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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641. Posted by john_logan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi Gemma,

Thanks for updating this thread!

I got my fingerprints & photo taken by troopers of the Palo Alto police dept 1.5yrs ago (I wanted to meet a silicon valley exec & sat outside his house for several hours). They were totally cool with me (no conviction etc). No criminal record otherwise

Do you know if this will have any implications in attaining a visa?

Many thanks

642. Posted by Gemma121 (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

From all the research I've done on this topic, as far as I am aware, if your "crime" happened in the US, then they have much easier access to your records. I have no idea if it will come up when they fingerprint you as it's their records they have you on, and not the UK. I only know that they do not have access to UK records.

Please someone correct me if I am wrong!

Also, it depends on what is on your record, as the question on ESTA is:

"Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?"

So even though you weren't charged, if it wasn't a crime of "moral turpitude" I'd assume you would be absolutely fine.

(Also, I'm just assuming your going to the US from the UK)

643. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

"... hey i live in canada and they do have shared information between canada united states and united kingdom if you have a record you will be denied visa..."

farshadtoronto @ #638... That is a very misinformed, sweeping statement that adds absolutely nothing to the discussion.


644. Posted by Sam1111 (Budding Member 5 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Gemma121 I was 'spot checked' last time hopefully won't be this time I know it's a roll of the dice and willing to take my chances as it's to late to get a visa now I'm hoping because I've been there before maybe they won't be so picky this time ...I know it's my fault what has happened I don't want sympathy as I made a stupid mistake over a few lousy quid!
But thankyou for all your help and advice and cheers terry your doing a great job.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Feb-2014, at 08:04 by Sam1111 ]

645. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Good luck, Sam.


646. Posted by Angel718 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi. I have read this entire thread… I really need help.
I am a british citizen.. 28 years old.
When I was 21 i was arrested and convicted for possession of cannabis, and robbery (I used a plastic bb gun so it was not deemed as a fire arm)…. In 2007 I was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for these offences.. To which I served 3 and a half years. .. I was released from prison in 2011… I have no excuses for my actions… I was a very stupid person. I was in a lot of debt at the time and at my wits end… I made a stupid decision which I regretted at the time and to this day…
On release from prison I automatically looked for work. I was honest and declared my convictions… Surprise surprise I was constantly refused employment… This stressed me out a lot as I wanted to put this behind me. So I decided to stop declaring my conviction. Within 2 weeks I was offered a job. I was so happy. I was working for this company for a year.. I got involved with a woman there and confided in her that I had been to prison (very stupid of me.. i should have kept quite)… Me and this woman broke up and she wasn't happy, so to get me back she told my employer that I had been to prison. My employer pulled me up. And to prevent any issues I resigned on the spot, so that there would be no back lash, and no outside agencies involved…. I decide I would look for another job and this time not confide in anyone at all. as employment is very important to me as i have a child now. I found an employer who did not ask if i had a criminal record.. which was perfect as it meant i did not lie because i was not asked. While with this employer I was head hunted by another company. I accepted the job as it was more money.. I finally felt like my life was going on track. On my first day at the new company i received the contract and proceeded to fill in the forms. it said do you have any convictions… of course i knew I had to lie. so i said no. it then said you are now signing to give consent to a crb check… I then shit my pants, but decided to risk it, just in case they didn't do the check.. in my experience a lot of companies don't do the checks, especially not in my line of work, which is recruitment….. 6 weeks later my boss pulled me into the office and dismissed me due to the crb coming back that I had a criminal record…. this was literally last month… I was so fed up. I'm a good man. I'm trying to live my life right but keep coming across hurdles…. So here's what I did.. please bare with me this does include travelling to the states…. I decided that I'm sick of worrying about CRB checks.. Yes I committed what is classed as a violent crime, even though no physical force came. I decided to change my name via deed poll… I changed my entire name, then proceeded to renew my passport with the change of name…. I paid for a fast track service which normally takes a week… The passport office sent me my new passport within 2 days. The only question they asked was why do you want to change your name.. and i said i'm an author who uses a pseudonym and i would like to now use that as my actual name.. There was clearly no problems… I then applied to a new bank provider under my new name without proof of address, so they gave me a basic account… which was fine. Based on my actions I recently had a CRB check done to work for a sales company and it came back clear… So I know my new name is untainted…… Obviously my finger prints are not as they were taken in 2007… My daughter really wants to go to new york to see her grandmother… My mother moved to america when i was very young… I too want to see my mother as she's recently been diagnosed with incurable cancer and she's too ill to travel herself…. I would die inside if I couldn't see her one last time before she passes away.... I want to travel under the VWP and of course I'm going to have to tick "No" to having a criminal conviction… All of this being fine…. But my passport for arguments sake state (fake names) "arnold swarchenegger"… but my finger prints will say "sly stallone"….. obviously going to the embassy is not an option because i will be refused….. My fear is getting on the plane having said no criminal conviction…. then getting to the biometrics device sticking my fingers in there.. then it coming back that i have a criminal record for robbery and possession of cannabis along with my old name which obviously will differ from my passport…. My actions have allowed me to get a job now with fear of losing my job… I've been out of prison for almost four years now… i'm not going to re-offend… I spent 3 and a half years in jail it was very tough…. What do you think will happen when I put my hands in the finger print machine? I'm sorry for the length of my post, it's just I couldn't find anything posted that was similar in terms of the name change and the type of offence also. Thank you for your time guys…. I'm so worried… But I need advice so badly…….. I so wish I never got myself into this messed up situation…. Crime does not pay

647. Posted by Angel718 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I meant to write …"My actions have allowed me to get a job now without fear of losing my job (due to the name change)

648. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

There is no one who can give you 100% accurate advice but if you really have read this thread then you know that the UK doesn't not automatically share their criminal database for "normal" crimes.

Chances are you'll be fine, but nothing is ever completely certain. Roll the dice.

Good luck.


649. Posted by Angel718 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I've definitely read the entire thread.. i'm just scared that it all goes wrong. If i get turned back and just go home then that's fine I tried. But i'll be with my young daughter.. I'm just scared that I might spend time in a detention centre or some sort of cell for lying on the form. And I know I could just say oh well i'll stay home, but I have to see my mother. If I do go then i'll definitely update this thread and let you know what happens. I just pray I don't get turned away or have to spend time in a cell… Done too much of that already. But thank you

650. Posted by Gemma121 (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

From what I've learned from Terry and reading this thread as a whole, it seems that the US don't hold any sort of database of UK citizens fingerprints. When they take your fingerprints at the border, I'm lead to believe this is just so they have a record of you in case you commit a crime whilst in the US they can identify you.nThey do not take your fingerprints to then scan some sort of UK database.

Thanks for letting us know how you get on. I'm keen to hear more first hand stories on this kind of matter. Good luck.

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