Travelling from the UK to the USA with a criminal record

Discussion in 'New York/US' started by slish66, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. slish66

    slish66 New Member

    Does anyone know anything about going through usa customs from the uk, with a criminal record?
    We have had a holiday to america booked for months, and now with 3 weeks to go have found out that if you have a record , no matter how minor, you need to get a visa waiver from the american embassy in london.
    One of the ppl im travelling with has a record for shoplifting last year, although she didnt get fined, just a telling off basically.
    We have been in touch with the embassy who have said they cannot do anything in 3 weeks.
    there are a group of us going ( its a family holiday). and it would be really upsetting to have to cancel at this point, also we would lose a lot of money.
    If the person with the record doesnt mention it on the i94w form you fill in on the plane, what is the likelyhood of anyone finding out?
    I have been in touch with a lot of ppl who say they have been, not mentioned their record and have been fine.
    My family are really worried about it, but a lot of people are giving me the impression that it is easy to get in and just not say anything. she has only ever commited 1 offence, and it is quite a petty crime.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

  3. D

    D Well-Known Member

    The authorities in the US aren't interested in harboring petty criminals, only the big'guns. Sorry.

  4. Buds and Spawn

    Buds and Spawn ...if I can't dance...

    HTF do they know if you've had a minor telling off???

    I can see how serious crime or prescribed public order offences etc.. can make it onto the databases... but not everything surely....
  5. Nlogax

    Nlogax Mr Unpronounceable

    I think the whole thing of having to file for a visa regardless of the crime is utterly pointless. Am pretty damned certain that the INS / BCIS / whatever-US-Immigration-call-themselves-this-week really don't check I94Ws all that much.

    Just try not to look too nervous / shifty through immigration, you'll be fine I'm sure.
  6. jay1978

    jay1978 Well-Known Member

    the guidlines for the form state "arrested and/or convicted for moral turpitude"
    which is a very wide definition which is constantly changing. just play ignorant and say they didnt think shopliftting is moral turpitude. thats if they even know anything at all. best bet is to keep quiet.
    i went over in janaury whilst on bail, but they didnt know. just got to keep relaxed and polite and friendly. they were more interested in the pataks sauce i'd taken over with me.
  7. slish66

    slish66 New Member

    thanks ppl

    :) Thanks for replying ppl. I didnt think it would be that much of a big deal either, but the travel agent has advised us not to go, i suppose that is just to cover themselves really. Lol @ the pataks sauce.
  8. Jessiedog

    Jessiedog Keeping the faith.

    That's the way everybody else does it ;) .

    If they do pick-out the person at immigration and run a thorough check then they are fucked - immediate deportation and NEVER allowed in again.

    How likely is that to happen?

    That's the question you have to ask yourself, punk. "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya?



    USVISA New Member

    After a much stress, scouring the internet to find out whether I would get a VISA for the US I've now been through this whole process and have a visas

    I have a conviction for Drink Dirving and hence cannot take advantage of the Visa Waiver program. I originally considered: Should I risk going anyway and lie on the forms you have to fill out when you arrive in the US?

    Well the answer is: You will get caught. The UK and US share information that declares whether you have a criminal record. This data exchange programme has identified more 20,000 individuals arriving in the US that have criminal reocrds but decide to risk it. Attempts like this result being put on the next flight back.

    I sent of for the required subject access statement. This took four weeks. The docment contains:
    Arrrests, Charges, convictions, Sentences - fines/custodial/community service

    It does not contain the details of any criminal activity.

    Things to consider that aren't on the US embassy website:
    Do you own a property?
    What is your occupation and how long have you been doing it?
    What is your annual salary?
    These questions are used to assess whether you are likely to return to the UK after entering the US. This is particularly a concern when issuing long visas - up to ten years.

    I flew to belfast to avoid the london queues. I was in and out in 40 minutes and got my passport back the next day.
  10. axon

    axon Happy hour abuser

    Do you have a link for this figure? I'd been interested where it came from.
  11. malkyboy

    malkyboy New Member

  12. guinnessdrinker

    guinnessdrinker political refugee R.I.P.

    the question is: who are you? you call yourself usvisa and funny enough your first post is on us visas...

    I seriously don't think that us immigration services are greatly concerned about drink driving offences, unless they suspect you of something else and they could possibly use it as an excuse.
  13. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I have a feeling that a police caution for shoplifting (ie never got to court) will be OK.
  14. Jessiedog

    Jessiedog Keeping the faith.


    Don't declare it.

    Or be prepared to be spammed by USBOY.


  15. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    I'd claim ignorance saying that I didn't know what "moral turpitude" was, and I'd be telling the truth :oops: :D
    Nn444 likes this.
  16. sayjann3

    sayjann3 Banned Banned

    Your friend will be fine. They have their own hot list. That is made up of Interpol fugitives, people on international arrest warrants, people the US are specifically looking for ie like terrorists.

    Think about it, they do not have access to the Police National Computer for the UK or indeed for all the other European countries..

