Travelling from the UK to the USA with a criminal record

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

  1. PistolKnight

    PistolKnight New Member

    Thanks for responding to me, Like I said, My ESTA was rejected it came back "Travel Not Authorized" So I can't just go on holiday and enjoy it unfortunately. To clarify, when I got my points it was when so called friends of mine had stolen a car and crashed it in to mine, having panicked and fled the scene at the time I ended up in court with them. It was 31 years ago and I have attempted to find out if I have a criminal record from that but the ACRO comes back with "No Trace" and the Court I went to couldn't help me. I have previously just said no to any convictions and the 2 previous ESTA's went through OK, the ESTA application form is a lot more involved this year and it comes back as "travel Not Authorized".
    I have phoned the passport office and they said to send my passport to them with a covering letter so they could check it isn't faulty (I presume they meant the bio chip) but they also said they wouldn't be able to tell me any details If there was anything on there stopping my travel. However I have already booked an interview with the American Embassy for a VISA so now cannot send my passport in as I need to take it with me in a few weeks.
    I'll phone the passport office again and see If I get a different response from someone else.
    I also went to Spain last week and back on Tuesday this week and didn't get stopped or questioned this time when I came back I went through the Bio-metric gate successfully.
  2. goodguy999

    goodguy999 New Member

    Yeah if your acro cert is clear it should be ok, buts its tough one.

    Our friend got stopped coming back from ibiza, sane thing issue with passport declared missing.

    So good luck
  3. uk benzo

    uk benzo أنا ليس أمريكي

    It could be that there is someone else who shares your name and dob, who is known to the US authorities.
  4. ZinG

    ZinG New Member

    Hi all,

    I've read all posts in this thread and I want to share my experience considering that it's still "in progress" so I will share another post once it's over.

    This year, for the first time in my life, I had anyway to apply for a B2 visa instead of an ESTA for my upcoming (maybe) holidays due to a law passed by the US congress in late 2015 that excludes from the VWP anyone who visited some countries since 2011, as well as anyone who holds a second passport from one of those countries.

    On the weekend before the week when I had planned to apply for the visa I was arrested for drink driving, with a low-ish breath reading (47) which anyway leads to a disqualification for 12 months that can be reduced to 9 if attending a rehab course.

    I work for a company based in the US, so I have deliberately chosen to be honest and declare my arrest in the DS-160. I agree with most people here who state that it's extremely unlikely, and probably even impossible, that such a crime shows up during any border check when entering the US, but my point is that if, in the future, I might be given the opportunity to actually emigrate to the US and work there, a police certificate would be required and at that point a past lie in a visa application might be a much worse fault, for the US border officers, than any drink driving conviction.

    The visa application was between arrest and conviction, so I declared the arrest details. However, the appointment at the consulate was after my court hearing so there I brought my ACRO certificate showing the conviction.

    As a result of that, I have been asked to apply for a medical test which luckily I could book for the same day while I was in London for the visa interview.

    The main concern for the US when there is any alcohol/drug-related arrest/crime is whether this is due to regular abuse/addiction and/or if the individual could put at risk the safety of US citizens. As I supposed, the medical interview focuses mostly on abuse/addiction and clearly a reading of 47 (which, BTW, does not show up in the ACRO but I brought with me the arrest documentation exactly to show that detail) can hardly even be considered an excess in itself. I accept that I was unfit to drive as different people react differently to equal levels of alcohol and this experience taught me to just avoid any alcohol prior to driving because "feeling fit to drive" is not a good enough measure for the purpose of lawful driving. However, if we exclude the mistake of driving, I don't believe anyone would truly "feel drunk" with a 47 breath reading. Even a "binge drinker" at a party would go way beyond that level if getting actually drunk.

    Long story short, after reading lots of official US documents about this topic, I believe I could still be granted a visa after my medical test but I am aware that most people with a recent DD charge do not get a visa.

    I will update this thread when I'll get a response from the consulate. I'm due to start my holiday in about a month so I might still have to cancel it just because I might not get any feedback by then.

    Whatever will happen, I'm happy I didn't choose to lie as that would be an indelible spot much worse than my recent conviction.

