Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

2121. Posted by Gemma121 (Budding Member 12 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Does CheersT still reply to these posts? I came to this forum when I was bringing my dad to America with me (who had a minor conviction for hitting someone 20 years ago) and he was very helpful! This was probably about 5/6 years ago now, and This Terry guy (CheersT. TerryCheers!?) replied to everyone. He was great.

Anyway, just to let you all know, my father entered on an ESTA and was absolutely fine. In our opinion his crime wasnt that of "moral turpitude" (the grey area) so it was never mentioned. He's been to America twice since.

2122. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting zzk

Thanks for your response travelman99.

In my ACRO subject access report (Police National Computer Nominal Report) the offence I got arrested for is given as BATTERY however in the police interview they used the term Common Assault
during their questioning which I now find a bit odd. Looked up definitions for both battery and common assault and it seems that both are
sort of inter-linked however key difference is that battery involves physical contact where as Common Assault does not have to (e.g. display of threatening intent).

Are both Common Assault and Battery excluded from CIMT? Can this be elevated to CIMT due to the fact that the
allegation was of a Domestic nature (i.e involved spouse)?

I take it from your response that as long as one is not convicted or cautioned it does not matter if the offence was CIMT, is my understanding correct?

If I do travel to the U.S. on my current B1/B2 visa should I expect U.S. customs to know about the arrest and get questioned about this?

In case I do decide be super safe by applying for a new B1/B2 visa and disclose the arrest, should I allow some time to pass since the arrest before re-applying? 1-2 years maybe?
Don't know if this makes a difference.

Unless things have changed, when applying for a Visa you only need to provide your Police Certificate which contains convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. Not arrests. Therefore I see no real reason for you to declare it, as you will also have to spend an extra £10 on a subject matter report from the arresting force to prove you were arrested. It’s not logical. That said - if you declared it, it would not infringe on you getting another VISA as A) I’m not convinced it’s a CIMT and B) you weren’t charged with anything.

To your later question - the US has no regular access to the UK PNC. To access an individuals records they have to include Interpol. To include Interpol they need to have good grounds to suspect an individual of committing serious crimes, or wanting to check if they are on the international watch or wanted list. Therefore, there is 0% chance of the chap at immigration knowing about this arrest.

I hope this has answered your question - in conclusion, put it out of your mind.

2123. Posted by CJC2019 ( 2 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Hi

My husband was lucky enough to have been granted a B1/B2 visa in 2015 from the US embassy. He had a criminal record for fighting, drunk and disorderly, and having a tag in his younger years. Was really convinced they wouldn’t give him a visa but they did. We had a trip of a life time to Orlando with our children and 11 others in 2017.

August 2018 my husband was caught drink driving had crashed into a wall ( thank god not a person ) and banned for 15months - completely gutted. We was hoping to start planning a 2020 trip but I think I already know that he is no way going to be allowed into the US? His visa will run out 2025, travelling and not declaring the DD would then most definitely stop him getting a visa in the future ( they would know he traveled on his visa with DD charge) Would the best thing be to declare this to the embassy now and hope in 10+ years they may consider him? I love my husband but so very frustrated at his complete stupidity. To be given that visa was like a golden ticket and now that’s been taken away. I must say he has not drank a drop since - so rightly.

Anyone been in a similar situation or can offer advice? a DD conviction while holding a visa? What’s the process? When you apply for a new visa do you have to do the whole criminal background check and embassy interview again? Very similar to the last post but this time there is a conviction

Thanks in advance 👍

2124. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Gemma121

Does CheersT still reply to these posts? I came to this forum when I was bringing my dad to America with me (who had a minor conviction for hitting someone 20 years ago) and he was very helpful! This was probably about 5/6 years ago now, and This Terry guy (CheersT. TerryCheers!?) replied to everyone. He was great.

Anyway, just to let you all know, my father entered on an ESTA and was absolutely fine. In our opinion his crime wasnt that of "moral turpitude" (the grey area) so it was never mentioned. He's been to America twice since.

No ones heard from CheersT in a long time. But appreciate you coming back to let us know what happened.

2125. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

CIC

Driving under the influence by itself is not an offence that would prevent your husband from having his VISA renewed.

Generally, the US look at several things when approving VISA’s, such as - does the subject have a criminal record which includes crimes related to drugs, or crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Either of these crimes make one inaddmissable. Furthermore, the US embassy can also decline a VISA based on health grounds for example if they think someone is unwell, or an addict.

Now, actually your Husbend would have been free to travel under the ESTA as “drunk and disorderly” is not a CIMT - in short, he never needed to apply for a VISA in the first place. Going forward, if your husband was to apply to renewe his VISA, the DUI on its own shouldn’t be an issue, however the mitigating circumstance around destroying a wall might count against him. Part of a CIMT is destruction of private or public property. And this could fall under that.

