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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2891. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1518 posts) 28w Star this if you like it!

It's very good that you haven't actually used the ESTA. That's a big plus in your favour.

>There must be others out there who have been through similar?

I cannot stress enough that the experiences of others cannot have any real relevance to your own experience. As I said, all decisions are made on a case-by-case basis (within US law and internal regulations, rules and guidelines which are not in the public domain) and no one person has the exact same circumstances as another.

>serious harm to another person (I thought this meant physical I.e. assualt)

I really don't think that's a sensible reason to use as to why you ticked 'No'. It's really not a good idea to imply that you don't think rape causes 'serious harm' to another person when it so very clearly does. I'm sure you don't actually think that but by saying you only thought 'serious harm' mean physical assault that's what you're implying......and all rape is physical assault anyway. If you're asked (and you may not be....no-one knows for certain) it would perhaps be better to explain that you initially misunderstood the 'arrested' part because no charges were brought (I assume), then had second thoughts and applied for a visa.

>I can't believe and won't believe for one second that a false allegation can affect travel to the US 10 years later.... or can it.

No-one here or anywhere else can tell you how US border officers might view a false allegation of rape but it's important to remember that each country has the absolute right to deny entry to anyone other than its own citizens, regardless of whether you or I might think the reason for denial is right or wrong, fair or unfair.

>I will keep this up to date

Please do: it will be appreciated. Whilst the experiences of others can never be a firm indication of what will happen to any one individual they can often provide useful information.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2020, 20:43 GMT by leics2 ]

2892. Posted by BlizzardFall (Inactive 3 posts) 28w Star this if you like it!

I really don't think that's a sensible reason to use as to why you ticked 'No'. It's really not a good idea to imply that you don't think rape causes 'serious harm' to another person when it so very clearly does. I'm sure you don't actually think that but by saying you only thought 'serious harm' mean physical assault that's what you're implying......and all rape is physical assault anyway. If you're asked (and you may not be....no-one knows for certain) it would perhaps be better to explain that you initially misunderstood the 'arrested' part because no charges were brought (I assume), then had second thoughts and applied for a visa.

I agree with you fully and apologise, I didn't mean to imply that rape is not a serious offence that does not cause harm (I am only thinking / talking of my own circumstances in which that was certainly not the case hence ticking no, as in good conscience I have never hurt anybody physically).

I am innocent (as was proved at the time, hence no further action) of the allegation and wrongly assumed that the incident would never affect me.

I was also told at the time by the police that it would never affect me (I had no idea it would show up on my subject access which I only applied for as didn't know my court date for the other offence).

As per the polices comments at the time, No Further Action and as the arrest was never shown on an enhanced DBS (even several months after the event), I wrongly assumed this was never logged.

As stated I have applied to have the arrest removed from my PNC record so will see what happens, Thanks again for your responses.

Post 2893 was removed by a moderator
2894. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1518 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

I am pleased that your record has been expunged.

The website you quote is not in any way 'official' and gives no more information than has been given on this forum and/or can be obtained elsewhere on the web. It exists to make money from processing ESTAs, for which it charges 81USD. The official ESTA application website charges just 14USD. Imo, the website you mention is nothing more than a scam.

This is the only official ESTA application website:

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/

[ Edit: Edited on 02-May-2020, 21:05 GMT by leics2 ]

2895. Posted by Natcheermum (Budding Member 9 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Hi where do we stand with acros at the moment any news? I recived my acro the day before we went into lockdown so could not book my embassy appointment :( but do you think they will add time on to period it is valid for?

2896. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2094 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

The website you quote is not in any way 'official' ... It exists to make money from processing ESTAs,

I see the user is inactivated so perhaps promoting that site was the goal. So I've reported the post in the hope the mention of the site will be removed.

2897. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1518 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Andy, having replied to him more than once I thought the poster was genuine though it did seem odd to quote the site at length. Perhaps the intention was simply to link it? But the site itself (it's been around since 2014) definitely needs flagging up as a scam and, preferably, the link & content edited from his post. The site is quite deliberately set up to look 'official', the legally-required disclaimer is in very small print and, although I believe it does gets the ESTA for people sucked in (and thus, I assume, also has access to all their personal info) it's a complete rip-off. It's UK-based and, frankly, I'm surprised it's still allowed to function.

Natcheermum:

>do you think they will add time on to period it is valid for?

They might but, personally, I very much doubt it. There's simply no way of knowing nor is there any way of knowing when they'll restart visa processing. From their point of view, why should they allow an ACRO extension? The fact that you'll have to get another ACRO is no skin off their collective noses. It's you who wants to visit the US so, again from their point of view, it's your responsibility to sort out the required paperwork. :-(

[ Edit: Edited on 03-May-2020, 06:49 GMT by leics2 ]

2898. Posted by Rumon86345 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

I am 25 years old and I am British citizen

I am looking to travel to the US for pleasure

I was arrested for resisting arrest and assaulting a police office when I was 18 years old.

But I was only convicted in court for resisting arrest

Can you please advise if I able to travel to US and if so, what are the procedures should I take? Should I apply for a ESTA/VISA?

This indecent was 7 years ago.

Kind Regards

2899. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1518 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

>Should I apply for a ESTA/VISA?

The relevant ESTA question is:

>“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?”

Whilst a conviction for common assault is not automatically considered a 'crime involving moral turpitude' (CIMT) .....being convicted of a CIMT is an automatic bar to entering the US without a waiver......the fact that you were convicted of resisting arrest (i.e resisting a government authority) could, imo, mean your conviction would be considered 'serious'.

The official US Embassy advice makes it very clear:

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

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

You do have a criminal record as well as an arrest for a charge which was not taken to court and therefore the official US advice is that you should apply for a visa.

I am sure many people ignore their criminal record on the ESTA application but if you decide to do so you should be aware that a) deliberately lying on the ESTA can be considered fraud and a criminal offence in the US b) if you ignore your record on the ESTA once you must continue doing so on all subsequent ESTAs c) if you ever need a US visa e.g. for work or because the US removes the ESTA option (which they can at any time) your criminal record will be uncovered and your previous use of ESTAs may well count against your application.

Applying for a visa costs more than an ESTA but visas normally last for 10 years: ESTAs last for two. You'll need to apply online (see the embassy or consulate website), obtain documents about your criminal record and attend an interview at either the London Embassy or the Belfast Consulate, depending on where you choose to apply. The border officer who interviews you will decide whether you can be granted a visa on the day or need a 'waiver of ineligibility' because of your record. If he/she recommends you for a waiver there is a very high likelihood of it being granted but processing waivers always takes several months.

No-one here or anywhere else can tell you the chances of you being granted a visa on the day or of being recommended for a waiver. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and are based on all the details of an individual's life, past and present.

If you decide to go for an ESTA, no-one here or anywhere else can tell you the chances of being stopped on entry to the US. Being taken for secondary questioning can and does happen at random: it's not just for those who look 'suspicious'

It is entirely up to you whether you apply for a visa or decide to take a chance with the ESTA.

You have plenty of time to mull this over. At present no UK citizen is allowed to enter the US and the embassy & consulate are not dealing with any visa applications or appointments. When that restriction is lifted there will, inevitably, be a flood of applications and it will take a substantial amount of time for the process to return to its normal speed.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-May-2020, 19:44 GMT by leics2 ]

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