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Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

1891. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 691 posts) 17w Star this if you like it!

Maybe they would be glad to be rid of you

1892. Posted by Suraj_gond (First Time Poster 1 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Hey, I am an Indian citizen went to United States for my internship few months ago I got arrested there because I was involved in a fight where I tried to scare the person with a knife he tried to grab the knife got a cut and was charged with assault and battery 1st degree and later brought down to assault and battery 2nd degree after my court date I just paid the bail amount and no other fine and was not deported but because of my court date I had to overstay my Visa by 1 and half months and during my arrival in India i got a arrival stamp which was 1 and half months after my Visa expires so now I want to do another internship in Australia should I tick no in all the criminal related question and what should I do about the arrival stamp and there are few mugshots about my case online will I get caught if I lie.

Thanks in advance.
Sorry for bad English

1893. Posted by d7desmond (Budding Member 3 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Hi guys, new on here and must say what a wonderful job you lot are doing , sharing your experiences while helping others in the process, well done. I have been through almost every pages of this thread but nothing quite like my situation. The majority of people posting are British Nationals and hadn't really done jail time and for those who have had convictions with sentences longer than mine, most have the option of simply ticking NO on their ESTA forms. But if I missed anything then I apologise.

I have a situation I'm hoping someone might have had similar experience or know of others who has. I am a foreign national in the UK who has been convicted of a very serious crime namely importation of drugs. I received an 18 months sentence and have since completed that and my rehabilitation since June 2010. I have also gone on to receive an Indefinite Leave to Remain status in the country. In the last 2 years my family ( wife and 2 kids ) have gone to Florida on holidays but I know I'm not eligible which is why I have never attempted to apply for visa. But I realised at some point I'll have to either explain to my kids why daddy can't go with them or apply for a waiver of ineligibility. My thoughts tell me it is impossible to get a waiver for this sort of conviction, for one it is a very serious one and only 7 years has passed. The kids have now decided they want to go to Florida again and I'm deliberating on trying my luck, just so I can say I tried. My questions are, are there waivers for such grave crimes ? if the answer is yes has anyone been successful at applying for one ? All responses will be appreciated.

1894. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 332 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

I'll stick to the facts:

First of all, it is your citizenship which is relevant for both ESTA and visa, not the fact that you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

No-one here or anywhere else, whatever their own experience (or lack of it), can tell you your chances of being put forward for a waiver of ineligibility, let alone it being granted.

The experiences of others cannot be indicative of your chances. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis, and everyone's circumstances are different. There is no convenient 'one size fits all' law, rule or regulation other than for terrorist-related activity.

You can find the relevant law related to waivers of ineligibility here:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/waivers.html#waivers

My own opinion (note that I, like everyone else who is likely to reply here or anywhere else on the internet, am not a US border officer) is that your chances are very slim indeed. Your crime was serious, drug-related and, from an official point of view, took place quite recently.

Having said that, there is no reason (other than cost & the appointment hassle) why you should not try for a visa. If you are not put forward for a waiver of ineligibility the officer who deals with you will give you valid advice about when...if ever...it will be worth applying again. And then your mind will be more at rest because you have done all you can.

At some point you are going to have to explain your past to your kids, hard though that may be. As a parent (and now grandparent) I really do think that's better done sooner rather than later. So, if they are set on going to Florida and ask Daddy why he can't go, please think about telling them the truth (with the details, obviously, tailored to their ages). Children are incredibly resilient and their response may pleasantly surprise you.

Maybe you could also think about taking family holidays elsewhere for a few years? Just because the kids want to go to Florida again it doesn't mean the family has to go: they don't yet know what the rest of the world holds!

Good luck! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2018, at 01:00 by leics2 ]

1895. Posted by d7desmond (Budding Member 3 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I'll stick to the facts:

First of all, it is your citizenship which is relevant for both ESTA and visa, not the fact that you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

No-one here or anywhere else, whatever their own experience (or lack of it), can tell you your chances of being put forward for a waiver of ineligibility, let alone it being granted.

The experiences of others cannot be indicative of your chances. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis, and everyone's circumstances are different. There is no convenient 'one size fits all' law, rule or regulation other than for terrorist-related activity.

You can find the relevant law related to waivers of ineligibility here:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/waivers.html#waivers

My own opinion (note that I, like everyone else who is likely to reply here or anywhere else on the internet, am not a US border officer) is that your chances are very slim indeed. Your crime was serious, drug-related and, from an official point of view, took place quite recently.

Having said that, there is no reason (other than cost & the appointment hassle) why you should not try for a visa. If you are not put forward for a waiver of ineligibility the officer who deals with you will give you valid advice about when...if ever...it will be worth applying again. And then your mind will be more at rest because you have done all you can.

At some point you are going to have to explain your past to your kids, hard though that may be. As a parent (and now grandparent) I really do think that's better done sooner rather than later. So, if they are set on going to Florida and ask Daddy why he can't go, please think about telling them the truth (with the details, obviously, tailored to their ages). Children are incredibly resilient and their response may pleasantly surprise you.

