Travelling to US with a criminal record in the UK

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

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2691. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 956 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

>I have absolutely no idea how I came to the conclusion you are male , I apologise.

No need to apologise. Assuming that I'm male happens regularly on internet forums and has done so for well over a decade. It's no problem for me at all...it doesn't happen in real life! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Oct-2019, 05:35 GMT by leics2 ]

2692. Posted by LondonAlb (Budding Member 22 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

Quoting d7desmond

Hi guys ,here is an update on my situation. I originally posted about over a year ago and you can find that on page 190.

Firstly I'll like to say a huge thanks to Leics2 as his response to my post was more than helpful , I took your advice and spoke to my kids about daddy's past , as you alluded to they were indeed understanding and supportive ,so thank you very much. Below is my timeline.

1: December 2008 I was arrested at an Airport while attempting to import 14KG of Cannabis ( Class C at the time) and 24grams of Cocaine ( Class A ).

2: Pleaded guilty and received an 18 months sentence ( Spent 9 in prison and 9 on probation) .

3: 2018 kids mentioned they'll like to go Florida on holiday but I suggested a different destination as didn't have it in me to tell them why we can't travel to the states.

4: Posted on this forum and got a response from Leics2 ,it was the push I needed to finally own up to my past.

5:I had an appointment already booked ( Belfast )at the time but didn't have it in me to go through with it.

6: Fast forward May 2019 ,kids mentioned Florida again and encouraged me to submit an application for a US visa

7: Booked an appointment for the 28th of August 2019 ( Belfast )

Appointment
===========

Got my name announced by a lady who requested to see all the documents I brought with me ( To pick out the relevant ones ) she also took my fingerprints and gave me a piece of paper to write in detail how I got to be convicted .

As I sat there my heart was pounding really fast ( fear of failure perhaps ) but as I listened to them interview others I started to feel a lot more relaxed and after what must have been another 20 minutes from when my fingerprints and documents were taken I got called into the boot designated for people with convictions.

Visa officer: What is the purpose of your trip and where are you going in the states
Me: Vacationing with my family , Florida.

Visa Officer: Tell me about your conviction
Me: I was stupid blah blah blah , there was no justification whatsoever for what I have done blah blah blah

Visa Officer: What do you do for work
Me: I am in between work at the moment while studying to get a certification in blah blah.

Visa Officer: What school are you studying at
Me: blah blah College.

Visa Officer: (Typing away of course ) It only happened once , right ? (conviction )
Me: Yes

Visa Officer: Did you already have children at the time ( at the time of conviction )
Me: No, my first child was born while I was in prison.

Visa Officer: Because of your conviction you are ineligible for a US visa and will require a Waiver of Ineligibility and it is up to us here to either recommend you for one or not and in this instance I'll of course recommend you for one.

Me: Thank you very much indeed.

Visa Officer: ( Typing away all the while ) You did mention earlier you needed the money ,what did you need it for .

Me: blah blah

Visa Officer: How did you get into that situation
Me: Borrowed some money for blah blah blah.

Visa Officer: Did you know what was in the bag ( Bag I had the drugs in ) before you traveled with it
Me: Yes

Visa officer: Goodluck Mr ............
Me: Thank you sir and have yourself a good day.

8: Thursday the 3rd of October 2019 I received an email to submit my passport. (5wks wait )

My appreciation goes to all the contributors on this forum and most especially Leics2, whether you know it or not you've changed my life with your contributions ,I can now move on safe in the knowledge I have absolutely nothing to hide and this was because of your response to my original post. And to everyone else looking to go through the same process I wish you nothing but the best of luck.

Congrats! I had my appointment on 17th Sept in Belfast. Did you find that the case status check was updated throughout the 5 weeks? It doesn't look like it's been updated since 13th Sept if I'm looking at the correct document?

2693. Posted by d7desmond (Budding Member 6 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

[i]Congrats! I had my appointment on 17th Sept in Belfast. Did you find that the case status check was updated throughout the 5 weeks? It doesn't look like it's been updated since 13th Sept if I'm looking at the correct document?[/quote]
[/i]

Yes you are looking at the right document and it has only been updated once since my interview , I can see my case number listed on the 13th September update showing "Recommended to DHS - Pending DHS Response " and if you are wondering how I got the case number ,I emailed them after the interview requesting for one and it was promptly sent . The Belfast guys are really efficient , a very good example of how an embassy should be run.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Oct-2019, 11:10 GMT by d7desmond ]

2694. Posted by Kelliana (Budding Member 7 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys. I posted back on the 13th September (4 weeks ago) staying that I attended Belfast for my visa but was ineligible due to my conviction n crime falling under moral turpitude. I was told by the consular officer that they will b recommending me for the ineligibility waiver and I’m so happy, I received an email yesterday morning stating to send my passport. No information was in the email with how long I will get, I guess when I get back my passport I will know but I am so happy. I would say to everyone, go to Belfast, quicker processing time.

2695. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 956 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Pleased to hear that you got your waiver so quickly. I suspect the demand for waivers is low at this time of year so processing is speedier.

>I would say to everyone, go to Belfast, quicker processing time.

The official US Embassy and Consulate websites have always shown Belfast as having shorter waiver processing times than London, probably because Belfast deals with far fewer applications.

I agree that Belfast is the better option in terms of speed and I always note the difference in processing times in relevant replies. But the cost of flights (or ferry + hotel) plus the time required means that Belfast is simply not a feasible choice for 'everyone'. One day for train/car to London is very often cheaper and easier.

The most important point is that waiver processing, whether via London or Belfast, can be....and usually is.....a lengthy business.

People who know or think they will need a waiver must make their visa application far in advance of any trip they want to make...and shouldn't book any non-refundable trip until they know the waiver & visa have been granted.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Oct-2019, 09:30 GMT by leics2 ]

2696. Posted by LondonAlb (Budding Member 22 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-and-uk-sign-landmark-cross-border-data-access-agreement-combat-criminals-and-terrorists

2697. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 956 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Useful information (and a logical step which does not surprise me in the least) though I don't think it's directly relevant to the UK/US sharing information about criminal records, something which concerns so many who post on here (especially those who are considering lying on the ESTA). This new agreement is primarily focused on expediting the sharing of information needed for evidence in criminal investigations

I think the 2017 agreement linked below is probably more relevant to the concerns expressed by many posters:

https://www.acro.police.uk/acro_std.aspx?id=1622

2698. Posted by LondonAlb (Budding Member 22 posts) 9h Star this if you like it!

Quoting Kelliana

Hi Guys. I posted back on the 13th September (4 weeks ago) staying that I attended Belfast for my visa but was ineligible due to my conviction n crime falling under moral turpitude. I was told by the consular officer that they will b recommending me for the ineligibility waiver and I’m so happy, I received an email yesterday morning stating to send my passport. No information was in the email with how long I will get, I guess when I get back my passport I will know but I am so happy. I would say to everyone, go to Belfast, quicker processing time.

That's great news and a response before the case tracker was updated! Even better

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