Travelling to Usa


Travelling to Usa

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scotboy
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Has anyone taken a chance and travelled to USA while on the register?


BenS
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scotboy - 17 Sep 16 9:06 PM

Has anyone taken a chance and travelled to USA while on the register?


When you register your foreign travel with your local police, they put a digital "mark" on your passport, which is visible to the authorities of the country you are visiting (which is why they take a longer look at your passport when you get to their passport control). I imagine this would be no different for the US as it is for European countries that use the Schengen Information System (which the UK is part of despite not being in the Schengen zone).

For this reason, I would advise not to visit the US until you are off the register. EU countries might take a longer look but cannot (for now) legally forbid you from entering - quite the opposite for the US!

scotboy
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BenS - 19 Sep 16 7:54 AM
Thanks BenS I was going to chance it a couple of years ago but was warned off by PPU but not in a nasty way,I went to Dubai instead and had no problem so I'm assuming the digital mark doesn't apply to every country.I was a wee worried as my passport was scanned but nothing was said. Went toTorremolinos two weeks ago they didn't scan passport just a quick look and a wave through,no drama when I came back to UK.
scotboy - 17 Sep 16 9:06 PM

Has anyone taken a chance and travelled to USA while on the register?


When you register your foreign travel with your local police, they put a digital "mark" on your passport, which is visible to the authorities of the country you are visiting (which is why they take a longer look at your passport when you get to their passport control). I imagine this would be no different for the US as it is for European countries that use the Schengen Information System (which the UK is part of despite not being in the Schengen zone).

For this reason, I would advise not to visit the US until you are off the register. EU countries might take a longer look but cannot (for now) legally forbid you from entering - quite the opposite for the US!



Yankee
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scotboy - 21 Sep 16 7:40 PM
BenS - 19 Sep 16 7:54 AM
Thanks BenS I was going to chance it a couple of years ago but was warned off by PPU but not in a nasty way,I went to Dubai instead and had no problem so I'm assuming the digital mark doesn't apply to every country.I was a wee worried as my passport was scanned but nothing was said. Went toTorremolinos two weeks ago they didn't scan passport just a quick look and a wave through,no drama when I came back to UK.
scotboy - 17 Sep 16 9:06 PM

Has anyone taken a chance and travelled to USA while on the register?


When you register your foreign travel with your local police, they put a digital "mark" on your passport, which is visible to the authorities of the country you are visiting (which is why they take a longer look at your passport when you get to their passport control). I imagine this would be no different for the US as it is for European countries that use the Schengen Information System (which the UK is part of despite not being in the Schengen zone).

For this reason, I would advise not to visit the US until you are off the register. EU countries might take a longer look but cannot (for now) legally forbid you from entering - quite the opposite for the US!



No one knows exactly how the system works, but the comment about a digital mark is not correct.

When any border agent in any country swipes your passport, the number is checked against their own systems to see if any alerts flag up.  In the case of the EU/EEA, your PPU raises an alert on SISII, which is an EU wide computer system linked to border control. Therefore, when you enter an EU country and they swipe your passport, the border official sees a flag on his screen that there is an alert. That's usually a section 36 alert which asks the border official to make a discrete check on who you're travelling with and where you are going to/from.

When you land in the US and they swipe your passport, the number is checked against US databases (FBI, Homeland Security etc.). Only if there is an alert on the US system would you be flagged up.

So the real question is this - do the UK provide information to the US systems?  This is how it's meant to work - if your PPU considers you a risk and that the foreign country should be notified, they have to raise an Interpol green notice - this goes to every country including the US. Of course, some countries get the information but don't have the computer systems capable of processing or using it.

So in theory, you should only be flagged in the US if an Interpol notice is issued.

Now the scary bit.  If you have to notify, you will be on the ViSOR database in the UK. This database is synced with the Home Office Warnings Index (HOWI) - this is the database that UK border use when they scan your passport back in the UK.

If you apply for a US visa, the US can ask to cross reference the details with HOWI. I don't know if the ESTA process can also do this.  If you apply for an ESTA while you are notifying and get it, it would suggest that the link is not there.

And finally, you have to provide advanced passenger information to your airline before you fly to the US.  The US and UK authorities screen this against their own databases. In theory, the US database would not have your information on it unless an interpol notice has been issued.

What we don't know as citizens, is what really goes on behind the scenes in the name of public protection. Despite the official rules, does the UK give ViSOR/HOWI data to the US to put into their databases?

Unless you jump on a p[lace and try, you'll never know - the worse that can happen is you get turned back and lose a few hours of your life flying.



scotboy
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Yankee, I did apply for an ESTA and it arrived a few weeks later that's why I was going to chance it,I had told the PPU that I was going to go and asked them various questions about travel to the USA unfortunately they couldn't give me any definite answers.
About six weeks before departure I had a visit from them and they told me it might not be a good idea as I might not get out of the UK, I asked how Homeland
Security would know and was told it was on my passport.
I decided not to go and went to Dubai instead not before checking out whether the Interpol Green Notice would apply to me and  was told it would not, I went to Dubai and had no bother.



BenS
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Yankee - 13 Oct 16 11:18 AM

Unless you jump on a p[lace and try, you'll never know - the worse that can happen is you get turned back and lose a few hours of your life flying.



You would also be permanently barred from entering the US (both on an ESTA and a visa) if found out.

From reading online forums, it seems that people with criminal records have managed to enter the US with no problem. Don't know about SOR though. Personally I have not been since my conviction, and would wait until no longer required to tell the authorities whenever you're going abroad.
scotboy
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Thanks BenS.I think waiting until I no longer have to notify would be best.it would be interesting to know if anyone on the forum has been to US after their notification ended.

rme123
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scotboy - 23 Oct 16 5:15 PM
Thanks BenS.I think waiting until I no longer have to notify would be best.it would be interesting to know if anyone on the forum has been to US after their notification ended.

I'd also be really interested to know if anyone else here has been to the US after their notification ended. It's inevitable that I will have to travel there as part of my job, and I seriously doubt the visa route would work out for me. It would be reassuring to know if anyone has made it through!
BenS
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rme123 - 27 Oct 16 11:54 AM

I'd also be really interested to know if anyone else here has been to the US after their notification ended. It's inevitable that I will have to travel there as part of my job, and I seriously doubt the visa route would work out for me. It would be reassuring to know if anyone has made it through!

Personally, once off the register, I would fly from another country (France, Germany, etc.), and not a connecting flight as part of the same journey. E.g. go to Paris "on holiday" then a few days later, go to the US on a return France-US flight. Basically to avoid letting the UK know that you are visiting the US, avoiding passing UK passport control on a trip to the US and having the UK telling the US on the sly about your record. I am cynical when it comes to the authorities taking you off the register automatically upon the expiry date of your order, and have heard stories of people still being stopped and asked the normal spiel after no longer being on the register, unless/until the police are explicitly asked to take them off it by the ex-offender or their solicitor.

I had previously recommended flying through Ireland (as they have US pre-screening on Irish soil, so once you arrive in the US it's like coming on a domestic flight and there is no passport control), but now Ireland and the UK have stated they are to share immigration data, so the Irish might know as much as the UK know about you (this http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_abroad/freedom_of_movement_within_the_eu/common_travel_area_between_ireland_and_the_uk.html released last week).
scotboy
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rme123....have you had any replies regarding US travel? I have just returned from Dubai without any problems.
GO


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