    If anyone is interested in another long thread about this topic, you can read Getting a USA visa (travelling to america with a drink driving conviction)

    Thanks and best regards,
    wiskey and uk benzo like this.
  5. chez123

    chez123 New Member

    Right here goes I've read a lot on here but not to sure my partner got done for theft a few years ago now he had to pay a fine but no sentence does anybody believe this may or may nit flag up when doing the esta and do I click yes or no the the criminal conviction question tia
  6. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    And so it goes on. If you've read a lot on here you'd know the answer. my suspicion therefore is that you haven't read a thing!
    pogofish likes this.
  7. chez123

    chez123 New Member

    how rude I ask the question as I personally can not find exactly what im looking for after reading a lot this question may have been asked before but im asking again as im not 100% sure as stated above plus his finger prints taken tia
  8. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    On and on and on and on and on.............
    pogofish likes this.
  9. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

  10. chez123

    chez123 New Member

    why are u guys still commenting on the same old shit then? why don't u just let people ask there questions with a hope of getting a decent response rather than being rude on others posts
  11. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    pogofish likes this.
  12. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    You can ask the question. Have you read this thread? because the answer is on Every Single Page
    pogofish likes this.
  13. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    I reckon you have a good case, sounds like maybe your passport has been linked to someone else (incorrectly or by fraud) or been cloned or something.
  14. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    I've travelled to the USofA with a criminal record. I had a retinal scan (or whatever that eye scanner does) at the other end, but had no problem getting in.
  15. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Sorry pogolite ;)

    I'm not trying to go to the US so don't really give a shite about the info on the thread!
  16. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    Ouch :p

    (don't worry, someone will come along and ask soon despite both of us posting it)
  17. peterkro

    peterkro Greasin' on American Express card.

    There's an easy way round all this,just don't go there it's a shithole.Since 11/9 and the fingerprint bullshit I've given up,going east to NZ is better anyway.
  18. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    In fairness, it really isn't a shithole. Granted, there are shitholes within the USA, but that applies to everywhere.
    I've travelled a bit of America, and there are are a lot of nice people there. To tar the whole continent and all of the people in a derogatory way is wrong.
  19. peterkro

    peterkro Greasin' on American Express card.

    Yes you are of course right I haven't personally gone back for reasons you could probably work out.I've had some great times in the US but a lot of it is shit (slightly more than three sheets to the wind post).
  20. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    My first ever experience of the US was flying into Boston, getting picked up at the airport by a neighbour of the friend I was going to see, then driven back to Rhode Island and another neighbour asking if I'd ever been to a baseball game, to which I muttered "no", then the following day, the neighbour arrived at the house with tickets for me and the girl I went to visit. We arrived at the baseball game and were shown to our seats, and asked if we were family of one of the team. Apparently, the seats we were in were reserved for family and big-wigs, and cost €300 a piece.
    I know you're talking from experience, but people shouldn't believe everything they see on TV.
    peterkro likes this.
  21. peterkro

    peterkro Greasin' on American Express card.

    I first went there in the very early seventies and the the first places I went to where the Watts and Compton then Sheepshead bay in NY it was great met many lovely and friendly people but it was spoiled by the oppressive and authoritarian immigration officials (I had a ten year multiple entry and exit visa) I could still get in with no trouble from Niagara on the lake but the idea of being banged up for decades makes me think this is not a good idea.


    Hi, I have criminal record drug possesion class A from 2014 given 12 month community order arrest , in uk arrested and live.

    I didnt know that you could just traveling to usa or canada and say no on form and get through and i started the visa application with canada now but regret it.

    Does that mean i wont be able to get through to usa now if i say no on form, as Usa and canada share information ?
  23. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    You'll be fine. Just wear a balaclava :thumbs:
  24. story

    story Changing the facts

    No need to be so mean.

    It's not their fault Urban comes up as some kind of wise-geek on the issue.

    Walk in their shoes for like maybe ten minutes. They're worried, and flummoxed, and people on here seem to know what they're talking about, and seem to be baby eating anarchists, and also, for some of the thread, seem to be willing to chat about it at least some of the time.

    It's not bizarre that they'd ask for help.

    Maybe there ought to be some kind of sticky thread about this, like there is about parking tickets on MoneySuperMarketDotCom. ( :oops: ) It does seem to be something that loads of people are searching for.

    @mods ?
    uk benzo and pogofish like this.
  25. ZinG

    ZinG New Member


    Theft is among the crimes previously qualified as "CIMT" and now regarded as "serious damage to property". See also Travelling to America (USA) - A detailed guide - Information Hub by Unlock - Online self-help information for people with convictionsInformation Hub by Unlock – Online self-help information for people with convictions.

    Therefore your partner is not eligible for the VWP. I am not either just because I visited a country after 2011.

    The "common wisdom", if wisdom is the right word at all, in this long thread is that no one will actually check your criminal record for an ESTA. Yes, indeed, that's the case for any Non Immigrant Visa. You could actually even apply for a full-fledged B2 visa with a DS-160, do not declare any arrest and, guess what, no one will be likely to bother your partner. Why would they ask for a criminal record if that popped up automagically in their powerful screens when scanning your biometric passport?

