Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1661. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting mfell

Hello everyone,

I don't suppose any one knows of a working visa for the US without having to submit an ACRO certificate?

I have a criminal conviction from 4 years ago for possession with intent to supply Class C. But I was only wanting to work in the states for a temporary amount of time. I was just going to tick 'no' on the form.

Even though I know the USA doesn't have Working Holiday Visas, do they have anything similar to what New Zealand and Australia offer? Like a sort of temporary year or 2 long work and travel visa?

Is it also the case with a B2 holiday visa that no ACRO certificate has to be supplied for this if you tick 'No' to criminal conviction?

Cheers, Mart

It's very likely you won't get in if you apply at the embassy

4 years after your convictions is to soon, 5 years is the magic number and basically the longer you leave it the more chance you have. As yours is intent to supply, you might want to leave it for a while

You can lie on the form and most likely you will get in but if you are caught you can be banned from every entering again and face criminal charges

1662. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Gbarfd

Quoting Gbarfd

I have two driving convictions from 4 years ago, 'Failure to report within 24 hours' (I was unaware of the accident, a carpark dent' and driving without due care and attention. I was convicted at court but never had any fingerprints taken and I was not arrested. Surely I can tick 'no' on the ESTA if someone with a DUI can?

I was refused an ETA for Canada last week, but the questions for Canada relates to 'any conviction' whereass the ESTA question is 'crime of serious damage or harm to an individua/government authority' - can anyone help me please, I need advice!

Really sorry everyone - forgot to mention I am a UK citizen. The offence happened when I was 18 and I will be 22 when I travel. I applied for the ESTA and was approved instantly, as I did not feel my crime 'resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority? '

As I said, though I have a police certificate from (ACRO?) in the UK which list my convictions in the magistrates court, I have NEVER been arrested or fingerprinted so my biometric data is not on record.

I know it's risky but I feel confident that my crimes do not involve 'moral turpitude' and suppose I need to be reassured from someone with more knowledge on the subject.

P.S I am making my way through reading every single post in this forum, though I am not sure someone will have had the same two offences i've had!

Your charges don't come under reasons to be found inadmissible so you would most likely be allowed to enter

Whether you have to admit to these charges or not i'm not sure, probably best to speak to a lawyer just to find out whether you need to

1663. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Curious to ask

Hi. I had posted months ago about my situation which was a sexual offence (indecent exposure) which unfortunately resulted in a conviction. 3 years community payback order but got early discharged from the order after 1 year 10 months as i wasn't a risk.
I was put on Sex offender register for the period of the sentence. Convicted 2013 and order ended 2015. I'm also UK citizen

That's my only conviction.

I have a couple of questions

I have read this whole thread and i have to say that Terry and travelmans advice is crystal clear and very good. I have decided that I'm the type of person to answer no on the esta as i am just going for a holiday whenever that will be to the US. I am aware of the Risk however i do not feel being honest will benefit me. The thing is that yes i am a "sex offender" the brand will always stick but i know I'm a good person that had made a stupid mistake. I actually have a PVG disclosure which is required as i have passed training with the ambulance service so things are going well. :)

My main question is
If i say no to the ETA form for Canada will it be the exact same concept for the esta?
can i only be found out if I'm literally pulled out the crowd and there has been checks on me?

I do not want to admit anything as I'm just being a tourist and would like to be unnoticed. I want to experience the world and not be held back by judgement.

Any input on my question would be brilliant. Terry, travelmans. You guys have brilliant knowledge on this thread.

I'm 23 now. Was 19 when i was convicted. Thanks for reading. :)

If you were caught lying on the form your conviction would be taken very very seriously

1664. Posted by JustForTheInfo (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

I have spent a while browsing this thread and I wanted to share my story and details about the interview as I think some people might find it useful.

I'm 25 and have a caution for assault occasioning ABH from late 2011. After some back and forth I decided to go down the honest route and apply for the B1/B2 visa.

