Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1711. Posted by Gwenna (Budding Member 16 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Benjaminedmund

Hi,
Have been reading posts for an hour now 😥 hard work but some great info there....haven't come across my situation though.
I'm british, never ever been in trouble for anything ever, in stable long term relationship with kids and own our house, have my own business and partner has long term job, however .......
13/14 years ago i had a bad relationship, we were going to new york for a weekend, but little did i know i was taking a case of khat (that stuff that a famous athlete uses when he goes back to his family home. ..chewing sticks of caffeine i believe) .... that was my boyfriends doing and i knew nothing about it until they searched me and i was refused entry and returned back to the uk. (Yes i was niave! But can't change that now).
Have blanked out that year of my life, and now my kids are at the disneyworld age .... knew this day would come around!
So i applied for an esta being honest and it was refused. (I knew it would)
So i arranged my interview for a visa, had it this morning in London. The man said I've good news and bad news, i was refused a visa but he recommended me for a waiver of ineligibility. He said it would be up to 6 months until i hear, and it would be via email, where if agreed, i would then send my passport off and have it back within 2 weeks.
Has anyone recently applied for a waiver, are they really taking 6 months, or is that just a standard time frame given... only asking as disneyworld free dining ends in November, and i dare not book anything just incase they still refuse it.
What's your thoughts.... do they often refuse waivers?
Many thanks,
A once niave girl!

My husband was refused a visa at the Embassy and they too recommend him for a visa waiver back at the end of a February. They also told him 6 months. Then almost 6 months to the day later we had an e mail to send the passport for the visa. Which took 7 days.

Hope this helps.

Post 1712 was removed by a moderator
1713. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

REMOVED

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Oct-2017, at 08:22 by aggle ]

1714. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi all

Newbie here and very pleased to have found this forum! I've been up since 3am as an continuously worried sick so hoping to have my mind out at rest.

I'm a UK citizen and my husband and I plus kids are flying out to the US this week (hopefully!)

I've read every single post on this thread but everyone's story is different, so here's mine .

We have been to the US twice over the past two years on an esta.

This year , my husband had a run in with a neighbour which resulted in him being arrested , locked up for 18 hours but released without charge. The case was closed and we were informed by the police that no further action would be taken . the officer in charge even text me to say that his file and biometrics would be deleted so thought nothing of it.

I decided to go down the Acro route to request this deletion but just the other day, we got an email stating that it wouldn't be deleted as there was insufficient evidence and that the record will stay on for life.

Basically, he had gone to the neighbours asking him politely to stop using his digger on a sunny Sunday evening and the man got incredibly threatening . My husband jumped back in the car , reversed down his driveway quickly with the man chasing him and once at the bottom of the drive, put it into first but the neighbour was in the way and the car knocked him (this was certainly not deliberate). Anyway, the police were called and the neighbour accused my husband of trying to run him over .

Once the case was closed, I also had a call from the police telling me that if the neighbour were to contact us, we should call them immediately as he had been warned to stay away.

I know that the US border cannot access the PNC but I'm in a terrible state and myself in a grey area of wondering that has this is in his Acro report, will he get denied entry? I've no idea if this comes under MT.

I have checked his ESTA which we got prior to this incident and it still says approved (I read somewhere that these can be revoked) and obviously we do nt have time to get a visa.

We are both professional people with good jobs but most importantly have two kids full of excitement . I keep having nightmares that he will be turned down at the border and we will have to come home.

Thanks in advance for any input (good or bad)

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Oct-2017, at 22:19 by Victoria43 ]

1715. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 402 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I do absolutely understand your worries but there really isn't anything anyone here, or anywhere else on the internet, can say to truly alleviate them. I know you're hoping that someone will say 'It'll be fine, don't worry' but, frankly, anyone who says that is giving you false hope. None of us can possibly know what will happen.

