Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

2341. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

>Thought that people with visa/waiver didn’t need secondary processing

Just to make it absolutely clear (and this applies to all countries, not just the US):

It isn't a matter of any one group of people needing secondary questioning. Karenkaren's husband may be questioned whenever he enters the US but that doesn't mean everyone who has a a waiver of ineligibility is questioned every time they enter.

Whether someone has a visa waiver (e.g. ESTA), a visa (of any type, with or without a US waiver of ineligibility) or a citizenship which requires neither (e.g. Australians entering the UK) anyone can be taken for secondary questioning on entry to any country.

As has already been said several times on this thread, secondary questioning can be....and is.......a random process as well as being targeted at specific individuals because e.g. their behaviour has drawn attention, their answers seem odd, they are travelling from particular countries and umpteen other reasons.

2342. Posted by fragrance1991 ( 0 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hi there, I've absolutely trawled this thread but feel my situation is unique.

My employers have offered me a permanent position in the US and in the process of obtaining me a non immigrant work visa. However, I have 3 convictions (all from the same incident). Over 5 years ago now.

1. Assault on a constable in the execution of their duty - I pushed a cop and instantly got detained. There was no bodily harm and it was considered category 3 assault (the lowest)

2. Assault with resisting arrest (this one and the one above were for the same action, I wasn't resisting my own arrest, it was somebody elses).

3. Threating/abusive language.

Result = £250 fine. 6 months probation. Done at Magistrates Court. Considering it was all 3 convictions from one incident, I only got a fine and had to be on 6 months good behaviour.

I am in the process obtaining from ACRO certificate for the inevitable interview at the embassy. Whilst the convictions look bad, I believe it is considered common assault and not a crime of MT. I feel I answered the question truthfully on my ESTA by ticking no (been to the US 3 times). Also wary of the fact that if they do deem it a CIMT, I have then technically lied on the ESTA (Honestly I believe I haven't). I should also add that I am a British citizen.

I intend on bringing proof of my degree, masters, letters of recommendation from people in the same company in the US. Possibly the court notes too? Any advice or someone who has been in a similar situation would be most appreciated!

2343. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hi Fragrance.

The question on the ESTA relates to serious harm - I.e ABH, GBH etc. As your assault was not serious, and no bodily harm can be proven, then you haven’t lied by ticking no.

I did a quick google search and found a few similar cases where assault on an officer is not classed as CIMT.

Many thanks

2344. Posted by Nado ( 0 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!


There is probably an answer to my question, on this forum but it would take to long to find with 12 years worth of pages.

I just wanted to ask would I be allowed entry into the U.S. If I received a drugs caution for cannabis on my 18th birthday 😑 silly thing to do but I was younger then. I'm now 22 about to turn 23 and wanted to know do I have to declare the caution or now?

Best regards,

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Apr-2019, at 15:13 by Nado ]

2345. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi Tom.

Were you arrested, taken to a police station and made to sign a simple caution? Or are you talking about a cannibis warning giving on the street?

If the former, no, if the latter, technically yes, but there’s really no need.

As discussed many times before, a simple caution for possession of weed under 30g does not make you inadmissible. You just have pay a load of money to go to the embassy and declare it, they will then give you a VISA on the day.

The US had no regular access to the UK PNC, so ticking No on the ESTA isn’t a high risk unless you ever want to move there.

2346. Posted by karenkaren (Budding Member 28 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

sorry but the previous poster is incorrect. the 30g rule relates to a green card, it is nothing at all to do with non immigrant visas. he absolutely is inadmissible if he has violated any law (as worded on ESTA) concerning a controlled substance. Whether he is honest on the Esta is a different story but a waiver will be needed if he goes for a visa.

2347. Posted by Noandgo (Inactive 0 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Big shout out to travel man giving out 100% accurate advice.

Success story here. Iv followed this thread over about 4 years had major doubts and anxiety over this subject. I finally made my decision ticked no and booked my trip. Iv got a simple caution And on another ocassion was aressed with no further action. If I was honest I would of had to answer yes to one of the questions.

They do not have access to uk criminal records this is a cast iron fact. if this was the case I would of been sent straight back home on the next flight. I hear people on here saying well they New about my husbands caution 40 years ago I find this hard to believe that they can know about one person caution and not the others there’s more to there story and most likely been cleaverly manipulates and confesses. Say no admit nothing and you will be fine.

I sailed through us preclearence in Ireland with no issues what so ever. I hear people saying what if a CBP officer asks me at the about a criminal record you 100% stick to what you declared on your esta and say no even if you have been arrested for a crime that dosn’t fall into any of them questions on the esta still do not admit that either. I overheard a woman officer asking ever one the same list of questions and the last one was have you ever been arrested she was asking every one it was nothing personal even a 15 yr old girl who blatantly hasn’t been arested. It’s a tactic called fishing making out they already no when they don’t and by reading a comment a couple of pages back some one fell for that old chestnut. Don’t let it be you

People say things changed now because of trump no. it hasn’t it’s nothing to do with trump weather our government allows access. There are things in life that have big scary reputations that in reality it dosnt live up to it. It’s really nothing to worry about.

I’m a British citizen writing this from my hotel room in San Francisco

Tick no and go

2348. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

No and go - great news, really happy for you mate. Thanks for coming back and sharing your story.


Karen I’m not incorrect at all. Look at the logic what you’ve just suggested. “The US would happily let someone with a conviction for possession less than 30g of weed live in the US, but not visit on holiday?”

There’s plenty of references online to the >30g rule. Here’s one.

2349. Posted by karenkaren (Budding Member 28 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

well, according to the many immigration attorneys I have had dealings with, plus what is written on USICS site, there is absolutely no references to the 30g exception with regard to non immigrant visas / vacations / ESTAs and many worse offenses will still get recommended for the waiver (assuming enough time has passed to show reformed character). Obviously criteria much more stringent with Immigrant Visa / Green Card hence the harsh zero policy for any drugs with the ONLY exception being under 30g single possession over 15 yrs ago.
That being said, its completely irrelevant depending on how he completes Esta!

  • What I referred to as being incorrect is what you wrote - that he may not need a waiver and get the visa at the interview because under 30g

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Apr-2019, at 12:18 by karenkaren ]

2350. Posted by Cono ( 0 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Looking for help/info!!

I went to the embassy for and interview as I had to apply for a visa in person because I have a criminal conviction. The officer interviewing me said he was unable to offer me a visa at this current time but he was going to put It forward to the powers in Washington dc.
Couple a months later I get a letter saying that I have been accepted for a 5 year waiver visa and have to send my passport to the embassy - Result!!

I've got my visa, I am due to go to Florida at the End of August, do I need to contact the embassy to let them know where I am staying etc? What should I expect when I arrive in Orlando?

I haven't got a clue what to do and was hoping if someone on here had a similar situation as me and willing to help