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  1. #1

    Default Visitor B2 Visa & Criminal Record Question

    Hi,
    I am wishing to travel to the USA as a tourist later in 2010. I have one minor criminal conviction dating back 30 years and not involving imprisonment.
    I will shortly be attending a visa interview at the US consulate and was wondering what consequence the conviction may have on my chances of having my visa application approved? I have not committed any crimes since.
    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default

    That really depends upon that conviction is.
    Immihelp Support
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  3. #3

    Default

    The offence was "Seriously alarm and affront". I was young and stupid. The biggest mistake of my life. I have matured considerably in the ensuing 30 years. I consider myself a no-risk tourist.

  4. #4

    Default

    It really depends upon the consular officer.
    Immihelp Support
    No legal advice. Use at your own risk.

    Visa and Greencard Tracker

    Visitor Medical Insurance for your visiting relatives.

  5. #5

    Talking Convictions when applying for a US Visa

    Hi Guys

    I would just like to share my experience with all of you so you know what to expect if you are looking to get a visitors visa if you have a criminal conviction (for the possession of a Class B drug namely, Cannabis).

    I have a criminal conviction for the possession cannibas which occurred over 10 years ago (this amounted to a couple of spliffs). I had already booked my trip to the US and had just found out about the visa waiver form. I decided to do some research and check our what the feedback was on the forums. The majority of blogs were suggesting to just lie on the form and the likelihood would be that I get accepted within 24 hours of submitting the online application. However, the officials were saying the opposite and were suggesting to tell the truth and go to the Embassy no matter how insignificant and how long ago the incident occurred.

    I decided to follow the proper procedures and applied to ACRO to receive my Police Certificate. I then went through the process of contacting the VERY rude people at the US Embassy (at a cost of over 1 per minute). They sent me a form which I had to complete and return with the Police Certificate. Once this was returned they sent me ANOTHER form to complete - the form was so lengthy and it took me several days to complete as the website was constantly crashing. The information that is requested on this form in my opinion was ludicrous - they were asking for history of your education, work and all previous travel holidays.

    I then went to US Embassy on the day of my appointment. I felt confident that I would get my visa as I was following all the correct procedures and being up-front with them about my history. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE - THE APPOINTMENT WAS SHAMBOLIC, THE STAFF WERE RUDE AND THEY MADE YOU HANG AROUND FOR A WHOLE DAY. My appointment was at 9am but I was one of the last people to be seen at 3pm. During my so called 'interview' all I was asked is what I did for a living and how much Cannabis I was caught with. I was expecting them to be a bit understanding about the fact that this incident occurred in my early teens and discuss that I have not been in any trouble since then. I have a very senior postion with one of the top 200 companies in the UK. This incident was a stupid one which occurred when I was young. However, the official was not interested in any kind of explanation from me. There was hardly any eye contact or human kindness!

    After my dreaded and inhumane experience of dealing with the US Emabassy, my suggetion would be not to divulge any information if you have a minor drugs offence. IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT PAY TO COME CLEAN WITH THIS LOT. I can see why now a lot of people choose to go down this route. I do not understand why the US Embassy have made the process so traumatic. Surely, you would assume that they would want to encourage people to be open and honest and volunteer going to the Embassy to follow the correct procedure.

    The bottom line is no matter how minor your conviction is for drugs you will not be granted your visa at the interview. It will be sent to Washington DC for further approval. I was told that I would get my Visa in about 3-4 months time, which means I will not be able to go on my holiday.

    What you also need to think about when making the decision to apply correctly is what do the US do with all the information you have provided them. Do they share it with other countries? I have been trying to research this but cannot find anything - so if anyone knows please let me know?

    A colleague of mine was in a similar situation which I have just found out about after attending my interview. This person had already visited the US on a number of occassions over the last 10 years and had always said NO to the question about pocessing a criminal record in relation to controlled substances.

