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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

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1901. Posted by 9kjr1 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hey, I have read all 10 years of this thread over a couple of days lol.

Some useful information thanks Terry and Travelman99.

Iv found myself in a similar position to a lot of people on here (Based in UK).

We are booking a holiday to disneyworld, I have filled out the group ESTA for the family with ticks of no for everything which I believed to be true and after speaking to my dad afterwards who is 57 years old I have found out he was convicted of GBH section 18 when he was 21 (a brawl after an away football match with the home fans that got out of hand).
He got a suspended sentence so no prison time however as this is the worse of the two GBH convictions with a sentence of up to life this certainly is CIMT and I imagine if he applied for a visa it would be a firm no on the day.

My questions are:

1. With a conviction like this would he be referred for an ineligibility visa as it was 36 years ago or is a conviction like this a firm no your never coming in?
2. As I have already completed the ESTAs would I personally be in trouble for ‘lying’ on the form even tho I legitimately was not aware as this is new to us all as his family? Even his past CRB checks for new jobs along his career have been clear as they only date 10 years!
3. In peoples opinion and experience does this fall into the ‘it’s a roll of the dice’ category, asking this as it is more of a serious conviction than the cautions most people are worried about.

Thanks in advance x

1902. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 233 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Remember that questions and replies on this thread dating from 10, 8, 5 or even 2 years ago are not automatically accurate. Visa rules, regulations, processes and procedures for all countries can and do change, often surprisingly frequently.

1. > With a conviction like this would he be referred for an ineligibility visa as it was 36 years ago or is a conviction like this a firm no your never coming in?

No-one can possibly answer that question. There are no absolute rules about who can or can not be referred for a waiver of ineligibility (other than, I suspect, terrorism & major drug-related offences). Your father's present circumstances would be highly relevant.

My own opinion (based only on the facts you have given) is that he would have no difficulty in being referred for a waiver of ineligibility, nor in being granted that waiver. However, it takes several months for a waiver to be processed and a decision reached..

2. > would I personally be in trouble for ‘lying’ on the form

Again, no-one can answer with any certainty. In my opinion (and opinions are all you are going to get) it is unlikely that your actions would be questioned in any depth, let alone you 'being in trouble'.

3. > does this fall into the ‘it’s a roll of the dice’ category,

The 'seriousness' of the crime, and when it took place, aren't really relevant. What really matters is if it's a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), as your father's GBH certainly is...so your father is not eligible for an ESTA.

Only you, your father & your family can decide whether to 'roll the dice' in this instance.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Apr-2018, at 05:05 by leics2 ]

1903. Posted by hesszare (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi guys, im wanting to travel to the US later this year on a holiday. I was refused an ESTA early last year, however I am unsure of whether that was because of my Iranian heritage. I am trying to apply this year for a US DS-160 visa. The only thing is, i was arrested around 6 years ago for drunk and disorderly behaviour in the UK. This was just the result of a drunken night with people who I have cut off and since distanced myself from. I was in a cell for 1 night, then paid a fine to relieve myself of the charges and that was that.

I have read through replies in this thread and I know it's on a case by case basis, but do you think it's worth mentioning this on my Visa form and explaining myself or should i bypass it completely. If i admit this would this be grounds for an outright refusal of entry or would I have a chance to explain myself and it be okay.

1904. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 233 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

As before:

> do you think it's worth mentioning this on my Visa form and explaining myself or should i bypass it completely

There are no absolute rules for who can or cannot be recommended for a waiver of ineligibility..at least, none in the public domain. On this issue, as on any other internet forum dealing with the same issue, you will only get facts which are in the public domain plus people's opinions...and none of those people are US visa officers.

For whatever reason you have been deemed ineligible for an ESTA so you have no choice but to get a visa. If you do not mention your arrest you run the risk of being found out and refused a visa (or being recommended for a waiver of ineligibility) either this time or next time (visas are not forever), not necessarily because of your arrest but because you didn't mention it.

Note that when you fill in the form, attend the interview and give your fingerprints you are making a legal declaration that you have understood all the questions and that everything you have said is true to the best of your knowledge.

You were arrested, you accepted your (legal) guilt and you paid a fine. My opinion is that you should mention this pretty minor incident (in the great scheme of things, not a CIMT) on the form and be honest with the interviewing officer about the circumstances.

But, like everyone else who might reply, I am not a US visa official. That's just my opinion, and what I would do in the circumstances.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Apr-2018, at 05:36 by leics2 ]

1905. Posted by SmokeyKettering (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi - I am new to this forum - I am paranoid about applying for a visa to travel to the US. I am 57 now and I have a conviction in the UK in 1980 aged 19 for 'going equiped'. This was for attempting to syphon petrol from a neighbours car . Fortunately this didn't stop me from a successful career as an engineer in the automotive industry. So... do I need to reveal this on my visa application for a holiday visit to the US and or Canada?
Smokey

1906. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 233 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

> do I need to reveal this on my visa application for a holiday visit to the US and or Canada?

In a word, yes. You must declare all arrests, cautions and convictions. Whether you choose to do so or choose to lie on the US ESTA and/or Canadian ETA is entirely up to you.

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

Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/inadmissibility/overcome-criminal-convictions.html

http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/travelling-canada/

The primary difference between the two countries is that, if you answer 'yes' to the arrest/conviction question on the Canadian ETA (visa waiver) you can apply to be deemed 'rehabilitated' under the 1974 act (see Canadian government link above for the procedure). If that rehabilitation is granted you can apply for an ETA. The USA does not recognise legal rehabilitation or expungement of criminal records.

From the facts you have given, and assuming your other circumstances are acceptable, imo the chances of you being refused a visa for either the US or Canada are very small. The US authorities might or might not consider 'going equipped' a CIMT (crime involving moral turpitude). If it is, you'll almost certainly be recommended to apply for a waiver of ineligibility (a process which takes several months). Once you have that, you can have a US visa. If your conviction is not considered a CIMT you may even be granted a US visa without having to get a waiver of ineligibility.

You should be aware that both processes take a goodly amount of time. Personally, I'd grit my teeth, accept the lengthy wait, apply for a US visa and apply for Canadian rehabilitation, then applying for an ETA when it was granted. But what you do is up to you. :-)

1907. Posted by SmokeyKettering (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Thanks Leics2 - really good info and advice!
Best Regards
Smokey

Post 1908 was removed by a moderator
1909. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 233 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Thank you. You're welcome. :-)

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