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Criminal conviction restrictions?

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Did you or anyone you know travel while they had a criminal record? If so, which countries did you go to? Did you expericence any problems with getting a passport, visas, entering countries, working abroad..... because of your criminal record?
33 months ago, November 7th 2011 No: 41 Msg: #146563  
well since 2000 i have been to the states 16 times. then this year in 2011 i applied for my esta visa on the main website and it was approved. i then went to las vegas in feb 2011. i do have a criminal record for minor offenses. On the questioneer the only questions they ask or did ask before they changed it in october 2011 was about spying , guncrime,drug dealing,terrisom or help with esponarge ( sorry about the spelling) there was know where whatsoever on thier questioneer about any other convictions. When you print the visa off it also prints the questioneer off along with it. i did not with hold anything and my visa was approved both times. the last time o was in trouble was 1989???. This is complete maddness. This has been brought up on TV so i am told a few weeks ago and many people are now being turned away at the airport even though they have traveled before on an esta visa to the states. How does this work.Are they in the wrong. Surley they must be. Reply to this

32 months ago, November 8th 2011 No: 42 Msg: #146653  
I've been anxiously searching the internet trying to figure out if I will be able to leave the U.S. and enter Australia. I got an OWI in IN a couple of days ago and am waiting for my first court appearance this week. This is my first and only criminal offense. I have already booked flight tickets and received my passport for Australia prior to this incident. Does anybody, ANYBODY, out there have any advice or know if I will be able to enter Australia to visit over the holidays for two weeks? The court process takes a while to go through so I know that it will not be finished by Dec. 28th. I am unsure if I will need to file for another passport or what I can do? Please Help!! Reply to this

32 months ago, November 15th 2011 No: 43 Msg: #146994  
I applied for an Australian student visa and literally the next day my application was approved. The week after, my ex-boyfriend came after me in our home with the intention of physically harming me, and I grabbed a pencil and jabbed him so he would get away from me..long story short, he called the police after he'd gotten jabbed and I will probably end up with a misdemeanor (assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence) while he is of course getting off free. I never had any prior charges/convictions, and have never even been arrested before. My question is, since I am already approved for my student visa, should I mention anything to the AU immigration about the charges? Do they really check up on anything AFTER the visa has already been approved and once you're in the country? Reply to this

32 months ago, November 16th 2011 No: 44 Msg: #147000  
B Posts: 9,677
Hi Chelsea,

Welcome to Travelblog.

Sorry to hear about the problems with your ex. You say you 'will probably', so it sounds as though you may also possibly not end up with a conviction.
Although your visa has been approved, it can still be revoked at port of entry. I can't remember the exact wording of the questions on the immigration form - if it says 'convicted' and you haven't been, you don't need to say anything. but if it says 'arrested' you should. If in doubt at the time, declare it - you'll get a chance to tell your story.
Never lie to them though - that's the best way to get refused entry. Reply to this

32 months ago, November 17th 2011 No: 45 Msg: #147096  
Just got refused a USA visa because I got caught smoking marajuana around 20years ago. Can probably get a waiver but it takes around 2 months and I already have tickets and am supposed to leave in 6 weeks. Stupid thing is I'm going to Colombia and only have to change planes in New York. Reply to this

30 months ago, January 19th 2012 No: 46 Msg: #150619  
In response to: Msg #146994
best thing to is apply for the travelers visa not electronic visa may cost more but it will save you time in customs. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 47 Msg: #151576  
I might be traveling to the US this month for a company sponsored training. Just want to ask if immigration has the power to decline my entry to the US because of my unpaid debts (unsettled credit card bills and loans)? Are they strict about this, as well? Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 48 Msg: #151578  
Hello Glenda and welcome to Travelblog!

I think it would depend if the unpaid debt in your country results in a criminal conviction. If it does not, I would not think there would be a problem. Drug convictions seem to be the exception to this rule, any conviction recorded (whether a criminal offence or not) can pose a problem.

In Australia (for example) defaulting on debts or becoming bankrupt are not criminal. However, a bankrupt failing to abide by the bankruptcy regulations once bankrupt can be subjected to criminal convictions. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 49 Msg: #151598  
N Posts: 7
Hi all I have just been in contact with some family I have in America not spoke to them for 10 years how ever they want me to go over and see them but I hold a criminal record I have 3 cautions and a conviction for Possesion of cannabis has and one had an interview with the same changes and what was your outcome thanks for anyone who will give me advice Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 50 Msg: #151602  
Hello Dylan and welcome to Travelblog!

I am no expert on getting into the US (I haven't been there for two decades) so can only base my experience on other places. Australia (where I live) is a good comparison as its visa rules are equally tough. But basically, if you have a criminal record and a conviction for cannabis, I think you will have problems getting into the US.

