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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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491. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, for those interested, I'm just updating my husband Visa progress. A reminder : he has one charge from 8 years ago for possession of 150mg of cocaine and he is applying for a B2 Holiday Visa.

Process so far -

Applying for ACRO Certificate : 10 days
Wait for interview : 2 weeks
Interview time : 3hrs
Cost : about £150 (plus travel expenses)

He had his interview at the Embassy yesterday and as we already knew, he is inelegible for a Visa. He was lucky and had a very nice consulate (they do not treat you like criminals and are all very polite and helpful). It was explained to him that any drug conviction (unless less than 15mg of cannibis) will make you inelegible for a Visa so anyone with a query on drugs and visas - it's a definite no however I had everything crossed that he would be recommended for a waiver and he has been. The wait time for the waiver is 6 - 8 months and he will get an email saying comiserations or congratulations.

A waiver is purely for those ineligible for a Visa (so drug convictions and moral turpitude charges) and those who are all the three of the following:

1. are not a risk to American society
2. have strong ties to the UK
3. have more than 15 since the conviction

are likely to get the waiver. My husband only has 8 years since his conviction and could be what he fails entry on but I have read several posts and forums with people less than 8 years since the conviction still getting the waiver so fingers crossed. Should he not get the waiver, we will simply reholiday somewhere else.

It is common for people with drug convictions to have to sit a £200 drugs test but the consulate could clearly see my husband is not a drug user, and eight years ago he made a stupid mistake with the wrong friends. So it is important for you to dress smart (a suit and tie) and take supporting documentation to your interview.

Pr1988 as far as I am aware, assault is moral turpitude but to be sure you would need to ring the Embassy. They don't ask for any details from you.

I will update when we finally hear back from Homeland Security.

PS Also just to note, the consulate explained that should my husband get the waiver, he would not have to go through the whole process again and although if he gets this waiver it would only last 12 months, future waivers can last up to ten years.

Keeping everything crossed (I really want to see Minnie and Mickey again :o)

492. Posted by Pr1988 (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi Pink0783,

Thanks for your reply and i hope your Husband receives his Vis Waiver!

I thought that Assault would be a crime of moral turpitude also but according to this link from the US Government Website, a simple assault isn't.

493. Posted by dagobert0583 (Budding Member 37 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Lugor79

Saw your question and was curious myself about the answer. Did some research. Check this out:
Homeland Security

Depending on how serious it was, might not even be an issue... Tell me what you find out.


O Yeah its going to be an issue when the partner finds out there was something hidden.

494. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi Pr1988, thank you :)

I see what you mean but to be sure I would give the Embassy a call just to be on the safe side.

495. Posted by elsazzz (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!


Iv'e just spent the last two hours trying to read all the posts but i'm not the best in english.

The thing is, I'm from Sweden and last year when i was in the UK i was arrested for shoplifting, for about 250pounds (yes that was incredibly stupid). I was taken to the police station and had my DNA and fingerprints taken. They then let me go home, and all i had to pay was to the Loss Prevention retail. I didnt have to go to court.
I was upset, shocked and not very good in english so i dont really know if i got a criminal record or just a warning or the concequenses. I don't know how to find out if I got into the criminal record?

I have booked tickets to New York this july. I'm worried sick that i wont be able to get in the country.

I dont know where to turn to to get information about my case.

When your swedish, do they only check your criminal records from Sweden (wich is clean) or from other countrys aswell?

What are my chanses to get into the USA?

496. Posted by pink0783 (Budding Member 27 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

elsa, theft is a crime of moral tupitude, regardless of whether you have been to court, you were arrested and charged so you do have a criminal record.

'Theft (when it involves the intention of permanent taking)' (as stated)

So you would need to apply for a visa and as the conviction was so recent, I doubt you would get a Visa or recommendation for a waiver of ineligibility.

Your best bet is to call the Embassy as I have no idea how it works in any country but the UK where you would apply for a ACRO Police Certificate.

497. Posted by TaffMersey (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Okay guys. I will tell you my story and hopefully I can get the most accurate response as is possible. As I am now weighing up my option as I am (hopefully) best man at a wedding in the US in 2014.

Got charged with ABH over 4 years ago

Got sentenced with 1 month Prison time, served 2 weeks.

This will be on my record for 7 years, so 3 years left...2 by the time of vegas.

So, as Terry has said that minor convictions that didnt involve prison time do not need to be declared. I agree and you'd have to be daft to declare anything in my opinion. However mine IS prison time, only 2 weeks but still time.

So my question is, it isn't terrorism, peadophillia, drugs or any other that may flag is it worth me travelling to London to highlight my drunken night out 4 years ago to then get possibly rejected or just go and declare myself a saint.


498. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

TaffMersey, no one can answer that question with any certainty. There is no such thing as a guarantee about anything. If you've read this whole thread then you know your chances of running into any trouble are fairly slim but you are rolling the dice.

That's the only honest answer.

That said, read my Reply #269... it may apply to you...

Good luck.


499. Posted by dcamp (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Quoting LiamT

I have an interview at the us embassy on Thursday this week. I have a few criminal records for things such as abh, battery and theft off employer. I was just wondering what sort of questions I can expect to be asked?? And any specific things that are good to say in the interview?? Thanks

Liam it would be interesting to know how you got on.

My son wants to study in the usa but has a criminal conviction when he was 15, 4 years ago for battery and using offensive language, it is bad as he was not guilty but the solicitor told him if he pleads guilty he wont get a record. it's clearly on the ACRO report. However looking at the USA document it appears in the 'c' category of seriousness which is the lowest does anyone know how he will stand we are waiting for his appointment now. I feel he will be ok but you never know thank you anyone for your comments

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

Well an update on my case, my wife was taken to both magistrates and crown court for over-payment of benefits (Benefit Fraud)

We got back from Florida and we had no issues whatsoever went through smoothly :)

Thanks Terry and other members

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