To be honest it’s a grey area here, and maybe one to pick up with an lawyer. That said, the US have no access to the UK PNC, so he would be safe travelling on his existing VISA until it runs out. However, if he does do that, then this could cause issues when applying for his new VISA in 2025.

2126. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1768 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting CJC2019

To be given that visa was like a golden ticket and now that’s been taken away.

The only thing I'd say in addition to the other answers is that there are many other places to visit. As a UK passport holder you can visit most countries in the world without a visa.

Many of the people who go to Florida also enjoy Cancun or the Caribbean.

2127. Posted by CJC2019 ( 2 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting travelman99

CIC

Driving under the influence by itself is not an offence that would prevent your husband from having his VISA renewed.

Generally, the US look at several things when approving VISA’s, such as - does the subject have a criminal record which includes crimes related to drugs, or crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Either of these crimes make one inaddmissable. Furthermore, the US embassy can also decline a VISA based on health grounds for example if they think someone is unwell, or an addict.

Now, actually your Husbend would have been free to travel under the ESTA as “drunk and disorderly” is not a CIMT - in short, he never needed to apply for a VISA in the first place. Going forward, if your husband was to apply to renewe his VISA, the DUI on its own shouldn’t be an issue, however the mitigating circumstance around destroying a wall might count against him. Part of a CIMT is destruction of private or public property. And this could fall under that.

To be honest it’s a grey area here, and maybe one to pick up with an lawyer. That said, the US have no access to the UK PNC, so he would be safe travelling on his existing VISA until it runs out. However, if he does do that, then this could cause issues when applying for his new VISA in 2025.

Thank you for your reply.

I will definitely keep everyone posted as to our future plans or outcomes - wish I found this site back in 2015!

2128. Posted by CJC2019 ( 2 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Quoting CJC2019

To be given that visa was like a golden ticket and now that’s been taken away.

The only thing I'd say in addition to the other answers is that there are many other places to visit. As a UK passport holder you can visit most countries in the world without a visa.

Many of the people who go to Florida also enjoy Cancun or the Caribbean.

You are so right, but we definitely caught the Orlando addiction bug though! It was a fantastic holiday, our youngest was 4 at the time and still talks about it.

We will definitely look into other destinations. I have to remind myself we were lucky to go in the first place and great memories made.

Thanks for you reply 👍

2129. Posted by Killerkane (First Time Poster 1 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Just joined and noticed this thread, a friend of mine wants to travel to the USA but has various convictions from over 30 years ago, e only had a suspended sentenceI may be wrong but I think...recieving stolen goods, drunk and disorderly and a driving offence, last one was around 1987, he's had basic disclosure checks for work and nothing ever comes up, would the states know of his old things from 30+ years ago, he doesn't want his family of 20 years to know so doesn't want to fill the forms in and go to London for an interview, I told him I was ok as id a couple of minor things from 20 years ago I never mentioned but mine were only drunk etc and a pal had a few minor ones and he was ok, it's the receiving hes worried about although it was quiet petty, he was still caught and sentenced.....anyone with similar kept quiet?

2130. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1003 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

I'm afraid it doesn't matter how old a conviction is. The US does not recognise 'spent' convictions from any other country.

>anyone with similar kept quiet?

I'm sure there are thousands of people who deliberately lie on their ESTA every year but that doesn't mean your friend should. He needs to make a decision based on the facts.

First of all, you are right that a conviction for receiving would be considered a 'crime of moral turpitude' (CIMT) and thus make your friend ineligible for an ESTA.

Your friend has these options:

1. Lie on the ESTA. Chances are there'll be no issues but it's important for him to know that a) deliberately lying on the ESTA is a criminal offence in the US and b) lying on an ESTA will cause real problems if your friend ever wants or needs a US visa. Lying on the ESTA will also, of course, add a niggle of worry to the whole trip.

2. Apply for a visa. The offences took place a long time ago and, assuming all other circumstances are ok, it's possible that the interviewing border officer will grant a visa on the day. It's more likely, imo, that your friend will be recommended for a 'waiver of ineligibility'. Assuming everything else is ok I'm sure the waiver would be granted but, unfortunately, the waiver process takes 6-8 months via London (Belfast is a bit quicker). The existing US government shutdown is almost certainly affecting the processing of both visas and waivers.

Whether your friend tells his family the truth or not about why he's applying for a visa is up to him but, to be honest, keeping such a secret for so long is inevitably a strain...and secrets do tend to come back and bite you on the bum, as in this case. If he's been with his family for 20 years then surely they would understand and wouldn't be bothered by events which occurred so long ago?

Those are the facts. Only your friend can decide what to do because only he knows the full facts of his circumstances. Imo it would be highly irresponsible for anyone here, or anywhere else, to recommend one option over another.

Hope that helps.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jan-2019, at 10:18 by leics2 ]