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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1571. Posted by tml (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!


I thought i only had to supply an ACRO if i tick yes to the criminal record questions, if i click no is there still a need to supply ACRO?


1572. Posted by Traveller2017 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hopefully my recent experience might help others.

I was convicted of possession of cannibas about 15 year's ago. Got fined in court. Went to the US last month and ticked no on the esta form.

Was nervous going through customs in the US, but i had nothing to worry about. The officer asked if i haf ever been before, took my picture and fingerprints and sent me on my way.

Personally i'm glad i went this route instead of attempting to get a Visa and going to the embassy. Reading past reviews im 99% sure id have been refused entry forever.

One of the others who travelled with us said he had multiple convictions and had been to the US 5 times without anyone even raising an eyebrow.

1573. Posted by TonyTucker (Inactive 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I have read 100's of posts in this now and although my situation is similar I'd still like some advice.

I'm a British citizen who got in some trouble some time ago. When I was 20 I ended up getting sentenced to 5 years for supplying cannabis, I ended up getting released after 2 and half years.

Since been released (over 10 years ago) I have turned my life around. I have never had as much as a parking ticket, I have earned a degree and been in employment ever since on a extremely well paid job. I am now a homeowner married and have 3 kids.

The kids is where the problem starts. We have been to Disneyland Paris however now the kids want to go to Florida to the real thing. I have been putting this off for a couple of years now but would love to take them as I don't want them to miss out because of my mistakes.

What would be the chances of me getting a tourist visa?

1574. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 211 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi Tony

That must have been a lot of weed for a 5 year sentence.

I wouldn't like to give you odds as every case is different. It depends on how much you were caught with, other mitigating circumstances, and how long you spent in prison.

If you've read a lot of these comments you'll know that the US are very harsh with drug offences, and supplying is a pet hate of theres. I'd probably suggest you would get a waiver as 10 years have past and they have softened up on weed offences in the last couple of years. Although 15 years is their marker for rehabilitation. You will certainly not be getting a tourist visa on the day. You would potentially be recommended a waiver of ineligiblility which would probably be for 1 year.

You could just tick No on the ESTA, but this poses it's own risks and would also mean you wouldn't be able to ever live or work in the states as you'd have committed misrepresentation. That said, the risks of being caught at the airport are slim.

Listen to your own moral compass on this one - or, don't let your kids guilty trip you into going to a theme park in Florida, there's plenty of other amazing places in the world to take them.


[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jan-2017, at 09:37 by travelman99 ]

1575. Posted by TonyTucker (Inactive 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

It wasn't so much the amount it was more the reluctance to help the police arrest the others involved.

I have saw quite a lot of people saying tick no on the ESTA I just wouldn't feel right doing that. Also although I have no plans on ever living there the possibility of having to go there (or try in my case) is quite high for work. On that note, I work in the oil industry and there is loads of work in the GoM most jobs would require flying into the states the joining the rig/vessel from there would they also be as strict on that? I never really looked in to that and just avoided it at all costs.

As for the guilt trip I have took the kids loads of places like my parents done when I was young, when I think back the only holiday I can really remember was to America.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jan-2017, at 10:09 by TonyTucker ]

Post 1576 was removed by a moderator
1577. Posted by Wrighty2183 (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I have just received my enhanced DBS certificate and my caution and conviction aren't on it this time?? In the boxes it just says none recorded. Why is this? If they have disappeared from the DBS which I get every 3 years would they have gone from my ARCO certificate if I request that now?

1578. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 211 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

No - some cautions and convictions can't be seen on an eDBS after a certain time.

It's likely that you're ACRO would say "No Live Trace".

1579. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 332 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Interesting Topic that seems to surface regularly.

Personal experience:

I too have a criminal record (details unnecessary, previous life), Early 2016 i traveled to the US on the visa waiver scheme, i enter Newark airport with no problem, even had a small chat and joke with the customs officer, i bounced about for 3 weeks, flew from Washington Dulles to Toronto, few days there then back to Boston. Boston was completely automated, fingerprints etc, again i breezed through.
Again, my story here is a personal account and not anyway designed to encourage or discourage anyones travel plans.

Personally i decided it was worth the risk and i had a wonderful time visiting some really great places.

The choice is yours.


1580. Posted by m3lody (Inactive 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

My brother was sentenced to 6 years in prison for drug trafficking. He will be released soon and I really want to go on a family trip together to Japan. I've been to Japan more than 10 times and really love it there which is why I really hope we can go together. I do know that they ask about your criminal history on the arrival card. "Have you been convicted to a crime, spent more than a year in prison, been convicted of a crime involving narcotics." The answer to all of them unfortunately is yes and I do know that if he ticked yes to any of them, he will not be allowed into the country. But what I want to know is if he ticked no, will they be able to find out about his criminal history? We are Singapore citizens. Will his criminal record show on his passport? Thank you very much!

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