    DONT tell them...

    You will be fine.

    tomjon likes this.
  17. Melinda

    Melinda Kama roa, efshar livloa?

    Is this level of information sharing reciprocal?

    How many US 'degenerates' get into the UK? Ok Snoop copped it last month, but how many other Americans get turned around at the airport after being told that "we have enough crims of our own?"
  18. Kaka Tim

    Kaka Tim Crush the Saboteurs!

    Hmmm - Ive got convictions for theft from 1985. Im hoping to go to the states next year. If i decleared it on my visa application would it get turned down?
  19. Pip

    Pip Well-Known Member

    Hold ON, they take your passport away from you at immigration? But what if you want to go out binge drinking that night? :(
  20. rachamim18

    rachamim18 Banned Banned

    With a criminal record from any other nation you can forget it. No admittance, even for most so called misdemeanours. I am a dual American/Israeli and was returning home to Israel just when the last war started. I decided to renew my US passport as I only had a few months left on it and traveling on my Israeli passport is a big hassle and soemtiems dangerous. to make a long story short, I have a criminaql record both here and in the US. America tried to deny me a renewal! It is a definite hassle.

    As for a visa waiver, it is possible but not highly probable. in the current climate you will have a difficult time but of cours eit is worth it. As for going and not tellking about it when asked in Customs, it is possible as well but a huge finacial pain if unsiccessful.

    I would say that with the situation you mentioned she could proably get in but it is crap shoot, no doubt.

    Malkyboy: You should consider yourself very lucky. As well it would matter when you came as well. Alerts and so on. Alos port of entry is the key. Me. i would fly into Mexico and walk in. So much foot traffic at Tiajuana or McAllen.
  21. Jessiedog

    Jessiedog Keeping the faith.

    Very likely.

    Were it me, if I was going on holiday, I'd use the visa waiver and not declare it.


  22. art of fact

    art of fact wavvvey

    my mate in the same boat a few months ago he just filled out the form the plane and went through no problems
  23. havingamare

    havingamare New Member

    criminla record and travel to USA

    Hi great thread,
    I have major problem.
    Go to florida flying into Sanford in 3 weeks and just found out cos i got a criminal record i need a visa and havent got one (i really didnt knwo anything about it)
    I beleived I was clear of it after 10 years and it didnt matter so thought nothing of it till i checked out the VWP.
    Im in state of shock and so gutted as its a family holiday.
    Its not a petty crime (Drugs) and it was 12 years ago.
    My worry is the fingerprint machine cos they have the new 10 fingerprint system.
    What is this linked up to and what details does it hold and what details does my pasport give?
    Im to scared to risk it cos my family dont know about the convictions, and the fear of me being deported and seperated from my kids is making me ill, that ive made enquiries about cancelling, and i am going to lose so much money aswell as break my kids hearts.
    Any advise is gratefully recieved
  24. zoltan

    zoltan Transnistria festishist

  25. Genghis Cohen

    Genghis Cohen Minister For Scrabble

    So was prescott bush and klaus barbie, you should probably tell them, you might win a seat in congress or a south american country.
  26. havingamare

    havingamare New Member


    Well just to let you all know ive just returned from a holiday in orlando.
    i never had visa and i have drug charges.
    they dont know anything so dont waste money getting a visa spend the extra money when u having a great holiday
  27. tina12

    tina12 New Member

    uk to us with criminal record

    The following visitors will NOT qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and MUST apply for a visa to enter the USA:

    * Persons who have ever been arrested or convicted of any offence (excepting certain fixed penalty driving offences that did not result in a conviction). Note: The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply in respect of US immigration law - if you have ever been arrested or convicted of any offence, no matter how long ago it was, you must apply for a visa before travelling to the US.

    * Persons who have ever overstayed in the US, been refused entry or not complied with the rules of the visa under which they were present in the US

    * Persons who have certain serious communicable diseases or condition.


    If you need a visa…

    If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program you will need to apply for one at your nearest Embassy or Consulate.

    There are several steps you need to follow:

    * Locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
    * Ask about specific processes, requirements, fees, and make an appointment
    * Attend the appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with all requirements and fees along with ITS America’s invitation letter
    * Obtain the visa

    How to locate an U. S. Embassy or Consulate
    Please check U.S. Department of State Official website at:
    The UK is part of the visa waiver program, which means the USA has access to UK criminal records. If you try to enter without revealing your record, you will probably get caught and permanently banned from the USA, put on a return flight or go to jail. For U.S. citizens in the USA, Background search of criminal records are so easy because USA criminal records are public information. You can get an instant background check on almost anyone in the USA right on the Internet.
  28. rennie

    rennie m'enfin!

    They won't know unless you tell them
  29. Jessiedog

    Jessiedog Keeping the faith.

    What a peculiar first post.

    Bumping an old thread with SPAM.


  30. Miles65uk

    Miles65uk New Member

    It's a shame this person did not come back and let us know how thet got on.
    Mummybear likes this.

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