USA Visa

    Three years ago I queued at the US Embassy for over 6 hours to apply for a travel visa because I had a criminal conviction. Subsequently they suggested that the criminal convictions were not relevant to prevent me from travelling, however, they then went on to suggest that as my parents were dead and I was on benefits I would be a ''flight risk'' and therefore refused the visa and put a stamp in my passport.

    My question is, if they have stated that my criminal record isn't a problem then I assume I can travel to the US with my new passport and the visa waiver programme. I am obviously going to have to research the matter further but at £1.50 per minute the embassy helpline is a bit rich.


    For the visa waiver, one of the questions you will have to answer is whether you had a visa refused before, and if so need to contact the embassy in advance.

    Yeah, the visa waiver you used to fill in has now been replaced with the same form you have to fill in online now prior to travelling, I have just had to do mine for our trip to America.

    The questions are the same as the existing visa waiver ]https//es…gov

    From Times Online June 20, 2008

    US to drop green visa waiver form next year
    Ginny McGrath The green visa waiver form that is filled out by Britons visiting the US will be phased out next year - it's the paperwork that has for years plagued travellers who discover it in their passport long after they return home.

    From January 12 2009, the green form is being replaced by an eletronic system, which will require travellers to fill in a form before they fly.

    The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) forms are available online at Travellers who do not fill in the forms will be barred from boarding an aircraft or vessel bound for the US.

    The form requires similar information to that currently requested by the green form: details of criminal records, communicable diseases, history of visa revocation or deportation and personal details such as name, birth date and passport number.

    Previously travellers currently fill in a green visa waiver form that is handed out by cabin crew on approach to the US. Part of the form is given in on arrival into the US and the rest should be taken by airport security staff on leaving the country. if this doesn't hapen, travellers must return the form by post to the US authorities, along with a letter of explanation and proof of departure.

    The US authorities say the new system is simpler: Once filled in, the data is kept on record for two years, so subsequent visits within that time do not require more online form filling.

    It is also intended also tighten security: "Getting this information in advance enables our front-line personnel to determine whether a visa-free traveler presents a threat before boarding an aircraft or arriving on our shores," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

    The new system applies to all travellers visiting the US from the 27 countries that are signed up to the US visa waiver programme. Those travellers without internet access should ask their travel agent to fill in the form under their instruction, according to the US Homeland Security.

    This should help you further, listing questions you are asked and what sort of criminal convictions can be a problem :


    This is a great website for posting visa/immigration questions:

    The US loves databases. When they stamped your passport they will have recorded the visa refusal on their files.
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