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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331. Posted by Tightrope (Budding Member 29 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

You don't need a visa to travel to Mexico from the UK and your caution will not stop you from having a great holiday there. Have fun.

332. Posted by Sally19 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Thanks a lot :)

333. Posted by cd091 (Inactive 2 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Not sure if this has been covered anywhere, don't think so, i also waded through all of this too...

Say somebody has a conviction and prison term for drug supply (non international). Served 5.5 months of a 18month sentence...has probation etc. but the offences occurred in France, however the offender holds a UK passport.

Any opinions on how readily available such information would be in a 'any convictions' "no" scenario. If someone was flying from the UK to the US.


334. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Impossible to say and opinions are meaningless.

Unfortunately you have several big strikes against you.... being a foreigner arrested in another country.... served prison time.... and last but not least it involved drugs and that's a big red flag too.... You could very well be on an Interpol or some other international database now.

I suggest you do some serious research regarding your record before you ever consider ticking "no" on any visa application...

Good luck.


335. Posted by cd091 (Inactive 2 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

thanks for the sound advice!

336. Posted by guesswho2 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I have read all posts but my situation is complicated as it is more about non- convictions than convictions:

When I was a minor I was involved in the following:
1)Caution under the public order act for displaying an offensive sign at a protest
2)Bind over related to section 5 of the public order act for swearing at a protest
3)Conviction for a public order offence at a protest. As such I was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in a Young offender institute.

From my research I do not conclude any of the above are crimes of “moral turpitude”, therefore I don’t think I have to declare them.

Now the following are more of a worry to me, however they are not convictions but arrests / detentions:

1)Arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause explosions. Detained for nearly 3 days in a police station and released after a CPC decision not to charge.

2)Detained under the terrorism act in a UK airport. Questioned extensively for 8 hours and then released without charge.

As stated the offences detailed in the first part took place when I was legally a child (I am now 40 years of age) The problem is the above non-convictions were in the last 2 years. I have done a police subject access request and everything I have detailed is shown.

Since my offences as a minor I have gone on to qualify as a doctor and practice medicine. My governing body is aware of my previous record as a minor, however they were very understanding and concluded I was fit to practice. Regarding the most recent thing, these were not an issue as I was released without charge and never convicted in a court. Despite this I feel the American embassy would not be so understanding? Would it count for anything if applying for a visa the fact that I work in a position of trust?

From the consensus of the post it seems the UK and USA do not share minor conviction details, but what about the nature of the things I have listed in the second part of my post (after all these are just arrests / detentions? I have to say whenever I go though British passport control they spend a long time starring at the screen when they scan my passport. Is there anything that could be on there?

I have recently travelled to other countries such as Russia and Iran without problem (although I was once detained briefly in Libya, but never found out why), however I realise the UK are generally closer to America and may share more things? Also what about the Canadian / American (or alternatively the Mexican / American border) if you cross that by land are things less stringent? I gather on a flight they have many hours to check you out before the plane lands, but at a land border how much scrutiny goes on if you drive through?

Any advice would be much appreciated as to my changes of gaining entry to the USA

337. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

My Reply #319 applies to your situation almost word-for-word.

cd091's situation was drugs - a huge red flag - and your situation involves "terrorism"... is there are larger red flag in existence right now? Obviously not.

There is no one who can address your concerns with any accuracy. The "terrorism" thing - even though there was no charge/conviction - can find its way onto all kinds of databases and if the US Customs and Border Protection gets even a whiff of that detention/questioning then you're screwed, period. No one at US CBP cares that you're a doctor now, that is utterly immaterial.

If you followed the letter of the law and came clean with all your info as the US CBP specially requires then I assume you'd be banned from the US forever, period. That leaves you with two choices: 1.) Lie, and hope your detention isn't on any database, or 2.) Wait until enough time as passed that you can wipe your British record clean, then forget it ever happened.

Either way, you're in a lousy situation to consider travel to North America at this point in time.

Good luck.


338. Posted by dash21 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

hello all,

i have trawled through this website and cannot seem to find an answer . . .

- i am going to US in april and of course like most on here have a criminal record.

what i want to know is, i have paid the appointment fee, given them my details and arranged for the police thing to come back, i have since decided to chance it with the esta, how long will it take for them to delete me off their database, as i gave them my name, address and passport number. but did not make an appointment.
some threads i have read say 6 weeks, but any more information?


339. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

No one can answer that with any accuracy either. As soon as you're in their computer who knows if/when it ever gets deleted.


340. Posted by muppet07 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

hi ,

i have the same probelm as dash21 above only i am going to Florida in 17 days !!!!!!!!!

did the same ,paid fee gave details didnt make an appointment , does anybody know what would happen if they did stop me , this is only the second time ive been abroad in my life ( bit sad as im 41 )!!!!, is it just a straight no and goodbye ? ,or so they look at each case ? i just left it too late to finish applying for a visa due to the wait !! i did all of the fee payment etc a about 3 months ago although i didnt fill in the full application form (d160?)

i know that the general concensus is to take a chance , its my choice but i just wondered if anyone knew what happened if i got stoppped at US customs ??????


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