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Entering the USA with old (20yrs) convictions

Travel Forums North America Entering the USA with old (20yrs) convictions

1. Posted by jemimaj (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


well like many others I made some mistakes in my past and got criminal convictions for the most shameful thing ever - soliciting. This was back in the year 1991 and I have done nothing since.

I have scared myself whitless with all the information on the internet and know that I am not eligible under the visa waiver form so will need to visit the embassay in London which is fine. I have no issues applying for the visa, am just worried that I won't get a visa and if I did what would happen when I got the states immigraton control?

I have read so many horror stories about people being held and refused entry even though they have a valid visa from the embassay and it is worrying me to death as I am only going for a week's holiday after all....

I have also just read that I need some form from my local police station to take with me to get the visa, would I need to take that to the states and show it on entry if I am deemed entry that is?

There are so many questions that I simply can't find answers to....sorry....I am the sort of person that likes to have all the boxes checked and things in place before I go anywhere....anal I maybe but I so want this holiday and don't want to risk being deported before I arrive!

If anyone can help in the slightest then I will be so grateful to you....

Many thanks


2. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Why not cut out all the middle management and call the port of entry you are thinking of entering at and talk to some one who actually works as a customs agent at the border, tell them your story and they will tell you what you need to know.these border agents can be very friendly and informative and could save you a lot of time and disappointment by telling you up front that you have no chance or fill out a certain form and no problem....

3. Posted by jemimaj (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


Thanks for the response - while I agree in whole with what you are saying I am just not sure that homeland security would appreciate me ringing me up to discuss this matter with them! I am quite sure I would be pointed to the US embassay in London to apply for a visa which is what I items to do. I just do not want to waste my time flying to the US if I am going to be turned around before getting through border control understandably!

I hope that there are other people out there who have made past mistakes and can give me some assurance they won't always be held against me so to speak - any help would be appreciated on this matter.

Thanks for reading


[ Edit: Edited on 10-Oct-2010, at 14:51 by jemimaj ]

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

For a minor infraction, nobody gets turned away at the border--although you probably need to check the box on the form that asked if you were ever arrested, since apparently they do have access to all the UK arrest/conviction records. It is only the major crimes that cause you to get deported;--these involve anything that involved jail time of a year or more and include also trying to enter on an invalid or fake visa/passport.

I hope you enjoy your time in the US.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Oct-2010, at 18:40 by Calcruzer ]