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View Full Version : Going To Usa When You Have Been Arrested



101lizards
1st April 2008, 17:15
OK THIS IS GOING TO SOUND A BIT WEIRD BUT WE ARE OFF TO NEW YORK VERY SOON AND WE HAVE JUST RECIEVED OUR TICKETS THROUGH FROM VIRGIN,

WITH THE TICKETS WAS A VIRGIN BOOKLET IT TALKS ABOUT PASSPORTS ETC AND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TAKE..

IN PART OF THIS SECTION IT SAYS THE FOLLOWING:

UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSANCES (E.G IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED-EVEN IF THE ARREST DID NOT LEAD TO CRIMINAL CONVICTION) YOU WILL NEED A VISA. YOU CAN CHECK HIS AT WWW.USEMBASSY.ORG.UK

WELL MY PARTNER HAS BEEN ARRESTED BEFORE WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER (IN THE EARLY 90'S) JUST BEING IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME..HE GOT ARRESTED FOR 'ATEMPTED BURGLARY' AS HE WAS OUT LATE ONE NIGHT IN THE CITY CENTRE AND HIS FRIEND CLIMBED THROUGH A WINDOW OF AN OPEN HOTEL KITCHEN FOR A LAUGH, AND MY PARTNER ENDED UP GETTING ARRESTED WITH HIM EVEN THOUGH HE JUST STOOD OUTSIDE!, BUT THAT WAS IN THE EARLY 90'S...

HAS ANYONE EVER HAD TROUBLE ENTERING THE USA? WE WERE A BIT WORRIED BUT WE DONT KNOW IF THAT IS STILL ON RECORD ETC? IS THERE ANY WAY TO FIND OUT, WE CONTACTED THE LOCAL POLICE BUT THEY SAID THE TURNAROUND IS ABOUT 40 DAYS!!

WE WOULD LOVE SOME HELP! WE CANT FIND MUCH INFO ONLINE

Deedee
1st April 2008, 17:26
You need to apply for a visa i'm afraid, you'll need to get a criminal record seach from your local police station, linky for the form here, http://www.acpo.police.uk/

You can pay a bit more for a quick application, you will need a visa, OH has just managed to get an appointment in the Belfast embassy (london appointments were not available until after we are due to go)


http://www.acpo.police.uk/certificates.asp this is the better link

Raffles
1st April 2008, 18:11
Deleted - posted a link which was less use than I thought!

Note that, as far as the US is concerned, convictions never expire and arrest is treated the same as conviction.

Whether they have access to UK police records is, of course, a different point. Whether your friend would get through questionning by a US immigration offer (who will, remember, be fingerprinting and photographing you anyway as per standard procedure) without raising suspicion is another matter.

Note also that if your partner has ever entered the US before WITHOUT declaring this conviction, you may have even more problems if you declare it now because they will want to know why he lied last time.

sanmarco5
1st April 2008, 18:21
i never heard of this before. DH would like to go to USA (not for a while though, cant afford it) but he was arrested a couple of times as a kid, am certain it was before he was 16, so would he need a visa too? what about if he was 16, i think on one occasion (makes him sound like a thug, but was very easily led & in with wrong crowd!) he may have been 16, can verify that with him when he gets in.
Would be good to know in case we do go in the future
Thanks

Raffles
1st April 2008, 19:02
i never heard of this before. DH would like to go to USA (not for a while though, cant afford it) but he was arrested a couple of times as a kid, am certain it was before he was 16, so would he need a visa too? what about if he was 16, i think on one occasion (makes him sound like a thug, but was very easily led & in with wrong crowd!) he may have been 16, can verify that with him when he gets in.
Would be good to know in case we do go in the future
Thanks

See here: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/add_crime.html There doesn't seem to be a lower age limit, unfortunately.

pookienoodle
1st April 2008, 19:11
as others have posted he will need a visa.
He should have no problems getting one but he just cannot use the visa waiver scheme that most U.K airlines use(you just fill in a form on the plane)
I know some people do risk it but if you get caught they usually prevent you from entering the U.S ever again.

suffolk13579
1st April 2008, 21:07
It's only in the last couple of years or so, if that, that the police have started recording arrests (whether or not this leads to any action) on the police national computer. If your partner was arrested in the 1990s and he was not charged or cautioned with an offence there will be no record on the police national computer. There is no way the US authorities will be able to check up on him if he fails to declare he was once arrested. The only way he'd get caught out is if he gave the immigration officers reason to suspect he was lying (does he blush/stammer/sweat etc when questioned) and then admitted this was the case.

