Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1801. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 491 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

>I can’t understand why they were so strict

Every country has the right to set its rules of entry for non-citizens exactly as it wishes. There are plenty who wish the UK rules were tighter, aren't there?

> even though you had travel dates they didn’t care otherwise they maybe would of hurried things a long?

I'm afraid visa-issuing authorities don't much care about booked holidays, nor will they 'hurry things along'. Why should they? The responsibility for making visa applications in good time and for staying within visa rules lies with the applicant. The US makes it very clear that processing a 'waiver of ineligibility' in London will take 6-8 months e.g.

It seems that Belfast might be a bit quicker at processing:

Your husband will need to make the decision about where to apply *before* you send off any paperwork. He will need to make an appointment and attend at least one interview in London or Belfast.

>I’m not sure what a CIMT is

CIMT -= crime of moral turpitude.

CIMT is a legal term used in the US (the concept also exists in other countries) for those crimes which can prevent entry to the US. There is no definitive list of CIMT crimes but, basically, they are crimes which cause harm to other people or property. Wiki has a list, but (like all wiki) it really should not be regarded as 100% accurate:

For visa purposes, a conviction for drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute is considered a CIMT.

> we wrongly assumed that being called for jury service was a good indication they were gone

Having a criminal record does not automatically bar you from jury service in England (it depends on the crime, the sentence and the timing) and being called for jury service does not mean a criminal record no longer exists. Criminal records never 'go'; it's just that if they are considered 'spent', they do not need to be declared to employers in most (though not all) situations.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Feb-2018, at 13:08 by leics2 ]

Post 1802 was removed by a moderator
1803. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

I can give you first hand experience of this.

You are unlikely to be given a waiver as the crime happened so soon. Even if you did, it’s touch an go whether you’d even get the visa in time.

Go back and read this bloated thread, it’s all been said a million times. No one knows for sure If you’ll sail through if you tick no. But do you see anyone on this forum who has reported being stopped? They DONT have access to our PNC, they can only request your record via Interpol, and they’d have to have a damn good reason to do that.

Honestly don’t sweat it... just enjoy your wedding, and tell your wife to be less of a drama queen.

Experience - police caution for “attempt to possess” 2013... lots of sleepless nights, hours with immigration lawyers & a degree of realism.

1804. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Also - if you felt the caution was given unfairly or not explained properly, it’s sometimes worth approaching a lawyer and attempt to get it removed.

Post 1805 was removed by a moderator
1806. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!


Its impossible to say if you will get caught. But if you do, its a federal offence to lie on an ESTA. You will held, questioned, imprisoned for the duration, and banned from entering America for 5 years minimum. You will also need to declare that you have been barred entry from a country when applying for other Visa's. Basically, a whole world of shit will come your way...

That said... I've mentioned that the USA does NOT have regular access to the PNC. Information can only be obtained on a case by case basis through Interpol channels. Interpol will NOT pursue a request of this nature UNLESS there is evidence to suggest that it is required... i.e you are arrested in the US, you are found with drugs at the airport, or you are on an Interpol watch list. The chances of this happening are so slim its not worth thinking about.

My suggestion - if you are a recreational drug taker - is to not take any items with you that may have residue of a prohibited drug. Do not take any medication that would cause alarm with the US unless you have a prescription with you. Do not get drunk on the flight over, and do not cause any requirement for further questioning.

If you are taken for random further questioned - called secondary screening - this is just to ask for more detail on your visit to the states. So be prepared by printing your marriage details, hotel details, and travel plan with you. With this they will confident that you are not going to outstay your welcome.

Honestly, I went through many years of anxiety around my drug caution - and I didn't even have any on me at the time, hence the "attempt - America is not interested in recreational drug use, America is not interested in a caution (they do not see it as a conviction, but admittance of guilt) they simply want to grow their base of global citizens and charge you ridiculous amounts for the privilege.

I battled for many years on if I should apply for a Visa, however for various reasons, I didn't. Next time I fly to the states, I will check in with you and hopefully put your mind at rest.

1807. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Ill add one last note - if you do lie on your ESTA, it will make emigrating to America very difficult in the future as supplying a ACRO is mandatory. I have heard of people who lied on their ESTA but have still successfully emigrated though by pleading ignorance.

In regards to sweet talking the agent at the consulate if you go the Visa route - its hard to say. Its a human decision so it depends. I'm not saying there isn't a chance, but America's "rehabilitation" period is very long, and applying for a waiver within a week of committing a crime will not be in your favour.

The choice is yours, no one can make it for you - but I was you, i'd roll the dice.

1808. Posted by Michelleleej (Budding Member 27 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

can anyone tell me what documents I should take to the ya embassy to support my visa application. I have my police report.

1809. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 230 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

The documents they ask for Michelle on the website. You can take information on savings, salary, ties to the UK (work contract) etc if you like but usually they don’t look at it.

1810. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 491 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Here's the page which lists all the documents you need to take with you to your visa interview: