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Do i need a visa to visit the U.S.A?

£0.00 @ visa
Hello Im thinking of taking a trip for a few weeks in america in the summer next year and i would just like to get some information from anyone who can help. I last went to America in 2006 but s… Read More
bigjohn123 Avatar
7y, 6m agoPosted 7 years, 6 months ago
Hello

Im thinking of taking a trip for a few weeks in america in the summer next year and i would just like to get some information from anyone who can help.

I last went to America in 2006 but since then i have been given a criminal conviction. I didn't go to prison or get community service or a fine or anything like that but i was given a conditional discharge for 2 years, so in 2011 aslong as i haven't breached the conditions the conviction will become spent and i will no longer have a record.

In the meantime will i need to apply for a visa when traveling to America because of this? If so how would i go about getting one and how long does it take on average?
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bigjohn123 Avatar
7y, 6m agoPosted 7 years, 6 months ago
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banned#2
If you have a criminal conviction then you are not eligible for the visa waiver program and will have to visit the US Embassy to obtain your visa

http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
#3
I was talking to someone who has more than a few convictions and they said they have never had to go to the embassy and they visit the U.S usually once a year..
banned#4
bigjohn123
I was talking to someone who has more than a few convictions and they said they have never had to go to the embassy and they visit the U.S usually once a year..


on the sly no doubt

if you want to stay above board then look at the link I posted above

should have all the info you need
#5
Seems a bit much having to go all the way to london for it
banned#6
bigjohn123
Seems a bit much having to go all the way to london for it


Their country, their rules

dont like it, dont go!
#7
dimebars
Their country, their rules

dont like it, dont go!


Calm down i didn't know you were the sheriff of America.

It seems a bit much having to travel from one end of the country to the other for an interview
banned#8
bigjohn123
Calm down i didn't know you were the sheriff of America.

It seems a bit much having to travel from one end of the country to the other for an interview


I am not - that job doesnt exist

like i said its their rules - no amount of bleating can change that. Blame Bin Laden
#9
Ive been doing a bit more reading about it and a lot of people are saying that if you declare it to the U.S embassy and they say no then your done for but if you're not a terrorist or have big drugs convictions then just going anyway and not declaring it will get you in the country.

If i did this and went into the country and put no on the "have you been arrested" form you get on the plane and then wanted to move to america in years time when i would actually need a visa would they be able to find out i lied even though my conviction would have been spent by then?
banned#10
bigjohn123
Ive been doing a bit more reading about it and a lot of people are saying that if you declare it to the U.S embassy and they say no then your done for but if you're not a terrorist or have big drugs convictions then just going anyway and not declaring it will get you in the country.

If i did this and went into the country and put no on the "have you been arrested" form you get on the plane and then wanted to move to america in years time when i would actually need a visa would they be able to find out i lied even though my conviction would have been spent by then?


It depends on how much digging the Dept of Homeland Security do when you arrive

Customs takes forever to pass through when you arrive in the States. If you lie on the visa waiver form and the catch you at Customs, you wont even see America other than from the plane window as they punt you straight back.

If this occurs then you can probably forget about getting a Visa to live there
#11
bigjohn123
Ive been doing a bit more reading about it and a lot of people are saying that if you declare it to the U.S embassy and they say no then your done for but if you're not a terrorist or have big drugs convictions then just going anyway and not declaring it will get you in the country.

If i did this and went into the country and put no on the "have you been arrested" form you get on the plane and then wanted to move to america in years time when i would actually need a visa would they be able to find out i lied even though my conviction would have been spent by then?


You're asking how to evade visa requirements and illegally enter a country on a shopping forum?
banned#12
but he cant be bothered going for the interview!!

have some sympathy!
#13
dimebars
It depends on how much digging the Dept of Homeland Security do when you arrive

Customs takes forever to pass through when you arrive in the States. If you lie on the visa waiver form and the catch you at Customs, you wont even see America other than from the plane window as they punt you straight back.

If this occurs then you can probably forget about getting a Visa to live there


Its pretty confusing all of the information on the homeland security website, i pled guiilty to two convictions for the same offence and it was before i was 18. I dont know if that matters or not because theres a section that says something about crimes comminted under the age of 18 and one that says something about multiple offences.

(ii) Exception.-Clause (i)(I) shall not apply to an alien who committed only one crime if-

(I) the crime was committed when the alien was under 18 years of age, and the crime was committed (and the alien released from any confinement to a prison or correctional institution imposed for the crime) more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States, or

(II) the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the alien was convicted (or which the alien admits having committed or of which the acts that the alien admits having committed constituted the essential elements) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the alien was convicted of such crime, the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months (regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately executed).

(B) Multiple criminal convictions.-Any alien convicted of 2 or more offenses (other than purely political offenses), regardless of whether the conviction was in a single trial or whether the offenses arose from a single scheme of misconduct and regardless of whether the offenses involved moral turpitude, for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more is inadmissible.
#14
Where are you? Might be easier going to belfast to the Embassy there. A workmate did it with a cheap easyjet deal, there and back in a day. Not worth the risk of not declaring it, you could step of the plane and be refused entry.

P.S. what did you do :whistling:
banned#15
id read the under 18 bit as

If you did it more than 5 years ago and you were under 18

not

If you did it more than 5 years ago OR were under 18
#16
Do you think if i rang then embassy i could advise them of ym situation and get some advice from them, rather than me trekking to belfast or london just to get a no stamp and then being banned from the U.S.
#17
bigjohn123
Do you think if i rang then embassy i could advise them of ym situation and get some advice from them, rather than me trekking to belfast or london just to get a no stamp and then being banned from the U.S.


Defiantly, give them a ring.
#18
Cheers will do, id rather get the visa and be definetly allowed it but if i went there and got told i couldnt get a visa and wasnt allowed in the states id be pretty gutted.

The person i talked to who has convictions and goes to the US frequently said that all theyve ever had to do is apply for a visa and do some forms, no embassy visit
#19
A friend of mine visited America regularly, just living it up on an extended break. She would come back every 3 months for a few weeks to sort stuff out back here and see her family then return. Customs got suspicious, sent her home and she's been declined a VISA for re-entry ever since (3years+). It's cost her a fortune through the application process.
It'll be cheaper to spend time and money applying through the direct route as opposed to going all the way out there to be sent back and jeopardise future visits. I would imagine it would be heavily dependant on what you were convicted of.
#20
I was convicted of possession of a weapon and wounding without intent, i was advised to plead guilty to those because the judge and prosecution had both messed up and i had no previous, an excellent academic record and an excellent youth probation report and i was assaulted before my offense. Would those convictions lead to it being unlikely for me to get a visa?
#21
bigjohn123
I was talking to someone who has more than a few convictions and they said they have never had to go to the embassy and they visit the U.S usually once a year..


It really isn't worth the risk of being denied entry on landing.

Get the visa xxx
#22
bigjohn123
I was convicted of possession of a weapon and wounding without intent, i was advised to plead guilty to those because the judge and prosecution had both messed up and i had no previous, an excellent academic record and an excellent youth probation report and i was assaulted before my offense. Would those convictions lead to it being unlikely for me to get a visa?


I think it needs to be up to the embassy to decide but i wouldn't think it sounds good.

Never make a guilty plea!
#23
It was my best option really, i was told i would only get community if i pleaded guilty but i got a discharge because luckily i had a judge who saw what a joke the prosecutions case and witnesses were. If i had not pleaded guilty i was told it would go to trial where it would look bad for me plus i would have an annoyed judge as due to some complications he actually through out the case at one point which he shouldnt have done which could have resulted in him and the prosecution having to go to the high court in london, which would have been emabressing for them and it still would have gone to trial. He also took the extra time to deny the 'victim' any compensation what so ever, so i think that shows that what i did wasnt as bad as the offences i was convited of make it sound.
#24
bigjohn123
It was my best option really, i was told i would only get community if i pleaded guilty but i got a discharge because luckily i had a judge who saw what a joke the prosecutions case and witnesses were. If i had not pleaded guilty i was told it would go to trial where it would look bad for me plus i would have an annoyed judge as due to some complications he actually through out the case at one point which he shouldnt have done which could have resulted in him and the prosecution having to go to the high court in london, which would have been emabressing for them and it still would have gone to trial. He also took the extra time to deny the 'victim' any compensation what so ever, so i think that shows that what i did wasnt as bad as the offences i was convited of make it sound.


Going to trial is your right tho xxx

But, all that is just personal history of course :)

I was married to an American for ( way ) too many years. Your best bet is the embassy, and be polite and at all times courteous xxx
#25
Yes but as i had already admitted the possession and the fact that he had a scratch on his back that they were counting as a wound (i know how he got it and it wasnt from me) plus there was a witness that said i wasnt assaulted even though the guy had admitted it would have meant i would have probably been found guilty in a trial and that would have meant an automatic prison sentence.

Ive been intrested in moving to america in the future for many years and ive been reading that having a spent conviction here, which i would have in the years to come is still counted as a conviction in america. Wouldnt that mean it was impossible for me to get a green card over there?
#26
ClarityofMind


Never make a guilty plea!


Yes just lie even if you are guilty,great advice as usual there.

Just waste the courts time and taxpayers money,far be it for someone to decide to own up to their crime and take some responsibility for there actions when there are people with such disgusting morals to advise them never to plead guilty on the chance they will get away with their crime.
[mod]#27
If you can't get a Visa then remember...............for everything else there is Mastercard. :-D
#28
I think you should be fine for a Visa Waiver if going for a holiday trip:

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


From what you've said you would be answering no to that question.

John
#29
Johnmcl7
I think you should be fine for a Visa Waiver if going for a holiday trip:
B) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving [COLOR="Red"]moral[/COLOR] [COLOR="Red"]turpitude [/COLOR]or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?


From what you've said you would be answering no to that question.

John


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude - seems quite extensive.:?
banned#30
Johnmcl7
I think you should be fine for a Visa Waiver if going for a holiday trip:



From what you've said you would be answering no to that question.

John


Surely he would be answering yes?
#31
colinsunderland
Surely he would be answering yes?


yeah, violence would be included under moral turpitude xx
#32
Good advice here. World of difference between 2 week package holiday visa as opposed to visa to work or longer trip.

Son wanted to travel for a month in USA as a student last year, was convicted of drink driving the year before (plonker)

Sure contact the embassy and have a nice chat about your options. It will cost you a fortune, well over £1 per minute last year. Within 3 months, could not get a suitable date to go the the embassy which did not involve an overnight stay in London. Once you have a conviction, you go through a separate appt system where the appt delays are far longer.

IMO the details are deliberately vague, earns them more revenue. In the end, he did not go. Still cost a lot trying to get info.
banned#33
you can go 2 ways
either, take a chance and be prepared to be sent home straight away if they find out you lied
or go legit, but from what i've heard you are unlikely to get a visa
They are mega strict, and can refuse you a visa/entry even if you have been arrested years ago, even if you weren't charged with anything!

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/united-states

some more info there
#34
colinsunderland;7124298
you can go 2 ways. either, take a chance and be prepared to be sent home straight away if they find out you lied or go legit, but from what i've heard you are unlikely to get a visa. They are mega strict, and can refuse you a visa/entry even if you have been arrested years ago, even if you weren't charged with anything! http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/united-states some more info there


Sorry don't agree. With his offence, this did not constitute moral turpitude so highly likely he would have got a Visa. (it does all depend on the type of offence). The problem is it cost mega pennies per minute to even book an appt, cost of train / flights to the office, possible overnight stay. Just not worth it for him in the end. Take a chance, get sent back and be banned forever. We were probably too honest
banned#35
iglimpse
Sorry don't agree. With his offence, this did not constitute moral turpitude so highly likely he would have got a Visa. (it does all depend on the type of offence). The problem is it cost mega pennies per minute to even book an appt, cost of train / flights to the office, possible overnight stay. Just not worth it for him in the end. Take a chance, get sent back and be banned forever. We were probably too honest


I've known a couple of people get refused visa's as they were caught with some dope (personal use) well over 10 years ago. They were arrested, not charged, not cautioned, so no conviction. If thats enough to refuse a visa I would imagine it would be extremely hard with convictions!
If it were me I would probably take the chance though :thumbsup:
#36
ClarityofMind
yeah, violence would be included under moral turpitude xx


If you read the page above, it depends on the assault - this type is excluded:

Assault (simple) (i.e., any assault, which does not require an evil intent or depraved motive, although it may involve the use of a weapon, which is neither dangerous nor deadly)

Whereas this type is included:

Assault with intent to kill, commit rape, commit robbery or commit serious bodily harm
Assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon

From the description given of the offence it sounds more like the first case rather than the second.

John
#37
Couple years ago I went to the London embassy to get my 1 year student/work visa. Spent 4 hours in a queue, then had my "interview". This is what it consisted of:

"So you're going to the States, huh?"
"Uh, yeah"
"Studying or working?"
"Bit of both."
"Cool, here's your visa."

Couldn't bloody belief, I was ******** myself waiting in that queue wandering what they were gonna ask and the American just asked me stupid questions!
#38
Everyone ive talked to seems completely oblivious to the fact that you need to get a visa if you have ever been arrested. They have all travelled on visa waiver on got through.

I would be intrested if anyone has ever heard of anyone being stopped and sent home on anything other than a history of firearms and drugs charges? As they seem to be the ones they look out for.
#39
Many that have been arrested and go to USA for 2 week hols, sign the waiver on board and get in with no problems. They take a chance if it is for serious crime as stated above.

For those who definitely need a Visa for different types of trips, when you apply they ask if you have ever been arrested. Answer yes and you go on the list that needs special staff, hence appts months away. Whether it is a minor offence or serious, they don't differentiate at that stage.

We applied in March and could not get appt (at a time that did not need overnight stay) before date of travel in June. We knew he would get a Visa because Drink driving, not moral turpitude in their eyes but still make all go through the longer process. BTW the phone calls to make the appt and get more info came to £40.

No arrest and need a Visa, can get appt within a few weeks. You will still queue up outside, no mobiles, electronics or bags allowed so take a friend or you will be directed to payable lockers a few streets away.

Scandalous how they get away with treating people like that

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