Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1211. Posted by amenicycinema (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

hi I can see that most people posting are at the stage of wondering whether they can enter the US on an esta, and most have decided not to apply for a visa waiver - but is anyone in the same position as me?

short version: was arrested while living in the US in 2003, visited many times since on an esta (based on being told by US police that the issue wouldn't affect any future travel), was refused entry at immigration for the first time a couple of years ago, got a waiver and returned in 2014, waiver now expired so applied for a new one in March 2015 and still waiting for it.

at the appointment I was told it would take up to 6 months but it has now been 9 months without hearing anything. is anyone else waiting for a first or second waiver?


1212. Posted by Mike1990 (Budding Member 15 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I had my interview in May and the visa came back mid December so took 7 months but I was told 6 months. I have a question for you if you don't mind answering it, when travelling with the waiver, do I just book the flight and travel? Or are there any other documents I need?

1213. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

HI amenicycinema

There seems to be similar situations between us. Please can I ask what did the embassy make of the fact you had been using the VWP despite the arrest record? What did they say at interview about this? I'm assuming they weren't too fussed if they then have you a waiver?

I'm also assuming the reason for this because your arrest wasn't CIMT so not a material misrep?

1214. Posted by crazy8ball (Inactive 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi, any advice appreciated please.

I was arrested 8 months ago for alleged assault (domestic violence) against my crazy ex-girlfriend. However I was released with no further action. She then got a non-molestation order (a court order) against me, and I breached it by shouting an abusive word at her, which I then got arrested for and charged. I was given a 12 month conditional discharge, which expires in about 6 months this year.

I'm planning to travel to the US from the UK this year, either before the 12 months is up or after (I'm not sure it matters?).

Based on the ESTA question "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?" I intend to answer NO as neither of the incidents resulted in serious harm to another person or would constitute a crime involving moral turpitude.

Would you agree/disagree?

1215. Posted by amenicycinema (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Mike - I didn't need any other documents. be prepared to be questioned at both the uk and us airports, but I think once they see you have a waiver they know you're approved so it's mostly a formality.

Jetsetter - they didn't really mention it at the embassy, they mostly laughed that I had been deported from the airport over such a minor/old issue and said that whoever refused me entry must have been having a bad day!

1216. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Amenicycinema, so just to confirm they had no issue with you having used ESTA despite having an arrest on your record?

Why would you need a waiver anyway? Surely just a normal visa application required?

1217. Posted by amenicycinema (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I don't remember them mentioning previous esta travel apart from commenting on how many trips to America i had made since my arrest, but in more of a "you must really love our country" kind of way. If you are worried about previous esta travel just say you thought you answered the questions honestly at the time.

A lot of arrests make you ineligible for a visa, so instead the embassy can recommend you a for a waiver of ineligibility, which is what I had and am applying for instead. If they don't decide to put you forward for this I think it's the end of the line and you'll basically never be allowed in or at least not until more time has passed since the issue/arrest.

1218. Posted by Jetsetter100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

That makes me feel better actually my arrest was so minor and ridiculous that I can say 100% it would never make me ineligible for a visa. As you say it sounds like yours was hence your deportation and need for a waiver.

Thank you you've helped me a lot. Best of luck to you with your situation.

1219. Posted by Flip1991 (Budding Member 3 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


I've been reading in many places about entering the US with a criminal record all over the internet and stumbled across this thread which has made it look a little more promising for me in my situation from what I've read so far but need your thoughts/advice.

Heres the situation.

For near enough two years now I've been in a long distance relationship and in that time till very recently on probation for what I'd say was a fairly minor crime, what I believe to be a crime thats not involving moral turpitude.
But recently in October as soon as probation finished I was up and convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude but only 190 hours community service but I'll get to the point.
With such a fresh conviction and the type of crime that it is would it be possible to get a work visa, VWP or ESTA without them checking or asking for proof of my record or even if I was to declare my criminalrecord would I stand a chance of going to the US ?

Also, I plan to have her over here to visit and try applying for a Fiancé visa to be there too and yes I do know that only last for 90 days, I would prefer a work visa first off though.

Sorry for the big paragraph, just like to give as much information as I can for the right advice.

1220. Posted by agee1107 (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

As promised, I just thought I'd update you on my trip to the US.

I've just returned from the most amazing holiday ever! I was really worried about not getting in due to my stupidity around 10 years ago and getting myself a crappy criminal record.

When I applied for my ESTA, there wasn't a question on criminal records or arrest history, so I didn't lie but I was still worried all the same. The landing card also didn't mention criminal records etc.

I walked straight through immigration with no hassle at all.

I'm so grateful for this forum because it saved me from applying for the physical visa. I'd have missed the trip if I'd have done that due to the time it takes.

thanks everyone!!