Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1731. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

And you are right, people should not be at the keyboard when drunk! Unfortunately I fail to learn this time and time again

1732. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 579 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

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

Just a note that the question asks if you have ever been *arrested* or convicted. It does not matter whether the charge was later dropped or that you were found not guilty: it is the arrest itself which is relevant.

If people choose to lie on their ESTA, or to attempt to second-guess what might be covered within 'moral turpitude', that's up to them. What matters is that a) they recognise that an ESTA does not guarantee entry into the US (no visa or visa waiver does that, anywhere) b) the fact that US border officials can, if they wish, get information about past criminal records from other countries and c) lying on an ESTA can open the individual to deportation and potential banning from re-entry.

Imo, it is not within our remit to tell people what they should do. We simply lay out the facts and allow individuals to make, and take responsibility for, their own decisions made in the light of those facts.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Nov-2017, at 03:27 by leics2 ]

1733. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

What leics2 said is spot on

1734. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Not to sound like a child, but a few posts ago when I inadvertently ‘attacked’ leics, I actually meant to direct it at Aggle, as I read for a few pages in the last year some erroneous advice from aggle moreso. Specifically the two charges thing. Makes me feel even worse about that post now. Leics has constantly been one of the heroes of the past decade. My gears only started to grind when aggle started to take the mantle when Leica went quiet.

The thing is, who is ‘lying’ on the esta?

If you have a DUI, that’s not moral turps. Nowhere on the internet will you see that.

If you have a common assault charge, that isn’t moral turpitude, nowhere n the internet or through an official source will you see that.

Rinse and repeat a few other arrests or convictions of that nature.

That is my whole and sole point.

You do not need to declare EVERY arrest. Just serious ones. The yardstick being moral turpitude crimes.

More holistically, they are trying to define felonies from misdemeanours more clearly.

They want to weed out killers, terrorists, career crims, and more ‘unusually’ those involved in drugs.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Nov-2017, at 06:09 by Moralturptide ]

1735. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 579 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Just a couple of points:

1) We do not use the term 'DUI' in the UK, which makes me wonder if you are from elsewhere?

In the UK, if you are found to be over the driving alcohol limit and in charge of a vehicle (you don't have to even be in motion) you may well be arrested. You will certainly be charged and will almost certainly be convicted. It is a criminal offence and not one which is taken lightly. It results in a criminal record.

You are absolutely correct that it is only crimes of 'moral turpitude' which should, in theory, prevent one from getting an ESTA but the reality is that no-one here or anywhere else knows for 100% certain the intricate detail of what rules are in force at x time, nor what border officials on the day will do or say in relation to any one visitor.......nor does anyone here or anyone else know all the details of any one poster's individual situation with regard to criminal acts (what we are told in a post cannot be assumed to always be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!). To suggest anything otherwise is, imo, irresponsible.

It is (or should be) our role to give the facts as supported by official sources, give our opinion only if we make it clear that it is our own opinion....and then allow the poster to make his or her own decision. I'd note that wiki in particular cannot be assumed to be always 100% reliable, and the same applies to many other websites.

2) Thank you for the compliment but I haven't been on TP for 10 years. I've been here for less than a year. Prior to Tripadvisor's deliberate and total destruction of Virtual Tourist earlier this year I posted exclusively on that site for 14+ years and was ranked number 1 in the forums for many of those years.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Nov-2017, at 08:29 by leics2 ]

1736. Posted by aggle (Budding Member 15 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Right Moralturptide, it says on the US embassies website -

“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, certain serious communicable illness, have been refused admission into, or have been deported from, the United States, or have previously overstayed under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program, attempt to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.”

Then it says -
“If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to travel visa free, the only way to resolve this question is to apply for a visa.”

You can continue to argue and make odd comments if you like but I’m not sure how much black and white the answer can be

1737. Posted by Moralturptide (Budding Member 19 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

That’s why it says on the UKs embassy site. Look at the ESTA site and you’ll see this;
If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa before traveling to the United States.

I have tapped into the source.

On the site, it once again references moral turpitude.

I don’t know whether it was this forum or another, but someone made mention that the person that typed up the UK embassy advice wasn’t from the USA nor endorsed by them, and is simply doing a blanket statement to cover their arse.

I would agree that if you are genuinely unsure that your crime qualifies as CIMT, then fork out the cash and do the visa.

If you have researched the law yourself and have drawn that you aren’t CIMT, then there is no need.
Once again, the esta simply asks whether you have been arrested for a serious offence that has caused harm. If they just wanted every arrest, they would ask it like how Canada does in their ETA. That is the key.

I supposed you are right in the sense that any border guard on any given day could refuse you, but I think that is advice independent of the criminal question and more of a commentary on buying into a system that waives certain rights. That advice would be applicable to a person never arrested as well.

What would be your advice to a person arrested for common assault by throwing a punch at someone that was deflected away? Then not convicted in court.

My advice would be to go the ESTA route and legally and in good conscience answer ‘no’ to the crime question.

I’d be giving different advice if it was an ABH charge.

1738. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 579 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

This (over long) thread is intended to respond to real people who have real questions, so I'm afraid I'm not prepared to discuss hypothetical questions nor try to second-guess or speculate upon the meaning of or reason for statements made by the US Embassy in the UK.

If and when a real question is posted you, like anyone else, can give the advice you prefer and I will continue to give the advice I consider to be appropriate.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Nov-2017, at 01:26 by leics2 ]

1739. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1426 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

This (over long) thread is intended to respond to real people who have real questions

Good idea. Looking from the sidelines this conversation has been a little grumpy and has hopefully run its course.

1740. Posted by TheJoyOfTravel (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Well, According to INA Act 212,

Anyone who commits a CIMT and if the person was sentenced to a term less than 6 months, and the maximum penalty for the crime is no more than a year, then the person will be admissible.

In your case, it's probably a penalty that includes a fine.