I filled out all the necessary forms, and got a copy of my police certificate (which for me said no live trace) and had an interview scheduled in the London embassy. I would really recommend booking as early an appointment as possible, even when I got there at 7.45 there was a huge queue to get into the embassy. Booking a later slot gives the queue more time to build, and the process for the people with criminal records takes ages as it is.

Once in the embassy you are given a number (beginning with a V for those with convictions) and after some waiting are called up to a desk (all the criminal record people are called to the same desk), where a friendly British woman took the forms I had completed, scanned my fingerprints and clarified with me the type of visa I had applied for. This was probably 2-3 minutes all together and she then sent me to sit back down in the waiting area.

After quite a long wait (over an hour) I was then called into another desk at the back of the embassy, again same desk for all the criminal record people and this is why it takes so much longer for us than everyone else. There a sterner American woman asked me a few questions about why I wanted to go to the US, my job, where I lived, who I lived with, and then asked about my criminal record (something along the lines of "so I understand you were in trouble with the police a few years ago, tell me about that"). I was just honest in my answers and tried to show remorse for my assault. I had brought my tenancy agreement with me, my contract from work and bank statement and did offer to show her them but she didn't want to.

After about 5 minutes of questions she said my visa had been approved and I could leave, I picked up my passport from a courier's office a short walk from work a couple of weeks later, the visa was approved for 10 years, multiple entry.

I don't know if I caught the interviewer on a good day and she was feeling generous but my advice to people with old convictions would be to go for the interview if you are concerned about lying on the ESTA form, I was expecting to be rejected but it seems they do have a degree of leniency around deciding yes/no. I would also really encourage people to dress well for the interview, it's a very short time you'll actually be speaking to anyone and anything to make a good first impression will help. I think the "no live trace" on the police certificate also helped.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts on what the interview experience is like, and how it worked out for me if others are in a similar situation. Happy to answer questions if it'll help anyone.


[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jul-2017, at 09:37 by JustForTheInfo ]

1665. Posted by Gwenna (Budding Member 16 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting travelman99

Well best of luck - hopefully common sense prevails... But this is the US we’re talking about.

Right on "Q" the Embassy e mailed last week to courier his passport for them to add visa. Five and a half months against their six month estimate.

Let's hope they have a quick turn around as we have a two week European holiday booked for end of August!!!!!!

Not sure he will ever get to use this visa now, but hey ho - the holiday has been and gone and a good time was had by all (except my husband of course)

Still feeling a bit bitter towards them though!

1666. Posted by loveitbeauty (Budding Member 11 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Has anyone had any experience with reissuing of visas waivers? My husband got a visa waiver last year but it was only for 11 months (grrr) which is due to expire this September so hes heading back to have an appointment at the embassy in September.
We have booked a flight to Hawaii in Feb 2018, are we pushing sh!t up hill to get it back in time? Whats the likelihood of him getting approved on the spot since his situation hasnt changed since he was last interviewed? (last time we had to wait 6 months for issuing of his visa)

1667. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Impossible to guess when you give absolutely zero info, not even your nationality or where you live.


1668. Posted by roofio (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi they aren't renewed, you start the process from the start with the obvious re-assurance that you are likely to get a positive conclusion

1669. Posted by lucylooxx (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

ive read alot of this thread and haven't found the answer I've been looking for...

I have possession of escatasy i got this when i was 18, im 21 now.. Silly mistake with wrong group of friends...
i decided to apply for visa (I paid interview fee) ... I searched online and found it would be better off lying on esta..

I applied for esta and came back accepted.

My questions are :
Will my visa application flag up when I go through?
What will happen if I do get pulled over?

Thanks any help would be great, I made a silly mistake applying for the visa and don't know what to do now!


1670. Posted by loveitbeauty (Budding Member 11 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Sorry Terry, We are New Zealand citizens (born in NZ). Silly me assumed you'd remember my previous post about 100 pages back lol, sorry!