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Old 17th May 2008, 14:45   #1
Business Man
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Visa's with criminal conviction

I'm hoping someone can answer this as i'm hoping to go travelling next year.

My understanding is you can get into the US still if you have a criminal conviction. people have been known to lie on the waiver forms and nothing as been done. i know your taking a risk but i know going through the propper channels wouldnt work in my case so its worth that risk...

If you flying into the US from another country like tokyo, i take it you will need to get a visa even being a british citizen or do you qualify still under the waiver program ? whats the scenario behind getting a visa in the US ? would they do full criminal checks on you ? or would it just be best to fly straight to the US from UK ? This would mean flying to NY which ive read is tough on security. Obviously this will all depend which way i start my world travel.

I've never been abroad before so i dont know the ins and outs of visa's and what they can find out about you.


What about countries such as china and australia aswell.. I've heard australia is tight on security and you require a visa to enter. has anyone bent the truth or lied about convictions when entering either of these countries.?
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Old 17th May 2008, 14:48   #2
Tefal
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So what did you get arrested for?

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Old 17th May 2008, 14:49   #3
Ironic Namesake
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I got my Visa for China in Hong Kong, I don't remember ever being asked about criminal convictions

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Old 17th May 2008, 14:55   #4
Sinque
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You arn't lying to your mum here, you're lying to get into another country with a different government. If anything goes wrong I hope you'll accept the consequences and responsibility.

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Old 17th May 2008, 14:56   #5
jonesy
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As long as it is not a major crime you should be OK. The police in this country have big enough problems telling the station 5 miles down the road who has criminal convictions, let alone having a database for the US to snoop into! There is a reason why it takes so long for an employer to run a criminal record check, there is no central databse! They have to go to individual police districts etc.

Just tick NO in response to having any criminal convictions, have researched this myself and nearly everyone gets through no questions asked.
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Old 17th May 2008, 14:58   #6
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In short I was arrested for possesing blank firing guns that was deemed as being able to discharg noxious liquid or gas... it was very grey area but still landed me a conviction under the firearms act. no one will want know when you tell them about that conviction. I know the US would laugh and think i'm some sort of terrorist so why give them that satisfaction
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Old 17th May 2008, 15:00   #7
"andy"
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if its anything to do with drugs your knackered

for some reason the US seem to be really paranoid about people going there to deal drugs :s

edit- oops too late
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Old 17th May 2008, 15:01   #8
jonesy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "andy" View Post
if its anything to do with drugs your knackered

for some reason the US seem to be really paranoid about people going there to deal drugs :s

edit- oops too late

what do you base that opinion on?
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Old 17th May 2008, 15:07   #9
Nash
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If you have a drug conviction the US will deny you a visa.
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Old 17th May 2008, 15:12   #10
jonesy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesy View Post
As long as it is not a major crime you should be OK. The police in this country have big enough problems telling the station 5 miles down the road who has criminal convictions, let alone having a database for the US to snoop into! There is a reason why it takes so long for an employer to run a criminal record check, there is no central databse! They have to go to individual police districts etc.

Just tick NO in response to having any criminal convictions, have researched this myself and nearly everyone gets through no questions asked.

This does not apply if you are applying for a visa however! only if you are using the waiver visa thingy, i.e. when you just fill out a slip on the plane.
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Old 17th May 2008, 15:32   #11
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But if they do a check and find out you lied, it's seen as a fairly serious offence by US immigration.

The worst that can happen to the op is that he loses the money he's spent on his holiday, gets sent home and banned from entering the US for anything from a few months to the rest of his life (I don't think they jail you for it*, but the time between the chat with the immigration officer and getting thrown on the first flight back is not generally much fun).

Australia is I think even stricter than the US at times, and has a much tighter border in general (it helps with it being a relatively isolated island), but i'm not sure how lenient they are with Brits.



*Although if you look slightly arab I wouldn't like to bet against the chances of a funky orange jumpsuit and a prolonged holidy in Cuba.

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Old 17th May 2008, 15:32   #12
malccy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
If you have a drug conviction the US will deny you a visa.

I beleive they will give you a Visa as long as you can give dates and places of which states etc you are going to.
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Old 17th May 2008, 16:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werewolf View Post



*Although if you look slightly arab I wouldn't like to bet against the chances of a funky orange jumpsuit and a prolonged holidy in Cuba.
that reminds me...when on earth is 'Harold & Kumar escape guantanamo bay' coming out
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Old 17th May 2008, 16:14   #14
big_white_dog84
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My understanding is that you could find yourself on the first flight out the US - whether it is going to Heathrow or Honduras.

