Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

Post 2381 was removed by a moderator
2382. Posted by Mike1990 (Budding Member 17 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone, I’m writing on behalf of a friend of mine.

She was convicted of drink driving and received a ban from driving and some community service as a punishment. This happened 2 years ago.

She recently had her interview at the embassy in London and got referred to have a medical. Only problem is, it costs £385.

My questions are;
Is she guaranteed to get a visa if she passes the medical?

How long would the visa last for?

She doesn’t want to pay all that money out if there’s still a chance of being denied which is understandable.

Thanks in advance.

2383. Posted by Andy Muir9 (Budding Member 4 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

So guys just to give you a update as promised.

I had my interview on Friday and it all went well.

I was questioned about my previous convictions and asked to explain them.

I will receive my visa in 3 - 5 working days.

2384. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1573 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andy Muir9

I will receive my visa in 3 - 5 working days.

Good result!

2385. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 284 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!


The medical is to verify if your friend has a drinking problem or abuses drugs. I’m not sure of the tests these days. It's either usually blood, swabs, or hair. Be aware that habitual drug users can have traces of drugs in their hair for a long time.

Providing this comes back clear then yes she will get a VISA as drink driving isn’t a CIMT.

Great work AndyMuir

2386. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Andy Muir: Pleased to hear that you were successful.


>Is she guaranteed to get a visa if she passes the medical?<

Nothing is 100% certain but the fact that she was told to get a (pricey) medical suggests that all will be well if she passes.

The medical is likely to include a urine test as well as some or all of the tests Travelman mentioned plus, possibly, a (non-intrusive) physical examination and discussion of medical history.

As Travelman notes, drink-driving (DUI in the US) in itself is not a CIMT (crime involving moral turpitude). In the circumstances as you describe them I consider it rather unusual for a medical to be required, though it may be indicative of a change of policy or internal guidelines.

>How long would the visa last for?

That decision is up to the interviewing officer (and his/her superiors, if appropriate). The usual B2 visa validity for UK citizens is 10 years but border officials have the discretion to grant only shorter validity e.g. 1 year, 5 years etc.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Apr-2019, at 10:19 by leics2 ]

2387. Posted by Mike1990 (Budding Member 17 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Thanks travelman99 and leics2 for your replies. Appreciate your time and will pass on the info. Thanks again.

2388. Posted by JamieEighty (Budding Member 9 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hey all, just to let you know as I said I would, everything was fine had a 2 hour wait at immigration but sailed through they only asked me if this was my first time coming and aksed for my biometrics and welcome to America! Travelman is correct no and go all the way

2389. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

JamieEighty: I'm pleased you got through US Customs ok. As has been stated numerous times, the chances of secondary questioning on entry are very small but they do exist.

>Travelman is correct no and go all the way

'No and go' was a comment actually made by a one-time poster who is now inactive To be fair, Travelman does not make that or any similar comment to everyone who asks about criminal offences and he didn't respond to your initial post, which was on another thread. It's not a matter of being 'correct': it's a matter of opinion and personal choice.

It is always up to the individual to decide whether to lie on the ESTA and it would be irresponsible for any of us not to point out the potential disadvantages of doing so (not just the very slim chance of being stopped on entry but the much greater problem which will arise if a visa is ever required for work or longer stay or if the US decides to remove the ESTA).

[ Edit: Edited on 04-May-2019, at 11:24 by leics2 ]

2390. Posted by Whoknew (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone
Thank you all for providing such useful information on here. I’ve been reading this thread for days. I understand that my situation is not completely uncommon, which is a relief, but I still have a few questions.
About 17 years ago I made a foolish mistake and was caught with a small amount of cannabis. I was taken to the station and given a caution, and have not had any involvement with the police since then. I understand that this means I will have to go to the embassy for an interview and that I will need to apply for an ACRO.

1. How much information is shown on the ACRO? I don’t want to be misleading, I’d just like to know that I cover all the points in the interview and don’t miss anything out or appear to be dishonest. It was 16 years ago and my memories of that night are quite hazy...

2. What other documents should/could I bring to the interview to better my chances of being put forward for a waiver?

3. How long are the visas normally granted for? I would be hoping to visit the states for a holiday in two or three years time, but would like to get this issue sorted before I start saving for/arranging it. But would hate for the visa to run out before I got the chance to use it.

4. Does anyone have any experience with being given the waiver but still being refused entry at the other end?

Sorry if I am repeating questions #readnumber22. I’m just trying to weigh up whether this trip would be a write off from the start, or if it is a realistic possibility.
Thanks in advance