    He also, naively decided to follow the correct procedure and apply for a visa via the embassy. They point blank refused his application as he had lied on a number of previous occasions to gain entry to the US. He was told to apply again in 2 years and was also told if he did get his visa in 2 years he could then get arrested once arriving in the US for this offence. This does not make any sense, why would they issue you a visa only to then get arrested in the US?

    My suggestions are:

    If you have a criminal record and it is not in relation to a controlled substance simply complete the online waiver form. It only asks about controlled substances so effectively you are not lying.

    If you have a conviction for a controlled substance and you have booked your holiday, take a chance on the waiver form as the liklihood will be that you application will be approved. The worst that can happen is they will send you back on the next flight.

    If you have a conviction for a controlled substance and have not booked your holiday, don't bother going to the US find somewhere else, or take a chance on the waiver. Is it really worth voluntarily giving these people your information which they do not have and will only go onto sharing with other authorities?

    I apologise for the length of this thread but I only wish someoneelse had shared their similar experience when I was researching this subject.

    Good luck people!

  6. #6

    Default

    The question on the visa application form and the ESTA registration does not merely cover controlled substances- it asks if you have ever been arrested and /or convicted of a crime or offense.

    Failing to admit to any convictions can have serious repercussions in the future.

    It sounds like you are being approved for a visa but that Washington has to OK this- you havent been entirely refused.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    403

    Default

    Most definitly be truthful and admit to it, if they question do discuss in honestly and explain of what happened 30 years ago.

    It really depends on the offence and the interviewing officer - one cannot predit the outcome, note that not being truthful will have long lasting impact, believe me they can find out.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi,
    I have a court summons for 'fare dodging' for which I'm pleading guilty and I will get a criminal conviction for it.. I'm spose to be going on a compulsory trip to Berlin in March and haven't sent my application off yet because my photos were rejected..How badly will this affect the application process?

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    Hi Guys

    I would just like to share my experience with all of you so you know what to expect if you are looking to get a visitors visa if you have a criminal conviction (for the possession of a Class B drug namely, Cannabis).

    I have a criminal conviction for the possession cannibas which occurred over 10 years ago (this amounted to a couple of spliffs). I had already booked my trip to the US and had just found out about the visa waiver form. I decided to do some research and check our what the feedback was on the forums. The majority of blogs were suggesting to just lie on the form and the likelihood would be that I get accepted within 24 hours of submitting the online application. However, the officials were saying the opposite and were suggesting to tell the truth and go to the Embassy no matter how insignificant and how long ago the incident occurred.

    I decided to follow the proper procedures and applied to ACRO to receive my Police Certificate. I then went through the process of contacting the VERY rude people at the US Embassy (at a cost of over 1 per minute). They sent me a form which I had to complete and return with the Police Certificate. Once this was returned they sent me ANOTHER form to complete - the form was so lengthy and it took me several days to complete as the website was constantly crashing. The information that is requested on this form in my opinion was ludicrous - they were asking for history of your education, work and all previous travel holidays.

    I then went to US Embassy on the day of my appointment. I felt confident that I would get my visa as I was following all the correct procedures and being up-front with them about my history. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE - THE APPOINTMENT WAS SHAMBOLIC, THE STAFF WERE RUDE AND THEY MADE YOU HANG AROUND FOR A WHOLE DAY. My appointment was at 9am but I was one of the last people to be seen at 3pm. During my so called 'interview' all I was asked is what I did for a living and how much Cannabis I was caught with. I was expecting them to be a bit understanding about the fact that this incident occurred in my early teens and discuss that I have not been in any trouble since then. I have a very senior postion with one of the top 200 companies in the UK. This incident was a stupid one which occurred when I was young. However, the official was not interested in any kind of explanation from me. There was hardly any eye contact or human kindness!

    After my dreaded and inhumane experience of dealing with the US Emabassy, my suggetion would be not to divulge any information if you have a minor drugs offence. IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT PAY TO COME CLEAN WITH THIS LOT. I can see why now a lot of people choose to go down this route. I do not understand why the US Embassy have made the process so traumatic. Surely, you would assume that they would want to encourage people to be open and honest and volunteer going to the Embassy to follow the correct procedure.

