Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1721. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 371 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

You're welcome. I'm pleased we could help to settle your mind.

I've been to the US lots of times and no border official has ever asked me anything except why I'm visiting, where I intend to go and how long I plan to stay. I suspect you'll encounter exactly the same next week.

But there are no guarantees. That's why I kept stressing that in my first post: having been answering travel forum questions for 14+ years (elsewhere, not just on TP) I've found that, far too often, forum posts not only make statements which are simply not valid but also give false reassurances. That's irresponsible, imo, so that's why I keep my replies as factual as I can. :-)

1722. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

I think you are very wise and extremely helpful.

This was a very grey area for me so I was hugely grateful for the advice.

I was oddly comforted to read on earlier posts that people with drug convictions etc made it through the border!!! Our problem was so unfortunate. More of a case of nightmare neighbours and we live in a rather lovely area!!!!

I'm confident after your reassurance that we will be fine and can have a wonderful and much needed holiday!!

1723. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Leica why are you giving erroneous advice and stressing people like Victoria43 out?

The ESTA, does not simply ask whether you have been arrested or not!
Canada’s does, America’s doesn’t!

The question on the ESTA is;

"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?"

Nowhere does that request to just declare any old arrest.

The moral line on what constitutes serious related to moral turpitude crimes. Is her hubbys crime one of turpitude? That’s a separate question.

If the aggregate (max possible) sentence on multiple equates to 5 years or more than that would make someone inadmissible but again that’s a separate situation.

1724. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Moralturptide

Leica why are you giving erroneous advice and stressing people like Victoria43 out?

The ESTA, does not simply ask whether you have been arrested or not!
Canada’s does, America’s doesn’t!

The question on the ESTA is;

"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?"

Nowhere does that request to just declare any old arrest.

The moral line on what constitutes serious related to moral turpitude crimes. Is her hubbys crime one of turpitude? That’s a separate question.

If the aggregate (max possible) sentence on multiple equates to 5 years or more than that would make someone inadmissible but again that’s a separate situation.

You are meant to declare any arrest, caution or conviction

1725. Posted by Victoria43 (Budding Member 8 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

We travelled and had no problem whatsoever . In fact for the first time in many times travelling to the US, we were not asked any of the usual questions or any others !!

I also found this that is quite useful to determine whether you need to declare moral turpitude which is what the visa is actually asking for.

https://www.nacro.org.uk/resettlement-advice-service/support-for-individuals/travelling-abroad-and-immigration-to-the-uk/declaring-your-criminal-record-when-travelling-to-specific-countries/the-united-states/

It shows a link to a document to moral turpitude crimes but also suggests that you should declare any offence which obviously many don’t !

I think this forum has an excellent rule - don’t panic and also roll the dice. If you are not a mad ax murderer or similar, they don’t seem to be bothered by you entering.

Of course though, anyone can get pulled in for questioning guilty or innocent

1726. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 371 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

> Leica why are you giving erroneous advice and stressing people like Victoria43 out?

I did not and have not given erroneous advice.....and I rather object to the tone of that comment. It seems rather odd that a first-time poster should make such a personalised criticism (albeit without the correct username).

If people wish to second-guess what might be interpreted as 'moral turpitude' and/or lie on their ESTA, that is their prerogative.

If you wish to advise against following the information given by the US Embassy in the UK (see below), that is your prerogative.

I prefer not to do so, and that is my prerogative.

>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

> Our advice is that if you have ever been arrested, cautioned or convicted you apply for a visa.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-waiver-program/additional-requirements/

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Nov-2017, at 07:13 by leics2 ]

1727. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Leics, I apologize if my comment came across as a bit of a personal attack on you. I was a bit drunk when typing it out and it came out a bit heavy handed. You are doing your best and volunteering your time so I really do apologise and hope you’ll forgive my tone in the previous message.

That being said. I do stand by what I am saying. There’s some misinterpretation and misinformation that is being fed through all parts. Some I understand and some I don’t.

Firstly, the reason why the UK embassy and such are being blanket advice givers to declare any arrest is because they don’t want to be held accountable by idiots who think grand theft auto or beating someone close to death isn’t a serious crime or moral turpitude. I get it, stop shotgun lawyers from measuring with their own yardstick.

That said, there does need to be some leeway here for the semi educated person. We all know that there are some crimes that are clearly not CIMT.

And the fact is, the question on the ESTA doesn’t ask for ANY arrest. That would overwhelm the embassy. If you kick someone that didn’t connect then there’s no way you could truthfully tick yes to being arrested for ‘serious harm’. So you are clicking the right option when you say no. See what I mean?

It’s difficult at the best of times to interpret all this shot, but if you can genuinely pinpoint your record to NOt being CIMT, would you agree that is fine?

The best advice is to get a chart of CIMT to show a border agent if questioned.

Also, the multiple crimes thing has been misinterpreted too.
I’ve seen the fallacy that ‘any two crimes’ renders someone inadmissible.

That rule only applies if;
-One crime is CIMT (obvious)
- the maximum sentence potentially imposed doesn’t exceed 5 years. So two crimes that aren’t CIMT that have a max jail time of 2 years and 2 years respectively still makes you ok. But, if one has a max sentence of 3.5 years, then it doesn’t matter that your crimes weren’t CIMT.

Post 1728 was removed by a moderator
1729. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 371 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

> the question on the ESTA doesn’t ask for ANY arrest.

When I first applied for an ESTA, around 7 years ago, it did in fact ask exactly that . The wording has changed more than once over that period and additional questions have been added. I do not recall the wording you quote from my application earlier this year, so perhaps it has changed yet again.

It's strange but I remember an ex-VT-er who took a very similar line to yours, including the personalised criticisms. I accept your apology though I'm afraid I do not consider being 'a bit drunk' an excuse. Imo, if one is a bit drunk it's best to keep away from the keyboard altogether.

>if you can genuinely pinpoint your record to NOt being CIMT, would you agree that is fine?

In a word, no. No-one on any internet forum has the right to say..or even imply... that it will be 'fine' for someone else. The facts can be stated and one could say what one might do in similar circumstances but no-one on any forum knows all the relevant details of any one case, nor can anyone know how the individual border official will behave, nor can anyone know how the questioner will behave.

Equally, I would never advise anyone that it would be a good idea to print out a list of crimes of moral turpitude and then, if necessary, argue the toss with US border officials.

But there we go.......

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Nov-2017, at 12:27 by leics2 ]

1730. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Noted, it has changed from a question relating to moral turps to a generalised question + separate drug question.
However, let’s take a step back one moment. See it from the outset. Remember what I took issue with is the advice just to blanket declare everything, and specific advice telling someone they can’t enter the USA with two convictions.

You decide you want to go to the USA. You are all excited and ask what’s required to go. You are told to apply for an esta.

You log on and put your details in;
You see the aforementioned question asking if you have been arrested or convicted of committing a serious crime to someone/government/property.

You know you have a common assault charge (probably no conviction) and a minor charge that isn’t serious.you click ‘no’ you aren’t asked again, and you get approved and you go.

At what part are you having to declare any conviction there?

As I inferred in my printout isea, If border security ask if you have a conviction and you choose not to lie, you could simply prove your charge was not a CIMT.

It just takes self awareness on CIMT.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Nov-2017, at 02:48 by Moralturptide ]