Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1271. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Sharman - I'm not sure what you mean? It matters on your first conviction.

In regards to ticking No on the ESTA, it doesn't matter if you've been convicted once or one hundred times, it's down to whether you want to risk it.

1272. Posted by scc (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi guys,

looking to travel to the US at some point.

I have one conviction from 9 years ago for that I got 6 months suspended over 2 years so never served jail time. Also signed on to the SOR for 5 years.

I want to do this properly so am not keen on anything that doesn't keep this legal however I don't want to waste time and effort applying for a visa if its pretty much set in stone i'm going to get refused. So does anyone here have experience of the visa process with a similar criminal conviction ??

Regards Scc

1273. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

1.) Like almost everyone wanting an answer you fail to mention the single most important piece of information: Your nationality.

You haven't even bothered to read the last couple of dozen pages of this thread or you would know this. In other words, you've done zero research.

2.) Don't use acronyms. Speak English with no shortcuts.

3.) You haven't even bothered to say what you were convicted of.

That said, I'll assume you're from the UK. Generally, here's the situation...

The US and UK don't share "normal" criminal databases so for minor run-of-the-mill convictions your chances of sliding through are fabulous. On the other hand nothing is perfect... there's almost ALWAYS a grey area so who knows what your real story is...

Good luck.

1274. Posted by scc (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your reply

I had read through most of the previous pages although I did skim a lot of it to be honest. So I did a certain amount of research, however I couldnt see a great deal to do with visa's directly more around the waiver system.

I am British nationality, I apologise for using acronyms. SOR = Sex Offender Register. My Girlfriend at the time was 16 and although you can have sex you cant document it. We are still together not that I think that will be considered in any way.

I realise under visa waiver there is always going to be a chance I could not get through and as such was specifically asking around getting a visa and how that works with a criminal record. The ambiguity for me was around this idea of spent offences, 9 years ago falls within the black spot where offences were deleted when spent or stepped down.

Thanks Again

1275. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I apologize for being grumpy above. This thread is a ridiculous pile of info, much of it wrong, especially in the beginning. The last couple of dozen pages is all anyone has to read.

If time isn't a concern then getting the waiver would give you peace of mind. With only the single conviction that long ago it should be rubber stamped.

Good luck.


1276. Posted by scc (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

No Worries,

Know how frustrating it can get on forums. Thanks for letting me know.

Ill let you know how I get on


1277. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


What was the conviction though? Sex with a minor? I thought 16 was fine in the UK?

Anyway - your conviction would have been "spent" in 2009, so basic disclosures would not show up your crime. But it would still show up on standard or enhanced disclosures. Some convictions can be "filtered" or stepped down after (i believe) 11 years, cautions take 6 years. This means they are hidden from ALL types of disclosure - an ACPO will then state "NO LIVE TRACE". This in itself is pointless and it still tells authorities that you had a record - but whether you legally then have to declare it to other countries is a grey area.

In your case, sex crimes, especially those with the underage, will never be stepped down. You will need to check the filtering list on

This doesn't mean you'll never have access to the US again, you have an interesting case, so you'd need to get all the information together (local police and national police records) and state your case to the US embassy.

I hope this helps.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Feb-2016, at 15:38 by travelman99 ]

1278. Posted by businessExec (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

43. businessExec
Hi guys (particularly Terry),
I am looking for a little advice. I have scoured the internet for answers. Here goes...I have recently been offered a new job which will require travel to the US (New York Specifically) . I have a criminal record for one offence which took place when was 14 years old. Due to join enterprise and even though i had very little input into the fight...i got convicted of wounding at the age of 15. I have no other offences on my record and this is now over 10 years ago.
So, as you can imagine, i don't particularly want to have to tell my employer about this record and I'm worried if i declare it when filling in the forms i wont get accepted and will have to go through the long visa process for the US...and possibly lose my job at the same time! This criminal record was due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a child, something i am ashamed of and want to keep in my past.
I have lived in Australia for a number of years up until recently and i did declare my criminal record with them when applying for my Visa's! So does this mean that, when the US consider my ESTa Application, it will flag up as i confirmed the wounding offence with Australia over 4 years ago? Will interpol store this info too? I also got a DUI in Australia so I'm not sure if this will show either.
Im trying to establish whether i should apply for the business visa myself and be open about the record (although i will miss the business trip to new york with my employer as it will take longer to get the visa) or simply answer no to the criminal conviction question and hope for the best. Im not sure if wounding is classed as moral turpitude and now the question no longer states moral turpitude, it states ANY conviction. I know that if you were a youth and only have one offence that it helps...
Hope someone can help me with which way to go about it!

1279. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Are you applying in the UK or Australia? How old are you now? Are you a UK citizen?

As you were under 18 when it happened you are not inadmissable... This information can be found quite easily using Google. If you applied, you would get a Visa at the embassy, but legally you still have to apply.

However, was the DUI drugs or drink? I don't know what forms the US embassy requires in Oz, but in the UK all convictions would show up until stepped down. You'd need to find out if your conviction is eligible for step down. In which case, it would state no live trace.

Either way, there is no database where different countries can see everyone's records - so no they won't see this. Youre also highly unlikely to be wanted by Interpol.

It's your call, but when it comes to work, it pays to go through all the red tape to make sure you're legitimately travelling.

1280. Posted by businessExec (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your response. I am applying in the UK and I am a UK citizen with an in date passport. I am now 26 years old.

Yes I was thinking about just doing the Visa Waiver instead of going for interviews if possible.
The DUI was in Australia whilst I was over there and it was drink. Well iv applied for a recent copy of the ACPO certificate and it is on as wounding still from over 10 years ago. =It states what sentence I was given and I didn’t get prison time, just a curfew and reporting to youth offenders for 3 years.

If the Americans did a search on Interpol, would it show my previous record…or is it just databases of people who are wanted or in trouble at the moment. I class the conviction as spent…I was also a minor and have never been convicted of anything else (apart from the DUI in Australia although I think America would need to request with Australia separately too right?).

Also, the question about criminal conviction doesn’t state the moral turpitude part any more so I think your expected to declare everything. Wounding is not moral turpitude though right?

Thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it!