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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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991. Posted by bigjack (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

About a year ago, i received a simple caution for possession of cocaine.

I'm in a bit of a dilemma now, i would like to take my kids to Disney land, also, i may need to go over to the US to work for a week, on more than one occasion.

I've read that if I'm going for holidays, i could just wing it and tick N on the esta, but as i may have to go for work, I'm thinking i should do this properly.

What type of visa should i apply for?
How long does a visa last and cost?
How long does it take to get an interview?
Is there any prep anyone can suggest?
Has anyone been successful, or if you have failed, why?
If you get an interview, what docs should you take?
If you get a visa, can they still turn you away?
How soon should i wait before i apply? (been a year since caution)

Funny how you never wanted to go to the US before, or weren't too concerned, and know you know you cant, its at the forefront of your mind.

Thanks for your help.

P.S. I'm from the UK.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jun-2015, at 16:27 by bigjack ]

992. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!


993. Posted by tommybhoy (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,
First time poster, I have spent over an hour reading these threads and since a lot of the answers and replies are up to 8 years old I was just hoping for a bit of advice ( CheersT) I know you have been helpfull and have reffered people back to previous replies but as I said they are now years old so perhaps the rules have changed since then so I apologise in advance if it seems like the same old question.
Basically i have a few minor drink driving offences and an assault charge for which i received 40 months imprisonment for (not proud of it but its a long and complicated story), I had never been imprisoned before but i have only been out now for 6 months, if i was to go with the esta and say no do you think because it was a violent crime I had been imprisoned for would flag me up or is it only if it's serious drug offences and/or terrorist offences that flag up, again thanks for your time and hope to hear back from you, and if the previous posts you reffer people back to was more recent then i would go with them, cheerz.

994. Posted by handsy123 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!


Another question for Cheers T as he looks like the best to ask.

I was charged with affray 4 years ago. 150 hours community service and a fine.

Affray isn't down as moral turpitude so would I be ok to click No when applying.
A lot of people seem to have gone no and got away with it.


995. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

tommybhoy & handsy123... as with almost all questions regarding Visas neither of you mention the single most important piece of information - your nationality - but I'll assume you're UK.

See Reply #982 from a week ago.

Good luck.


996. Posted by jetset2015 (Budding Member 9 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Does anyone have any idea what sort of drug tests that you would be sent for if requested by the embassy? Wondering whether a particular test is used as standard i.e. urine, blood or even hair?

997. Posted by Noworrymore (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Just want to share a exsperience , so I am a UK citizen I traveled on Friday to the USA Chicago , there was a big security check day aswell I am staying in the USA for 2 months. I got my esta i got in the line was really nervous but stayed confident I did get stopped I got put into a customs border protection room there was loads of people there I was like dam but he asked me to go into a room asked all my purposes and I told him made it clear it is only a holiday and I had funds in cash and in bank cards to support my stay and after that he told me to go back into the room and he gave me my passport back and said welcome to the USA yes I do have criminal records but not for moral turpitude I do believe they possibly saw it because he was on his computer a while I think they are mainly not wanting people to come work and high criminals the people who get stopped and questioned about criminal records iver look abit risky or are high criminals that would be a danger to the United States , stop worrying and enjoy your trip teddy has been great on this and covered everything people need to apply for the appropriate visa or just go hoprfully this post would of finally stopped all them worrying heads and to just relax and have a great trip and hopefully it gives you a rest from this nonsense that has been covered over and over

Thank you

998. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 211 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Jetset - all evidence I've found points to urine or blood. So relax about the hair one... That's the real bastard as it shows up for months.

Id go have a hair cut just in-case though - drug residue stays in the tip not the root.

999. Posted by Samg1932 (Budding Member 5 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!


I'm intending to travel to the U.S. on 1st July this year (2015) and I have a record of theft (£6,000) from my employer back in 2010. I received a fine and paid the money back plus 150 hours community service. I have successfully applied for the waiver of ineligibility on my B1/B2 visa and have filled out all the necessary paperwork including the ACPO certificate, etc. I have funds to support my intended 6 month stay plus a good sponsor and decent enough ties to bring me back home. I was wondering if anybody has any idea of what to expect at border control? As I'm very aware that a visa doesn't allow one into the country itself. I'm from the UK.



1000. Posted by travelman99 (Respected Member 211 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi Samg

Firstly... be honest when you fill out your landing card, ensure you tick all the right boxes highlighting arrest (i assume you were arrested and convicted?).

If you do get pulled aside then be armed with everything you took to the consulate, proof of earning/ties to the UK/demonstration of rehabilitation/address of where you will be staying and why. Call them Sir/Mam and if questioned severely do not react in a discourteous manner.

Ultimately - you need to prove, as you did at the consulate, that you aren't as much as a danger to the US as their own citizens... (#cynic)

A question for you, how long did you get on your Waiver of inadmissibility? 1 year? I ask, because i'm just about to apply for mine at the consulate, seeing the lawyer this week to understand what will give me the best chance of success (caution for attempt to possess a controlled substance).

Kind regards