Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

2441. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

>where listed as 214b , but guess by doing this they avoided the inadmissibility issue.

214b applies if the officer is unconvinced that the applicant intends to return to his/her own country before the visa expires and/or that he/she will not be able to support him/herself during the trip without seeking unauthorized employment and/or that the visit is not for purposes permitted by the visa category. I think it is far more likely you were refused for one or more of those reasons than simply because the officer wanted 'to avoid the inadmissibility issue'. There is no reason why they would want to avoid it.

>the COMT is another area of inadmissibility (2008 and before but NO CHARGES for drugs/violence convictions)

It doesn't matter what the crime is. If it's a CIMT it's a CIMT. The fact that your convictions do not include drugs or violence doesn't make a difference at interview, though it might make the interviewing officer more likely to recommend you for a waiver of inadmissibility. Without knowing all your details it's impossible to say what your chances are....and whilst it might...might...make a difference during the processing of a waiver of inadmissibility for a tourist visa I have no idea whether it will be to your advantage when related to a fiance visa.

It is the interviewing officer who decides whether to recommend an applicant for a waiver of inadmissibility, based on all the applicants details and circumstances (both past and present) as well as how the applicant performs at interview. There are no relevant and official rules and guidelines within the public domain other than:

https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-9-part-a-chapter-4

I wish you the best of luck at your interview.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Jun-2019, at 12:33 by leics2 ]

2442. Posted by Winston995 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hello,

I find this thread very interesting and have tried reading as much of the recent stuff as possible...

I’m hoping to go to America next year for a holiday (I have a single drink driving conviction from 2015) and just wanted to clear up a few things.

Firstly, just a quick clarification - is a drink driving offence considered a CIMT?!

Also (bit of a strange question) as I have recently been to Australia, where I declared my conviction on my visa, will this be linked to my passport now (will other countries be able to see this) or is it just on Australian records?

Thanks in advance for your help!

  • just to add - I have a British passport

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jun-2019, at 16:49 by Winston995 ]

2443. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 882 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

According to this it isn't a CIMT ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

No it isn't linked to your passport and I'm pretty sure the USA immigration don't have access to Australian (or UK) systems. Although I would expect the Aussie authorities to supply them with specific info when specially requested (the same way the UK does), but I can't imagine why they'd do that for you unless you have a notorious criminal/terrorist name.

2444. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Only you can make the relevant decision but I can give you some facts to assist.

>is a drink driving offence considered a CIMT

The concept of CIMT is rather murky and there is no official statement or info in the public domain. However, reliable sites such as the one I link below suggest that regulations drink driving (DUI) is not a CIMT:

http://hub.unlock.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Annex-A-Crimes-involving-moral-turpitude.pdf

The relevant ESTA question asks:

Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?

There is no mention of CIMT, no official definition of 'serious' in the public domain and the question itself is so badly worded that it can be read two ways: 1. Have you ever been arrested (for anything) or convicted of a crime that resulted in etc etc 2. Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime which resulted in serious harm etc etc

The official US Embassy advice is:

>We do not recommend that travelers who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction.......attempt to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program<

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

If you were convicted of drink-driving I'd guess that you were arrested so whether you should tick 'No' to the ESTA question is a moot point. Only you can decide what to do but taking the question in its second meaning certainly suggests that you could do so.

>where I declared my conviction on my visa, will this be linked to my passport now (will other countries be able to see this) or is it just on Australian records?

No-one can tell you for 100% certain what information is held on any country's database, nor what information is shared between countries nor under exactly what circumstances information might be shared. That type of information is simply not in the public domain, for very obvious reasons.

However, I personally think it very unlikely indeed that the US authorities have any knowledge of, nor any interest in, the details of an 'ordinary' Australian visitor eTA.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jun-2019, at 17:04 by leics2 ]

2445. Posted by Lucyoneil (Budding Member 4 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

>Is his only option to go back to the embassy?

Yes, if he wishes to remain within the law.

>I keep thinking to do the Esta and lie but this will get shown up now he’s already declared the info won’t it?

Your partner's data will still be in the system so I'd be very surprised indeed if his ESTA was granted. If he applies, lies,the ESTA is refused and he then applies for a visa because it will be obvious that he has tried to commit deliberate fraud. ESTA data is also held in the system.

But if he did lie and by some chance was granted an ESTA he (and you) should know that a) committing deliberate fraud on the ESTA can be a US criminal offence b) an ESTA does not guarantee entry into the US (nor does a visa) so your partner's data from the previous visa application may show up on entry c) if he successfully lies on the ESTA now he will have to continue lying 'forever' and d) if the US removes the ESTA visa waiver or tightens up the ESTA regulations the fact that he has lied will mean it is even more difficult for him to get a visa.

>Is 6 years a long enough time to leave before applying again?

