Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

Travel Forums North America Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

1061. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hey man, this thread has indeed long since stopped being useful because it's so overwhelming huge and unreadable - not to mention that 85% of the posts are utter rubbish - but I still get several PMs a week referring to it so I look in every now and then. Your posts are unfailingly well researched and accurate.

Hope things are cool with you.

Cheers from Mongolia,

1062. Posted by triptaker (Budding Member 11 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Quoting travelman99


Yeah its crazy - seems as Cameron was on it for a bit as well!

The caution hasn't been stepped up, the US still doesn't regard it as a conviction, but instead could be potentially seen as an admittance of guilt, therefore every application that includes a caution is dealt with on a case by case basis. Therefore, it could go either way.

Possession isn't a CIMT, and I used that as a little glimmer of hope when I first started researching it, but controlled substances are a different category it seems and still renders one inadmissible.

The fact is I've heard of plenty of people getting straight up visas with drug cautions, but mostly online, I've also had a friend with a serious GBH conviction sail through immigration with no problem at all. I think cautions are grey areas, effectively it's an arrest with no further action and a warning to boot, so I guess it's how you present that on the day.

Unfortunately not many people come back and tell us what they did - the only ones that do generally forget applying for a visa and just lie on their ESTA and ail through. If you visit the British Expats forum, they are very much inclined to suggest that people do it the right way, but that forum is also full of self righteous arse holes.

If you did get that stopped at customs it's unlikely they would do an Interpol check on you if you have a valid reason to visit, they'd probably just search your bags - I've seen enough 'Border Patrol' to know that 😀

What are your thoughts?

Hi Travelman - sorry for the delay. Time to clear my head was needed!
I think I am going to "do it properly" and go for the interview. i hope the urgent need to travel with work has gone away for now but the need may come up again. I have a good 25 years of working in me, i might want to go and work in the states some day, or just know that i might be able to. lying on an esta would certainly kill that off. plus im a "worrier". i hope that nearly 6 years will be long enough time to count in my favour.

I wondered could you let me know what then happens if/when my visa is denied in the initial interview?

thanks again.

1063. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi Terry

No worries :) Mongolia, what you doing out there??

Hi Lewis

Fair enough, I think when it comes to work, the mindless bureaucracy is worth doing. I'm the same, I've been worrying since I started working at US firms.

When you attend the interview, chances are you will be declined a straight Visa. They will instead, depending on the severity of the crime, time past, and ties to the UK, will put you forward for a Waiver of Inadmissibility. It's key to point out that being put forward for a waiver is entirely up to the agent who interviews you - you cannot manually apply for it.

If they do put you forward for it, you sit back at wait for 6 months, they will send you an email to confirm it's been done, and you send in your passport. The waiver will probably be a 1 year multi-visit Visa, which you will need to reapply for every year. After a while, they will increase the time of the Visa, eventually reaching the maximum 10 years.

Kind regards

1064. Posted by Noworrymore (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Okay so I have a different situation , so I traveled twice on the eata and I am now going to make my third trip within a year I have a criminal record for nothing of moral turpitude one for simple battery which wasn't moral turpitude and a couple minor ones , I want to marry my girlfriend and get a green card what would be the outcome in this happening have I messed my hole future up in America ?
I really need to ease my mind it's been on my for a long time now

1065. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

As usual with questions like this you make no mention of your nationality (I'll assume you're from the UK) and no mention when you were convicted or what the other "couple of minor issues" were. (Nothing is "minor" in the eyes of the US Department of State when you have multiple offences on your criminal record.)

In any case your situation is not unique but I won't venture an opinion without at least minimal facts.

Good luck.


1066. Posted by Noworrymore (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I apologise I am a uk citizen my girlfriend is a is citizen the other conviction was drunk and disorderly and criminal damage 1 was a year ago and the others 5 years ago my lawyer said nothing serious here I haven't had prison sentence but thing is I have traveled to USA on them I really want to marry this girl just want to no what future would me how do I stand in the eyes of the USA and how do I go about it

1067. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Three convictions in only the last 5 years does not bode well. In the eyes of the State Department you're a drunk who can't control his temper, and God knows the US already has enough of those idiots without importing more from the UK.

I'm not making any judgement here, I'm simply telling you the facts. If you were a US Immigration official would you be pleased with a young person pushing a police record like that across your desk and you promising to be a good boy now just because you're banging a local chick who's your ticket for slipping into America? Of course you wouldn't.

My suggestion is to start the process immediately and see what happens. I'm guessing you'll be turned down, but at least you'll have a file opened up and the clock can start ticking towards when you can re-apply. Hopefully you have a skill that marketable in the US and hopefully your convictions really are unimportant to the US officials, who knows, this could go way easier than you imagine.

Lastly, the UK is expunging records for minor offences like crazy these days, be sure you investigate that process before you hand over your criminal record to the US.

Good luck.


1068. Posted by Ocmgar (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

New to this
Been reading through the posts for a while now and I see CheersT is the man to ask. I am Irish and I was convicted for stealing money from the workplace in 2011, paid it back and got 100 hours community service. I know this is classified as MT and I wouldn't be granted a visa. I hope to travel to America in March 2016 from Dublin. I know you go through immigration in Dublin airport, I was just wondering is Ireland like the UK and do not share their criminal records with the US immigration? And would your advice be the same as others, roll the dice?

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Oct-2015, at 17:16 by Ocmgar ]

1069. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!


Good luck.


1070. Posted by Noworrymore (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Thank you it wont be another 5 years till I plan on getting married anyway I was under 18 on 1 thing that happened aswell , I think I'm going to contact a imagination person or something to help me out a little more and get my police record certificate to see what actually is on my files , I just don't get why America is such a strict country it's great all around while there just so strict with the rest of the world
But thank you for the advice