As message #147096 above states, you may apply for an exemption, but that will take up to 60 days, if it is even granted at all. It appears that exemptions are more likely to be granted depending on how long ago was the conviction, the number of convictions and the reason for the convictions. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 51 Msg: #151605  
N Posts: 7
Hello and thank for your advice my charges for cannabis was at least 30 months ago and have been lookin every we're for advice I'm clean of cannabis now btw as I was young a very stupid and I have one caution for cannabis and one conviction they both was only very small amouts the advice givin to me is America are only after big criminals and not petty cannabis smokers other advice I have been givin is that the embassy have to take into consideration that I have family over there I have just sent of for my acro police report for the us embassy I should have that in the next few days then I have to apply for a interview with the us embassy in London and its down to them to decide I will post when I have my result I really hope I do get to go over there as I have been trying to contact my family for ten years and would break me if I'm refused if I am refused can I appeal it as my charges are not really that bad its not like I'm a real bad criminal and only ever had one conviction with Im distraught about but it was tough as I was growing up and simply got into the wrong crowd I've turned my life around In these last 3 years I hold a good job and moved from the area were I got into this trouble (sorry for spelling) Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 52 Msg: #151607  
Agreed that the family is taken into consideration. When you go to that exemption interview, ensure you wear the most proper looking clothes you can (i.e. suit). Tell them you story factually as you have stated above. Be calm at the interview (easy to say, but harder to do) and come across as sensible, mature and responsible. Having a decent job is important, and if you can grab a letter from your employer stating good things about you, and that you will be returning to the job after your holiday to the US, all the better. A letter from your landlord for rental accommodation (i.e. lived here for so long, pays rent on time) cannot hurt either.

Please let us know how all of this goes.

[Edited: 2012 Feb 08 23:34 - The Travel Camel:11053 ]
Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 53 Msg: #151608  
N Posts: 7
Aw thanks so much for your advice I will take all this into consideration and will let you know when my interview is and how it goes thanks again for the advice much appreciated. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 54 Msg: #151609  
You're welcome! And one more thing, keep copies of any letters you do get from employers or landlords - who knows when you will need them later on. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 55 Msg: #151610  
N Posts: 7
I already have copy's from employees but I don't own my own house or rent I'm still living with parents as I'm only 21 and like to travel so if I rented I would never be able to afford what I do and is there any other references I could take or anything what I can do now I mean I hold a badge for the security industry authority and I had to go through a rigmorele to get because of my conviction how ever the granted me my licence through positive character references from professional people I have worked for and police officers ino it's hard living as a young lad with no father to guide me in I mean I've learnt a lot now and I'm ashamed to have this record Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 56 Msg: #151611  
Service Industry Authority Badge sounds a positive. Anything that shows you as responsible and sensible. Are you able to use those characters references for your badge for this interview? Those would certainly add weight to your application.

They may not need or want any of this at an interview, but it does not hurt to have it all. I recently applied for a Myanmar Visa in Bangkok - I went there with a nice collection of paperwork (hotel and flight bookings) and they weren't interested in any of it. I obtained my visa.

Can understand the live at home vs travel situation. I have the same as mortgage vs travel, which is why I rent. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 57 Msg: #151612  
N Posts: 7
Yeah was thinking that myself and will take everything with me and not sure if im allowed to take it with me but can't cause me Any harm taking it these people are so strict im told so I'll just try my best and see what the outcome i will definitely let you no how I get on with this and thanks again for all of your advice means a lot )) Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 58 Msg: #151613  
I would be incredibly surprised if bringing a few extra documents would bring any harm. Your best chance of getting the visa is your first chance - err on the side of having more pages to make you sound wonderful.

One more thing (yet another one) is that your family in the US will need to agree with what you are saying about not seeing them for so long. I'd assume you would stay with them. Might help to get something written from them for the interview about the reasons for your visit. It is likely that the authorities may in the US may check on them anyway, but in case they don't - bring something from them along. Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 59 Msg: #151614  
N Posts: 7
Umm good idea didn't really want them to no about my record in case they didn't want to no me but I did tell them to expect a letter from the embassy regarding me wanting to come and visit they said that is fine but do u think I should ask for a letter of them ? Reply to this

29 months ago, February 9th 2012 No: 60 Msg: #151616  

didn't really want them to no about my record



Good point, hadn't thought of that. If they know you want a letter, they may ask the reason. That decision is up to you.

However, if they know to expect a letter from the embassy it doesn't hurt to ask for one in advance. Getting into the US can be difficult, so needing such paperwork may not be a surprise to them. Again, if you think they will question, best not to ask. Reply to this

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