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Old 17th May 2008, 16:38   #15
xarr
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I would give them a call and ask, the embassy people may be able to give you a more useful answer

http://london.usembassy.gov/ukaddres.html

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Old 17th May 2008, 18:13   #16
MrMoonX
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looking at the embassy website your gonna have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a visa, unless you lie under the VWP but then thats risking it
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Old 17th May 2008, 18:17   #17
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Quote:
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that reminds me...when on earth is 'Harold & Kumar escape guantanamo bay' coming out
I saw it while i was over there, not very good imho but its better than the first film
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Old 17th May 2008, 18:26   #18
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What exactly was the offence? If it is "gun related crime", probably no chance of getting in!

My understanding is that you have to contact the US Embassy before you travel and arrange a visa there.

If you enter on the green form on the plane that you have been arrested, then expect to be denied entry and retuned to the point of departure.

There was a story not long ago, about a woman who ticked the box on the plane. When she was interviewed in the USA immigration, she said she was arrested at a demonstration. She was returned home.

USA immigration is a very serious affair. I have seen people shouted at as they text on their mobile phones while queing!
Last edited by Pinter75; 17th May 2008 at 18:30.
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Old 17th May 2008, 19:18   #19
Energize
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America loves guns so probably won't care about that conviction.

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Old 17th May 2008, 19:59   #20
markk
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My friend is having to get a visa from the American Embassy in london and his conviction was for a driving offence. I would book an appointment and see them, it's not worth ruining your trip if you get caught. It takes about 3 months to get an appointment and costs around £80 iirc.
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Old 17th May 2008, 20:48   #21
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Old 17th May 2008, 21:03   #22
big_white_dog84
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IIRC you don't even have to have been convicted. I think it asks if you have ever been ARRESTED for a crime of 'moral turpitude'...which includes things like peeing in a doorway.

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Old 17th May 2008, 21:06   #23
Energize
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

"The first question on document I-94W for those visiting the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program asks:

Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?

No guidance is provided to the traveller as to which offences are included in the definition; the website of the U.S. embassy in London advises that a visa is required for anyone who has ever been arrested or convicted for any offence."

"Crimes not involving moral turpitude = Firearm violations"

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Old 17th May 2008, 21:10   #24
Amnesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sone View Post
I saw it while i was over there, not very good imho but its better than the first film
thats good enough for me...as i loved the first one
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Old 2nd Jul 2009, 10:12   #25
PraetorianXX
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Sorry to drag up a thread from the distant past, but, Business Man, did you ever get to visit the USA? I am in the exact same situation as you - I have a criminal conviction from 2005 for a technicality over the possession of a blank firer, and I would like to visit America. I owned a blank firer that I bought through a French website in 2001. I didn’t know, until the police turned up on my doorstep more than 3 years later, that the damn thing contravened the Firearms Act of 1968, Part 1, Section 5 (1)(b).

That part of the act reads
A person commits an offence if, without the authority of the Defence Council, he has in his possession, or purchases or acquires, or manufactures, sells or transfers any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing

A police forensic “scientist” deemed that the weapon was capable of firing CS gas cartridges. My barrister argued (but not strongly enough in my opinion) that the gas cartridges that could be chambered in my blank firer could also be chambered in a live firearm, therefore making live weapons illegal under that same section of the Firearms Act. Umarex make and sell these CS cartridges in common calibres:

http://jr-international.fr/cartridge...m_english.html

To say I was not amused is an understatement. I was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, a conviction, but one of the lowest forms of conviction, and a whole lot of hassle travelling to the States.

I’d be really grateful to know if you were able to get into the US and if you chose the full visa route.

Incidentally, I visited Australia with this spent conviction in 2007. The online/eletronic Australian visa application required for all nonimmigrants, at the time, didn’t require me to declare any convictions. I chose to tick the box to declare a conviction on the landing card, rather than risk ruining my holiday. I was taken aside for 10 minutes and I had to speak to an Immigration Officer and make a brief statement about what my conviction was for, when it happened, and the sentence. That officer then went and made some further enquiries and came back a few minutes later with my passport, and a nice stamp inside. So not too much hassle all in all.
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Old 2nd Jul 2009, 10:49   #26
Evangelion
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Energize View Post
America loves guns so probably won't care about that conviction.
This.

And they'll probably give him a free gun.

Nigel Farage on the 2010 UKIP manifesto: 'I didn't read it. It was drivel. It was 486 pages of drivel.'
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