Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1481. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I have commented several times on this thread. Long story short - my husband was convicted 12 years ago of a minor drug offence. We declared it 4 years ago and he got a 12mth waiver of inelegibility. We travelled around the US for 3wks within that time. Having a little boy we wanted to return so last year reapplied. His interviewer at the embassy was extremely nice and put him forward for a 5 year waiver which he has been granted and we travel next month.

Always be honest. You could waste a lot more money if you're not. You must declare ANY criminal record. At the embassy some are OK'd then and there - some aren't but knowing you're not going to be sent home without sweating out the 9hr flight was worth every bit of effort beforehand for us.

Next time we would hope to get the 10yr waiver.

Good luck.

1482. Posted by luisv4less (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

if you have a criminal record for crimes of moral turpitude (age 18 or older), for possession of or trafficking in a controlled substance, if you have any involvement with terrorism or terrorist organizations (no waivers can be approved for this category), if you have trafficked in persons, been involved in money laundering, might become a public charge because of limited financial resources, have been previously removed (deported) or have overstayed a previous period of admission to the U.S. Again, this list is not comprehensive

1483. Posted by Tim123456 (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi Amenicycinema and Hink,

Thank you so much again for your replies and the further details. I am going to get cracking with my applications and as soon as i have done so i shall come back to you and let you know how i get on. Financially i may put it off a couple of weeks but i will keep you and everyone else within the thread updated.

Amenicycinema - thanks for offering your help as well it is really appreciated. Would you mind if i sent you a direct message should any questions arise during the applications.

Thanks a lot guys,


1484. Posted by amenicycinema (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi Tim, yep you can message me no problem. The process is long but so worth it when you can finally walk out of the airport into America, just aim for that moment!

1485. Posted by Tim123456 (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

You're a Gentleman, I really do appreciate it amenicycinema!

One question that you maybe able to answer but Hink will definitey be able to answer; for interviews in belfast, if they put you forward for the 5 year long visa (or any visa for that matter) don't they take you passport and send it off? If so how do you get back to London, or do they contact you upon confirmation and then ask for your passport?



1486. Posted by Tim123456 (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Pink0783, thanks for sharing yours and your husband story. I agree from everything that i have read, it makes sense to choose a harder right than an easier wrong.

Would you mind if i asked how long it took between the interviewer suggesting him for a 5 year waiver and you reciving confirmation of it?

Also what drug related offence did your husband have? Was it cannabis too?

Thank you,


1487. Posted by hinkyd (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hey Tim

They don't take your passport off you as their recommendation has to go to DHS (in Washington I think) for ratification. Once this is agreed, they then request your passport to have the Visa Waiver thingy put it. From what I read this takes about 2 weeks. On the off chance they'd have given me a Visa at the appointment I made sure I could travel just on my photocard driving licence - in fact I didn't have to show photo ID anywhere on the trip!

Good luck with the forms, and if I can be of any help, just ask!


1488. Posted by CH26 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Good morning,
I was wondering if anyone was able to answer a hopefully simple question.
I'm planning to lose my America virginity at the age of 26 at the start of next year, but have concerns over being arrested by the police after allegations were made against me by a mentally unstable ex-partner.
I was questioned and subsequently released without charge due to insufficient evidence, which therefore means I have no criminal record.
But on the ESTA WVP online application form there is a question worded, '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'.
If I answered no I would be lying, but answering yes is also incoherent.
Could anyone help with this dilemma, as applying for a VISA, the DS160 online form, paying the £122.00 fee and attending an interview in London, is a lot of effort if it is not required to do so, but I am considering paying £45.00 to get ARCO check done, just to make sure there isn't anything else on my criminal record.
I fit all of the other required criteria to be granted a WVP.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Aug-2016, at 17:56 by CH26 ]

1489. Posted by Tim123456 (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hink - thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it all and will definitely send you a message if I get stuck at any point.

CH26 - in short you will have no problems at all getting into the United States unless you have been convicted of a crime. In your case you havent.

You could by all means get your acro to be double sure but I am certain you would be find travelling under the esta as there is no reason you cant.

1490. Posted by joshfigs (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone! I'm wondering if someone can help me with my situation. I won't go into too much detail about my convictions (They sound a LOT worse on paper than actually what happened, but in the eyes of the law that can't be changed unfortunately.)

I last travelled to the US about 5-6 years ago now, and travelled there around 10-12 times within the space of two years (I had an american partner at the time).
I had a break from visiting the USA for around 2 years, and unfortunately got myself into a bad situation with a work colleague and ended up being slated for something which I was trying to be honest about. I'm not entirely sure for certain but I can say the convictions which would come up on my ACRO would be "Burglary in dwelling" and "Taking a vehicle without consent" and also "Theft" (The theft would come up as a packet of biscuits as that's what I was convicted joke >.>. In the end - I had a relatively small fine and 100 hours community service for being honest in court, although slapped with a criminal record obviously.

Anyway more to the point - I now have a new partner and a couple of friends that i'd like to visit in the US, and although the "No" box on the ESTA form does sound tempting - I really would prefer to be honest in this situation incase I decide to move there in the future with my current partner. My question on this would be :
Obviously I have some more serious convictions than just drugs or drink driving etc... what do you guys think my chances are of at least getting a waiver of ineligibility for this? My main worry really is that my record sounds a LOT more serious than it is. It was in 2014 and have since got myself back on my feet and a stable, decent job. I also am intrigued regarding the waiting time on average for the waiver of ineligibility? I read somewhere it's a minimum of 6 months, is this true?
Any help on this would be really appreciated! Thank you!