Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1691. Posted by James83 (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for the advice. I just read that link I attached which made me worry. It seems my best option would be to cancel my trip. I will have to make a final decision over the weekend. My partner is really not going to be happy but seems the safest option.

1692. Posted by James83 (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

According to that link the US do share criminal record history. Is this likely to only be for serious crimes such as immigration fraud ect?

1693. Posted by Mrs.C. (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

From reading this, the whole 11 years of, my understand of it is;

1) They don't hold information on UK residents, this is why they want you to willingly admit it via the visa route.
2) Aslong as your name isn't the same as someone on a most wanted list, a no fly list or associated with known terrorism, your good.
3) Tick no on the esta form, they are not looking for John down the road that got in a fight that one night and got a caution. They are after real threats and hardcore criminals.

Just tick no and enjoy your holiday, not one person on here in 11 years has come back and said they got refused at US customs. Even if you apply for a visa and you get it, they can still refuse you at the border, so to me isn't guaranteed entry to the USA.

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Sep-2017, at 01:10 by Mrs.C. ]

1694. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 399 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

>Is this likely to only be for serious crimes such as immigration fraud ect?

No-one here or anywhere else can possibly answer that question. If they do so, they are simply speculating.

>They don't hold information on UK residents, this is why they want you to willingly admit it via the visa route.

Etc.

None of us can know what arrangements are in place between the UK and the US. We can only speculate and...when it comes to visas and visa waivers..speculation is not only pointless but it can also be misleading.

I have answered many, many similar questions for over 14 years on another, much busier, website. Whilst, as I said above, I personally doubt that the OP will encounter any problems, that is simply an opinion based on my own experiences and those of friends and acquaintances (I am a UK citizen and regularly visit the US). It would be irresponsible to suggest or imply that there can be any absolute certainty about this issue. Making a false declaration on an ESTA is is certainly not a good idea.

The fact that no-one who posted on this thread has come back to say they had problems means absolutely nothing at all. It does not even mean that none of them encountered difficulties. Hundreds of thousands of UK citizens enter the US by ESTA every year; none of us can possibly know how many of them are stopped at the US border, nor why they were stopped, nor what the consequences were.

>We do not recommend that travelers who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, have a criminal record .......attempt to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to US visa law and spent convictions,regardless of when they occurred will have a bearing on a traveler’s eligibility for admission into the United States.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-waiver-program/additional-requirements/ (My bold)

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Sep-2017, at 03:00 by leics2 ]

1695. Posted by James83 (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thank you again. Has anyone been to the US and had no issues. I was feeling slightly better about going now but am not sure again now. Have people been refused entry via the esta route for minor issues like me?

1696. Posted by Mrs.C. (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

It doesn't matter what anyone says, no one can be 100% sure. You can either risk it and probably get in or go down the visa route and you may or may not get a visa.

1697. Posted by James83 (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

So in my case it's probably worth taking the risk? If not i presume I would just be sent back to Aussie or wouid I sent to the uk? I am not sure why on the esta they asked for my uk passport number as well.

1698. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 399 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

> So in my case it's probably worth taking the risk?

Only you can make that decision. No-one else can.

If you just want to know what I would have done if I had a criminal record (which I don't): I'd have got a visa. Why? Simply because I'm not a risk-taker in such matters. I like to travel with my mind at rest, as far as feasibly possible (I've visited 30+ countries, btw) However, I've no doubt thousands of other UK citizens (including some on this thread) have made false declarations on their ESTAs and encountered no issues whatsoever when entering or leaving the US.

>If not i presume I would just be sent back to Aussie or wouid I sent to the uk?

If one is refused entry one is usually returned to one's port of origin. In your case, that would be Australia.

>I am not sure why on the esta they asked for my uk passport number as well.

Because they asked if you had another citizenship and you answered yes (as you obviously should). Simple as that.

The ESTA for your Australian passport does not apply to your UK passport. You'd have to make a separate application for the UK passport.

>Can a Visa Waiver Program traveler with more than one passport travel to the United States on the passport that he or she did not use when applying for a travel authorization?
No. Each Visa Waiver Program traveler must have an approved travel authorization for the passport they plan to use before they travel to the United States.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/WebHelp/ESTA_Screen-Level_Online_Help_1.htm

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Sep-2017, at 05:57 by leics2 ]

1699. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Lol your criminal record is so minor, just go to the embassy and do the interview. I don't think your convictions come under reasons to be found inadmissible anyway (correct me if i'm wrong)

What's the point in lying?

If you got caught lying you would feel like a right dickhead for not admitting it, when your convictions are nothing.

A lot worse people have been approved a visa

If the embassy say no, you do the interview again. It's not the end of the world if you don't get approved first time

1700. Posted by Fitzy4205 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

So here's my story once again for those with minor offences. First of all there are only 2 countries in the world that share there criminal history of each citizens and that is US and Canada. The could request your history from Interpol at the border but only in extreme cases would they pass this info on. I.e terrorist drug smuggler ect...
Anyway 10 years ago I was convicted of gbh and abh and was sentenced to 2.5 yrs imprisonment. I served 15 months and did the rest on licence. (I'm from the UK) I was searching for all the answers on here as I really wanted to go to new york. I wasn't to convinced of what people was saying so I decided to hold off for a while. I then heard my neighbour had just got back from las vegas and he was imprisoned on drugs offences and also got 2.5 yrs. He had no issues at immigration and enjoyed his holiday. So on the back of this I booked to go to new york (both of us putting no on the esta) at the airport my boarding card had SSSS stamped on it. Which after all my research knew this was extensive searching which happens going to the USA. Yes I panicked yes I did shake for a while but we landed into JFK and I had no issues at all at immigration. I had a fantastic time in new york and had later since booked to go to Las Vegas.

Roll the dice guys