Maybe you could also think about taking family holidays elsewhere for a few years? Just because the kids want to go to Florida again it doesn't mean the family has to go: they don't yet know what the rest of the world holds!

Good luck! :-)

Many thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated. I'll quickly address one of the key things you've touched on and that is the matter of the Indefinite Leave to Remain . I brought it up for 2 reasons, one being I have no option of the ESTA like a couple of other people whose post as indicated they have actually done time in prison as I am no UK citizen, perhaps I should have worded that line better and secondly it was a subtle hint that the UK authority has since gone on to forgive my infractions and doesn't deem me a danger to the United Kingdom public, even though people with my type of conviction and sentence wouldn't normally be eligible for Indefinite leave to remain or U.K citizenship until 15 years after their time in prison but I managed to have this issued to me in 6 years . I accept this does not in anyway have a thing to do with US Visas law , it was my way of saying I have gone on to become a better person without necessarily going the route of boring you all with what I have become and achieved since I left prison. Your advice that I speak to my children about my past is a huge one and I accept it has to be done, thank you for the words. I have an appointment at the US Embassy, Belfast sometime next month, I'll go to that appointment expecting the worst and won't be disappointed if nothing goes my way. If anything it should give me an idea of how the United States authority view my application, just as you've suggested, one can only try. Again I say thanks for the wonderful work you and the others do on here. Kind regards

1896. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 332 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for replying in such detail. It too is appreciated.

You are right that others who say they have spent time in UK prisons may also say they have been successful in getting waivers of ineligibility ....but decisions about applying for waivers (and the decision made about those waivers) depend on US government guidance (not just the law) in place at the time, when that imprisonment occurred, how long it was for, the crime committed as well as the citizenship, present status and circumstances (family, job, finance etc) of that particular individual.

For those reasons it really is impossible to get any valid idea of one's chances of success from the experiences of others.

I do wish you the very best of luck with your visa interview and, if you aren't offered the chance to apply for a waiver, that you are at least given a future date when doing so might be worthwhile.

:-)

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2018, at 04:02 by leics2 ]

Post 1897 was removed by a moderator
1898. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 332 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Opelopebabaa: this thread is about UK citizens with criminal records entering the US.

You are not a UK citizen (and have been denied political asylum in the UK) and your circumstances are much more complex. Therefore I suggest you re-post your question as a new question on the North America forum...... far more TP members are likely to see it there.

You did not disclose your US conviction or your denial of US entry when you applied for your Canadian visa. You did not disclose your UK asylum refusal, after which...I assume... you either left or were removed.

Canada and the US do share border information about non-Canadian citizens and are in the process of extending that exchange of information:

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/btb-pdf/ebsiip-asfipi-eng.html

It is very likely that Canada and the UK also share biometric and other information, to a greater or lesser degree. Those two countries, along with the US, New Zealand and Australia (the 'Five Country Conference') were signatories to the same 2009 agreement.

That was really not a good idea.

1899. Posted by jaksor88 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 15w Star this if you like it!

Hi guys.

This might be a long shot, but maybe someone can give some advise. Note we are all from Denmark and just normal looking Scandinavian guys, but this forum was the best option I found for advise.

Me and a friend have booked a trip to Orlando in September. It’s my third time in Florida, and it’s my friends first time in the US. We both have no criminal record.

Now me brother really wants to joins us. I will be his first time in the US. Problem is he have a conviction of steeling money from his job. It’s about 4 years ago. He did not go to jail or anything, but paid the money back and did some community service. His crime attest is now clean again after 3 years. He has not been arrested or convicted for anything else.

He is temted to tick if no to the esta question about the “have you ever been arrested”. If he choose to go the American Ambassy in Copenhagen to get a visa, we are just worried about that he then for sure will be taken aside when we land in Atlanta. And the the problem is that we have a connecting flight to Orlando.

So my question is. Do anyone have experience with getting a visa when you have a criminal history, and the getting taken aside at the border conntrol for further interviewing?

Regards Jakob

1900. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 332 posts) 15w Star this if you like it!

It would be better to post this again as a new question.

Why? Because this (very old) thread is entitled 'Travelling to the US with a criminal record in the UK'. That means people who are not UK citizens are much less likely to bother with the thread and see your question. If you post a new question more members will see your question. So I do urge you to do so.

I'll make these points:

1. >he then for sure will be taken aside

Having a visa rather than an ESTA does not mean you are automatically or even more likely to be taken aside for further questioning. I'm not sure why you think it does.

2. >He is temted to tick if no to the esta question about the “have you ever been arrested”

The chances are that he won't be stopped but it's important to be aware that lying on an ESTA means that getting a visa in future (e.g. for work or study) is likely to be much more difficult.

3. >His crime attest is now clean again after 3 years

Afaik, the US does not recognise other countries' legal clearance of criminal records.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Apr-2018, at 02:52 by leics2 ]