    The bottom line is no matter how minor your conviction is for drugs you will not be granted your visa at the interview. It will be sent to Washington DC for further approval. I was told that I would get my Visa in about 3-4 months time, which means I will not be able to go on my holiday.

    What you also need to think about when making the decision to apply correctly is what do the US do with all the information you have provided them. Do they share it with other countries? I have been trying to research this but cannot find anything - so if anyone knows please let me know?

    A colleague of mine was in a similar situation which I have just found out about after attending my interview. This person had already visited the US on a number of occassions over the last 10 years and had always said NO to the question about pocessing a criminal record in relation to controlled substances.

    He also, naively decided to follow the correct procedure and apply for a visa via the embassy. They point blank refused his application as he had lied on a number of previous occasions to gain entry to the US. He was told to apply again in 2 years and was also told if he did get his visa in 2 years he could then get arrested once arriving in the US for this offence. This does not make any sense, why would they issue you a visa only to then get arrested in the US?

    My suggestions are:

    If you have a criminal record and it is not in relation to a controlled substance simply complete the online waiver form. It only asks about controlled substances so effectively you are not lying.

    If you have a conviction for a controlled substance and you have booked your holiday, take a chance on the waiver form as the liklihood will be that you application will be approved. The worst that can happen is they will send you back on the next flight.

    If you have a conviction for a controlled substance and have not booked your holiday, don't bother going to the US find somewhere else, or take a chance on the waiver. Is it really worth voluntarily giving these people your information which they do not have and will only go onto sharing with other authorities?

    I apologise for the length of this thread but I only wish someoneelse had shared their similar experience when I was researching this subject.

    Good luck people!
    hi.
    im in a similar position my esta/vwp expired by fourdays while i was still in the USA due to a flight cancellation.do i need to apply for a b2 holiday visa?it was because of a natural disaster.
    but if i do and need to go to the embassy for an interview do i tell them about a caution for a controlled substance in the uk 7 years ago?i was 16.i was only cautioned but i was arrested.it did not come up on my previous VWP and i had no problem getting in.will they do a background check in the embassy on me for a B2 visa?can they/will they find out?or will my B2 be easily obtained if i dont tell them and base the application on the fact that my vwp expired due to a natural disaster?

  10. #10

    Default Granted B2 visa with multiple convictions

    Today my husband had his interview for a B2 visa to go on holiday to the USA. After getting an ACRO certificate, making an appointment, paying the $160 MRV, gathering all the documents and filling in the DS160 I decided to do some research on the internet to see what his chances of being granted a visa were. I should explain that he had multiple convictions (6 all together including - threatening words and behaviour, drunk and disorderly and 2 assaults, he also received a 60 day prison sentence for the last of these offences, which was in 2005. He has had no involvement with the police since then - so 8 years). After researching on the internet I had no hope what so ever that he would be granted the visa. There are loads of stories about people being denied visas for only 1 conviction that happened years and years ago, so thought with my husbands history he had no chance. However I must say it was fine and he was granted the B2 visa, no recommendations, no denial, just granted the full 10 year visa! We were surprised and happy! Lots of the threads on the internet (and also many of our friends) said just tick the "no" box on the ESTA when asked if ever been arrested. Lots of people have done this and got away with it, however some people are luckier than others and it depends how big or serious the offences are as to whether you could get away with it. We were not prepared to take the risk of paying thousands of pounds to travel to the USA and get turned away on arrival and given a lifetime ban! We were prepared for being turned down and were of the mind set that even though it would have cost us a lot of money and people would say "told you so, should have just got the ESTA" that we had been honest, had nothing to hide and had done it all properly. We can now travel to the USA without worrying. Every case must be different, however I just thought a success story where the convictions were multiple and involved prison, might make anyone going through the visa process feel a little better unlike how I felt after reading some threads. Good luck.

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