101lizards
1st April 2008, 21:44
just wordering how long this has been in place, i went to new york with my dad about 8 years ago and he's been arrested but never declared it and no probs.

what questions do they ask at customs?
i remember they are quite scarey, asking how long are you staying? etc

marmaliser
1st April 2008, 21:54
We did not get asked any questions at imigration a couple of weeks ago. Just stick your finger here and and look into the camera etc. Boring yes but scarey No.

Gavvy
2nd April 2008, 23:49
No one knows for sure if thy have access to our records, you could chance it - you could get deported.

It is probably too late for a Visa interview now- need to apply around 6-8 weeks in advance for an appointment.

If you were refused a Visa at the embassy then you can forget going to the USA at all.

far canel
3rd April 2008, 00:58
When I first went to the USA in 1980 :eek: Everyone had to have a visa, but this was via the postal route, it was only when the Europeans started getting bored with the Med and arriving on mass to the USA that the wavier program was introduced.
Also note, that you have to provide advance passenger information to the airline.

Raffles
3rd April 2008, 10:27
No one knows for sure if thy have access to our records, you could chance it - you could get deported.

As mentioned earlier, though, it is very likely that you will be banned for life from entering the US if this happens. As well as messing up holiday plans, this could have implications for future career choices / promotions as well.

Gavvy
5th April 2008, 19:08
As mentioned earlier, though, it is very likely that you will be banned for life from entering the US if this happens. As well as messing up holiday plans, this could have implications for future career choices / promotions as well.

I agree, i would personally apply for a Visa. As long as the crime does not come under the defination of moral terpitude (SP) and you can prove you intend to return to the UK, you should get a visa - but your best getting advice first!. However I can vouch for the visa process being a bit of a hassle - took me 8 hours to get mine, and a full day in london, and this was for a straight forward Work visa for Disney.

Irishsmurfy
5th April 2008, 20:24
I'm sure this is a daft question - but I know you're all used to me asking daft questions so I'll go ahead and ask lol!!

If you have speeding points on your license (only 3 :o) is that considered to be serious enough to need to get a visa?? I only ask as insurance companies seem to describe it as motoring convictions.

TIA for help!!

catkinz
5th April 2008, 21:50
Not sure about speeding, but drink driving is regarded as a police conviction not just a motoring one. Would this mean a visa application too? :confused:

amanda22
5th April 2008, 21:53
I'm sure this is a daft question - but I know you're all used to me asking daft questions so I'll go ahead and ask lol!!

If you have speeding points on your license (only 3 :o) is that considered to be serious enough to need to get a visa?? I only ask as insurance companies seem to describe it as motoring convictions.

TIA for help!!

If it was dealt with via the post and you weren't arrested then you won't need to apply for a visa.:)

Irishsmurfy
5th April 2008, 22:57
If it was dealt with via the post and you weren't arrested then you won't need to apply for a visa.:)

Whew - great!! Thanks for that - my mind is now at rest!!

catkinz
9th April 2008, 18:48
For anyone in doubt there's a visa waiver wizard you can do online (no personal details needed) which gives you an idea whether you will need one or not.

http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/visa/visa_wizard.html

Worth doing for peace of mind alone!

Merkin
17th April 2008, 14:10
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_Waiver_Program


Applicants for admission under the visa waiver program:

* Must never have been arrested or convicted for an offence or crime involving moral turpitude or crimes with a maximum aggregate sentence of 5 years' imprisonment or more, no matter how long ago. National regulations which normally expunge criminal records after a certain length of time (e.g. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in the UK) do not apply.

There is a definition of moral turpitude from the "United States Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual" here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

They can't check records so you will be ok anyway.

janedoe
17th April 2008, 17:31
I got arrested years ago but was never charged as it wasn't me, but never declared it when I went to the US 5/6 years later but we did have to fill a visa thing out on the plane over but was never asked about being arrested or anything, as I see it as not a conviction as I was never charged and don't have a criminal record.

NitWit
17th April 2008, 19:22
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_Waiver_Program

There is a definition of moral turpitude from the "United States Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual" here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

They can't check records so you will be ok anyway.

