 'if you ever been refused a US visa' and in bracket 'most recently'. This is confusing and i'm not sure whether to say yes to this section since it was 20 years ago. I don't want to be accused of lying if i didnt say because it says most recently. I'm also afraid that the fact that i was refused 20 years then went on travel on a visa waiver programme, they might say why did't i get a clarification before i traveling under visa waiver programme, and would they still keep a record from 20years. Please help.

2. Posted by djste (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hi, in the UK you dont have to state a conviction after 5 years, but am not sure about traveling. Hope that helps

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Taofeeq!

Keep in mind that my reply is just an opinion, at the moment, as I haven't done any research yet...

Statues of Limitations vary for almost everything. But, I don't believe you will need to answer the question with a yes. The word "recent" rarely refers to a time period longer than 5 years, and usually refers to something 1 year or less in duration. Twenty years ago you applied for, and were denied, a visa while being a citizen of another country (other than Britian). You are now a British citizen and you are applying for the visa as a British citizen. Except for the recent (there's that word...) license violation, you have had no criminal record of any kind for 20 years. You have also been allowed to visit the US previously.

You can answer the question honestly, stating the date and your previous country of residence. They may choose to do a records check that far back, though it's doubtful. Your records will also show that you have been a British citizen in good standing for the past 20 years. Personally, I would answer the questions honestly from the point of time when I became a British citizen and leave it at that (since I would be applying for the visa as a Brit. citizen and not as a citizen of my former country).

Again, though I know it's a pain in the butt, contacting the US or British consulate may not be a bad idea. (Or have a friend make the call to test the waters...)