    However, beyond any thought about how bad, or not, it is to cheat, your partner might be one day in a position to be asked for a criminal record. For instance, in order to apply for an immigrant visa or to apply for a new job in the US.

    If your partner wants to make sure that he will never ever work in the US or live permanently there, then he might cheat and apply for an ESTA or submit a DS-160 and tick the box where he declares no past arrests.

    Otherwise, he can apply for a standard B2 visa and, if it's just for a holiday, I'm quite confident that he will be granted a visa with such an old, single crime. I am now due to receive my passport with a visa on it after going through a DS-160 application after a very recent DD conviction, I was convicted about 35 days ago. In the end I had to pay over £500, considering the medical test required after DD convictions, but I've been honest and I still have a chance to work in the US, or otherwise permanently move there, if I'll ever have a good opportunity to move to the US.

    All the best,
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  26. DaveCinzano


    To be fair, 1927 has been one of the most prolific posters on the this thread, and repeatedly helpful to the c.120+ people coming on and asking essentially the same exact questions. Maybe some of the people coming here should walk in his shoes for like maybe ten minutes and imagine how frustrating it must be to repeat the same, very straightforward advice for around the sixtieth time to some stranger who in all likelihood will never come back once they've got their info.
    1927, wiskey and pogofish like this.
  27. story

    story Changing the facts

    Fair enough.
  28. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    thread should get removed from google searches (imvho).
    trashpony likes this.
  29. patto69

    patto69 New Member

    On a slightly different angle, has anyone gone down the visa route and been issued with the 221g form? It would be interesting to hear their experiences, the interview, the waiting time on notification and eventually the outcome they got?
  30. ZinG

    ZinG New Member

    Hi all,

    I meant to update this thread some time ago and now the question from patto69 allows me to get two birds with one stone.

    In my case, both I and my wife left the embassy after the interview with a 221(g) notice each. This is standard practice, I believe, with a recent DD conviction like in my case, and with a second nationality requiring additional scrutiny since December 2015, like in the case of my wife.

    The great news in my case is that I have been granted a 10-year B1/B2 visa. However, my wife is still waiting for feedback and we'll have to cancel our holidays if we don't hear anything by the end of next week.

    Here's my timeline (more details at Getting a USA visa (travelling to america with a drink driving conviction) - Page 39 and other posts by me in that forum):
    • 2nd of April 2016: arrested with 47 breath reading
    • 4th of April 2016: submitted my DS-160 application for a B2 visa (due to a country visited after 2011, if it weren't for that reason I would have gone the ESTA route like I've done for my all my past US trips) mentioning my arrest (no conviction yet as it hadn't happened yet)
    • 18th of April 2016: convicted (12 months that can be reduced to 9 upon course completion)
    • 25th of April 2016: asked for an urgent ACRO certificate (late enough to make sure the conviction was included there, urgent to book the visa interview ASAP)
    • 4th of May 2016, morning: Visa interview (scheduled on purpose to be late enough to bring my ACRO showing my conviction rather than just the arrest)
    • 4th of May 2016, afternoon: medical test/interview (I was lucky enough to find an available spot about 90 minutes after getting out of the Embassy; I had with me my arrest documents showing the 47 reading, the ACRO only shows the fine and the duration of the disqualification)
    • 16th of May 2016: email from the Embassy asking me to send my passport to them for visa issuance.
    • 17th of May 2016: I send my passport via Royal Mail (the courier selected by the embassy would have been a viable option only if I weren't disqualified from driving...)
    • 23rd of May 2016: the Embassy notifies me that my passport is on its way home
    • 24th of May 2016: I open my passport and I see my 10-year visa on it!
    So, no need to lie and even if I had to spend quite a lot of money for the whole process I am now known by the US Embassy as a honest individual who might, one day, emigrate or otherwise work in the US. As I mentioned earlier on, more posts about my experience are at DRINK DRIVING IN THE UK. My user name there is "ZZTopWereHere", a somewhat sarcastic reference to Arrested for Driving While Blind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    However, if you have a second passport from a country mentioned in Text - H.R.158 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, then you really need to apply early for a visa. We were used to my wife getting US visas quite quickly in my home country when she still had only her "native" passport, and it's really surprising now that we have to wait so long in the UK when her main passport is an EU one. She did have to wait for quite some time when she applied for her first visa years ago, but then we've been to the US multiple times and the process was relatively quick.

    As a side note, if anyone's annoyed by updates to this thread, it just takes a single click to "unwatch" this thread. It's much easier than hoping for Google to remove this thread from their search engine, and I still believe quite a few people will benefit from looking at these posts.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Cabin crew84, patto69 and editor like this.

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