Very helpful first post Merkin and welcome to the forum :)

HELLO_KITTY
17th April 2008, 22:48
i just come back from new york and on the visa waver form , it only asks if you have been arrested in the last 5 years, and if it involved illial substances..there are only about 5 questions in total..have you ever commited genocide..etc

nohing to worry about, if you scan the passport it only shows a close up on your photo

shoppaholic45
4th January 2009, 14:34
Me and my oh are now looking at going to florida to get married. I have to apply for a visa as i have a conviction, how long does it take for the application. As our vouchers run out end of april and end of may.

pokerbabe
4th January 2009, 15:35
You need to phone the american embassy for an appointment which can made anything from 4 - 8 weeks away. Before you get an appointment you will also need to be in possession of a copy of your crinimal record, which takes about 2 weeks to arrive after applying for that.

princessa
4th January 2009, 15:55
I was wondering this too; we're planning on going away to Florida next year but over the Xmas period my brother was held overnight in the police station and was fined for being drunk and disorderly. He wasn't actually drunk and should really have only been fined for littering, but anyways... I don't know if this actually counts as something you have to declare, or if it's the same as a fine like speeding, littering etc, as far as I know he wasn't actually arrested, so I'm not sure where it all stands.

Deedee
4th January 2009, 16:04
if it were to appear on a criminal check (say if you were applying for a teachers job!) then you need a Visa. I dont think on the spot fines do....but best check hun.

Grace & Favour
4th January 2009, 16:26
Whew - great!! Thanks for that - my mind is now at rest!!


Should you now change your moniker to 'IrishSpeedy'?:)

shoppaholic45
4th January 2009, 17:24
Thankyou pokerbabe.

mhoc
4th January 2009, 17:36
Does this also apply to other countries like Canada, Australia and China or is it only the US?

Ladyshopper
4th January 2009, 17:40
I was wondering this too; we're planning on going away to Florida next year but over the Xmas period my brother was held overnight in the police station and was fined for being drunk and disorderly. He wasn't actually drunk and should really have only been fined for littering, but anyways... I don't know if this actually counts as something you have to declare, or if it's the same as a fine like speeding, littering etc, as far as I know he wasn't actually arrested, so I'm not sure where it all stands.

If he spent the night in a cell, then its almost certain he was arrested. However, if he had no previous convictions or none of a similar nature he could have been offered the fixed penalty ticket in the morning when he had sobered up, rather than receiving a caution or going to court.

patconn2
4th January 2009, 17:55
Not sure about speeding, but drink driving is regarded as a police conviction not just a motoring one. Would this mean a visa application too? :confused:

definitely need to apply for a visa for drink driving offence. DH had to go to London but got one no hassle.

princessa
5th January 2009, 11:15
If he spent the night in a cell, then its almost certain he was arrested. However, if he had no previous convictions or none of a similar nature he could have been offered the fixed penalty ticket in the morning when he had sobered up, rather than receiving a caution or going to court.

I thought that too, that if he'd spent the night in the cell he'd been arrested, but he says not. Though you don't know if he's just trying to play it down. Will have to check somehow, I've been for a visa in London before and it was an expensive weekend. I spent a few hours queuing whilst my poor husband was sat on a bench outside with a book as he wasn't allowed in with me. The actual process only seemed to take a couple of minutes. If anyone does have to go, take something to read!

Ladyshopper
5th January 2009, 11:55
Sounds like he might be trying to play it down!! :D

penfold
5th January 2009, 12:39
Does this also apply to other countries like Canada, Australia and China or is it only the US?

don't know about the others but def not for Canada.

kenziekoo
5th January 2009, 14:26
the rules have changed from Mid Jan 2009 anyway and everyone has to apply to the US embassy online before travelling to the US anyway - or sommit like that??

NatsDad
5th January 2009, 14:44
If anyone is travelling from Jan 12th onwards you need to complete the ESTA application before travel IF you do not already have a US visa.

Full details here.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

This replaces the green waiver form which you fill out on board and hand to the immigration official.

Emmamed
5th January 2009, 18:57
the rules have changed from Mid Jan 2009 anyway and everyone has to apply to the US embassy online before travelling to the US anyway - or sommit like that??


If anyone is travelling from Jan 12th onwards you need to complete the ESTA application before travel IF you do not already have a US visa.

Full details here.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

This replaces the green waiver form which you fill out on board and hand to the immigration official.

this is right, my hubby had an email about this at work, as his work does take him to houston now and again.

marionsteve
5th January 2009, 22:43
my husband lived in america for 3 years, until he got "sent home" was his words!! He had a girlfriend there long before he met me. We then arranged a trip to las vegas for our wedding, and he was beside hiself with worry, thats when he told me this little story... we were sat on the plane at the time.... I worried myself to death that we would get stopped or refused entry...... I am not saying ignore it, I am just saying that we were OK.... not sure that is any help or not.....

lordglenmore
16th March 2009, 02:12
Keep it to yourself. They are only really interested in drug convictions. Don't know why, they're chock a block already.