Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

2351. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Your conviction meant that you could not be granted a visa at interview but the officer who interviewed you recommended you for a 'waiver of ineligibility' (a pretty normal procedure for applicants who have criminal records). After processing the waiver was granted and that is why you now have a 5-year visa.

>do I need to contact the embassy to let them know where I am staying etc?

No.

> What should I expect when I arrive in Orlando?

Exactly the same as any other non-US citizen when entering the US: passport check, fingerprints, photo and a few standard questions about why you're visiting, where you're going, when you fly back etc.

But note that all non-US citizens, whether they have a visa or an ESTA can be taken for secondary, more detailed, questioning. The chances of this happening to you (or anyone else) are very small but secondary questioning can and does occur entirely at random as well as being targeted at e.g. those who look nervous, those entering from 'countries of interest' etc.

I suppose it is possible that your new visa may make you slightly more likely to be asked extra questions....not least because the vast majority of holidaymakers have ESTAs....but even if it does there's no need to worry. Just be polite and answer any questions honestly.

You've followed exactly the right visa process so you can stop worrying about entering the US and just look forward to your holiday! :-)

2352. Posted by Cono ( 0 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Aw cheers, you've put my mind at ease :)

Thanks again

2353. Posted by rusty2019 (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi All

Someone can help, I have a visa interview approaching shortly in London, and have had to get an ACRO
for the interview, and theres lots of entries on there from years ago, ranging from shoplifting from years ago
, some for theft, drink driving, taking and driving away, threatening behaviour but no drugs/violence or jail time, please don't judge but this was a bad period in my life and was associating with some unsavoury people and since then I turned everything around stopped drinking completely and landed a great job with the chance of moving to America to work, I did have a drink drive conviction 4 years ago which doesn't help but prior to this
the last major entry was 2007 12 years ago just looking for some realistic opinions on 2 things.

(1) Will showing this ACRO with the above charges and convictions deem me permanently inadmissible ?

(2) Will this ACRO be copied and sent to my employer who is paying for the e-visa ??

Thanks and all help much appreciated

2354. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi rusty

1) Without seeing the full list it’s difficult to say. Could you provide full detail?

2) No your employer will not be sent a copy of your ACRO. This would be highly illegal for this to happen.

Cheers

2355. Posted by rusty2019 (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi there, thanks - will post when back home with the ACRO,
appreciate the feedback...

Rusty

2356. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi Rusty

What I would say is that when applying for a VISA, the only crimes that the USA care about is anything to do with drugs (even simple possession) and crimes involving moral turpitude.

I noticed you have a conviction for theft which is a CIMT which will unfortunately make you inadmissible to the US. However, there is a waiver for this, but only the person you see at the embassy can recommend you for this. The process for a waiver is 6-8 months from London.

Depending on when you have to the go the US, I’d suggest telling your employer that you won’t get a VISA on the day you visit the embassy.

None of us here are lawyers, and when it comes to anything to do with working in the US I’d suggest hiring one to talk you through your options. Getting a lawyer to advise you will not increase your chances of getting a VISA, as this option is off the table because by if your theft conviction, but they may be able to help you with the process and offer guidance on how to tell your employer.

Sorry this isn’t good news - unfortunately the US does not have a rehabilitation act, and however much you have turned your life around - they still see you as a criminal.

No judgement - I’m also technically inadmissible because I was cautioned for attempt to possess a controlled substance at a party 6 years ago. Crazy.

2357. Posted by Dexter67 (Budding Member 7 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Probably a stupid question, but I read one of the earlier posters saying about one of the officers was asking everyone if they have any convictions. They we’re saying if you have marked no on the esta then you should say no, even if you have been arrested.

I got my visa a few weeks, so I take I just explain my situation?? I’m going to be travelling with colleagues, is it likely I could be stopped and questioned for a long time?

2358. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

>one of the officers was asking everyone if they have any convictions.

Not sure where you read this but the questions you are asked (I assume you mean on entry?) depend entirely on the individual border officer and the individual to whom he/she is speaking. I've never been asked about convictions but that doesn't mean I won't be in the future.

No-one can possibly know that 'everyone' was being asked about convictions, unless he/she asked everyone in all the border queues, both behind and in front of him/her what they were asked. If that was written as you suggest it was either an exaggeration or an invention.

>They we’re saying if you have marked no on the esta then you should say no, even if you have been arrested.

If someone has lied on their ESTA and is asked about convictions what they say is up to them. It can only be their choice whether they continue to lie or are honest about why they ticked 'No'. Imo it would be highly irresponsible for anyone else to suggest any particular course of action.

>I’m going to be travelling with colleagues, is it likely I could be stopped and questioned for a long time?

You say you have a visa rather than an ESTA?

Anyone can be taken aside for further questioning, whether they have a visa or an ESTA. Secondary questioning can, and does, happen at random (just like e.g. bag-wipes or searches at security) as well as because someone has raised suspicion (e.g. by looking nervous, by flying in from 'countries of interest' etc). No-one on here or anywhere else can tell you the chances of you experiencing secondary questioning. Like everyone else, you might face additional questions or you might not. Travelling alone or with colleagues/family doesn't make any difference and there's no way of knowing in advance.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Apr-2019, at 13:40 by leics2 ]

2359. Posted by Travelgirl94x (Budding Member 6 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, I have read through all the pages on this thread but just wanted some up to date information. Has any recently travelled to the USA with a criminal record, did less than a year in prison and got in under an esta? My partner and I are worried but ready all the info online and information from a personal friend we went ahead with the esta and all come back approved. Has anyone recently gotten in? I can see people say they have but no one has stated what their criminal record was for? Any information and success stories would be great! Thanks

2360. Posted by JamieEighty (Budding Member 9 posts) 9w 1 Star this if you like it!

Travelling in a week guys!

Really nervous now! ill let you all know how it goes!