No-one here or anywhere else can tell you whether 6 years is 'long enough'. There is no set limit: decisions are made on all the individual's circumstances, both past and present, and on how the individual presents him or herself at interview. The only way to find out is for your partner to apply for a visa.

He will certainly not be granted a visa on the day. Not only has he committed a drugs offence but he has also been denied a visa in the past. If the interviewing officer is satisfied that everything else is ok he/she may recommend your partner for a waiver of ineligibility. Processing times for waivers are 6-8 months via London, 3-4 months via Belfast. If the waiver is granted then your partner will get his visa. If it is refused, he won't.

>we have traveled all over the world but just not to America

That isn't relevant. Each country has the absolute right to set its own entry requirements, whether or not we as individuals consider them to be 'fair' or 'right'. It is as it is.

You and your partner have three simple options: a) apply for a visa, hope to be recommended for a waiver and hope that waiver is granted b) lie on the ESTA in the full knowledge of all the potential consequences c) decide not be be 'desperate' to take the kids to New York and take them somewhere else instead.

If it were me I'd definitely apply for a visa and, if it was denied, I'd just accept the fact that I couldn't have what I wanted.....maybe applying again in another 5 years or so.....and I'd take the kids somewhere else (they'll survive). But you and your partner are the only ones who can decide what you are going to do.

What do you think of this success story from 2014 where a 10 year visa was granted on the day? Thanks

http://www.the-record.org.uk/unlock-people-with-convictions/i-tried-again-for-my-b2-visa-and-was-granted/

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jun-2019, at 17:20 by Lucyoneil ]

2446. Posted by Winston995 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thank you both for your speedy replies!

You’re totally right, the question is badly worded!! To me if they meant the first way you describe then they could simple ask “have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?” But the fact they are specific to serious harm/damage makes me believe it is the latter. But like you said no one can be entirely sure.

2447. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 724 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

>What do you think of this success story from 2014 where a 10 year visa was granted on the day?

1. It is 2019, not 2014. Attitudes, opinions, internal processes, regulations and guidelines can and do change.

2. Your partner's criminal record is drug-related. In the article you link there is no indication whatsoever of what crimes the anonymous author of that story was convicted.

Whilst minor criminal offences (e.g. those resulting in a police caution) may be disregarded in terms of requiring a waiver of ineligibility, drug-related crimes are, understandably, taken very seriously. That is why there is a specific drug-related question on the ESTA application and why the official CBP site states:

>Generally, any convictions for drug possession can result in a denial of entry. If the conviction was long ago, you may have to contact the U.S. Embassy, Office of Consular Affairs in your country to obtain a waiver.<

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/736/~/admission-to-the-u.s.-with-either-a-misdemeanor-or-criminal-record

3. The experience of one individual cannot and should not be taken as an indicator of what will happen to someone else. Decisions are made on all the individual's circumstances, past and present, and on the details of his/her criminal record, as well as with regard to internal processes, guidelines and regulations in force at the time of application.

I'd also add that internet stories cannot always be relied upon to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The only way for your partner to find out whether he will be recommended for a waiver or be turned down on the day is to apply for a visa. The experience of others simply cannot give any definite indication of what might happen to him.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jun-2019, at 19:34 by leics2 ]

2448. Posted by Ooberj (Budding Member 2 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

This is my story so far, convicted of theft 23 years ago and served a 4 month sentence in a YOI.

I traveled to the USA in 2007 and went down the Visa waiver route did the interview and was recommended for a one visit waiver .

I'm due to go again this summer unfortunately it's all booked thanks to the in laws. However I think I won't be travelling .

I went down to the embassy again in May, handed in documents and did the interview, obviously it was refused but the recommendation would be done a 60 month waiver to homeland, at the time she said the wait could be as long as 4 months (take me past the departure flight ) but everything was very positive , she said that several times . Anyone have any idea on how quickly they are processing at the moment ? Or is there anyway at all it can be speeded up ..

Thanks

2449. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 882 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Quoting Ooberj

she said the wait could be as long as 4 months (take me past the departure flight ) but everything was very positive , she said that several times . Anyone have any idea on how quickly they are processing at the moment ?

If you look at some of the previous posts you'll see that 4 months is very optimistic, however applying to Belfast is a far shorter queue, but even there 4 months would be tight. Really the process needs to be started a year before travel to cover all the possible hiccups.

2450. Posted by Ooberj (Budding Member 2 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

Quoting Ooberj

she said the wait could be as long as 4 months (take me past the departure flight ) but everything was very positive , she said that several times . Anyone have any idea on how quickly they are processing at the moment ?

If you look at some of the previous posts you'll see that 4 months is very optimistic, however applying to Belfast is a far shorter queue, but even there 4 months would be tight. Really the process needs to be started a year before travel to cover all the possible hiccups.

Thanks for the reply. When I got the year Visa it took about 10 weeks but they said 6 months ...

Guess its fingere crossed and a lot of wasted money !