As you said, every case is different and reading other's stories tells you absolutely nothing about what might happen in your husband's case. All anyone here (or anywhere else etc etc) can do is to state the facts and make a best guess based on their own knowledge and experiences.

The relevant facts are these: your husband was arrested. The ESTA asks if you've ever been arrested. If you have, it tells you to apply for a visa. If you've been arrested and don't say so you are making a false declaration. It's as simple as that. ESTAs aren't revoked unless the person comes to the attention of the US authorities in some way.

In your case a) the ESTA application was,from what you say, approved before your husband's arrest (so no false declaration was made) and b) he simply hasn't got time to get a visa.

So you only have two options: make the trip with your husband using an ESTA or cancel the trip entirely whilst your husband gets a visa.

This is my own 'best guess' : you will encounter no issues unless your worry and nervousness is so obvious that it draws the attention of border officers. So that's what you both need to focus upon for this coming trip: staying calm, courteous and sensible when you go through US border control.

After that, imo it really would be best for your husband to apply for a visa for any future trips.....not least to remove the obvious stress this is causing you.

1716. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Leics- thank you kindly for taking the time to respond .

The thought of cancelling the holiday is far too horrific, not for the financial side (we would have to swallow that) but for the kids, so we will go for it. I'm a seasoned traveller (for work) to the US so am experienced enough with the border in terms of holding my nerve (even though I have never been arrested!!!!!) , and I've told my husband that they only flag up those Interpol have made them aware of, simply to calm his nerves because he was paranoid the other day so nervousness shouldn't be an issue.

As long as they don't have someone holding a red arrow over his head shouting 'interview him', we will be able to be our courteous and calm selves going through.

I do agree about the visa in the future though. If anything to get me a good nights sleep!!

I've read many posts on here where people have been convicted , in prison etc and have had no issues, so I will hold on to that!!!
Thanks again

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Oct-2017, at 01:50 by Victoria43 ]

1717. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Victoria43

Leics- thank you kindly for taking the time to respond .

The thought of cancelling the holiday is far too horrific, not for the financial side (we would have to swallow that) but for the kids, so we will go for it. I'm a seasoned traveller (for work) to the US so am experienced enough with the border in terms of holding my nerve (even though I have never been arrested!!!!!) , and I've told my husband that they only flag up those Interpol have made them aware of, simply to calm his nerves because he was paranoid the other day so nervousness shouldn't be an issue.

As long as they don't have someone holding a red arrow over his head shouting 'interview him', we will be able to be our courteous and calm selves going through.

I do agree about the visa in the future though. If anything to get me a good nights sleep!!

I've read many posts on here where people have been convicted , in prison etc and have had no issues, so I will hold on to that!!!
Thanks again

If he goes through now on the ESTA without declaring the arrest and then later on tries to go the visa route, it could be harder for him to get the visa.

I'm not saying it will be impossible, as his arrest is so small but they really don't like people lying then trying to tell the truth later on and his decision may have to be explained

Just something to think about

1718. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes, I was thinking that too. There's not much we can do now though other than cancelling the holiday which is not going to happen so I have decided that's another worry for another day/ month/ year!!!

At the moment and thanks to this site, I'm going to ensure the worry stops, the sleepless nights stop and start looking forward to getting ready to fly !

1719. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 402 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Pleased to hear that you now have a more positive aititude.

It had also occurred to me that your husband might face some difficulty when it comes to the visa interview but it seemed rather pointless to mention that possibility and thus increase your worries.

Your husband can cross the visa bridge when it's necessary to do so. No point in worrying about it now.

1720. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Definitely more positive. I shall sleep well tonight! I'm guessing the only questions that will be asked will be why are you here, what is your profession and how long and where are you staying .
I've been to the US about 20 times in the past seven years and have never been asked anything different but I had so much fear these past few days thinking that my husband would be picked out of the thousands at the airport as the border officers will decide he is the only one they need to check with Interpol!!! Crazy what the mind does when you over worry !!! Thanks again!