Travel to USA while on SOR

By Yankee - 10 Oct 17 6:31 PM

Has anyone on the forum who is subject to notification requirements actually travelled to the USA?

If so, using an ESTA or a Visa?

By Harmless - 18 Sep 18 10:56 AM

AB2014 - 18 Sep 18 9:44 AM
BenS - 17 Sep 18 10:48 AM
Harmless - 15 Sep 18 11:30 PM
BenS - 16 Oct 17 8:20 AM
I have not tried this - my worry would be that the PPU officers would inform the relevant authorities and the Americans would somehow be warned, although the PPU would probably deny this. They PPU might ask to see evidence of a visa to check you've told the truth about your conviction to the US authorities (as you would obviously have to lie on an ESTA), although I don't believe they have the absolute power to demand such evidence.

Personally I think it's best avoided until you are off the SOR. If you absolutely must go, I would advise doing it from a third country, e.g. go to France, duly do the registration for a trip to France, and get a return flight from France to the USA. But that would involve telling a lie (thus breaching your SOR requirements and risking 5 years' prison) when registering for foreign travel, answering "no" to "any other foreign countries to be visited in addition to the destination country". You could argue you hadn't intended US travel at the time of registering for your trip to France, proving this by only buying a ticket to the US after arriving in France - at short notice i.e. great cost and it would look fishy if the PPU found out.

Another way - unlawful as it would be contrary to your SOR requirements - would be to travel to Northern Ireland, cross the unmanned border to Ireland and do a return US flight from Dublin/Shannon. A further advantage of travelling from Ireland is that all flights from Ireland to the US have US pre-clearance in Ireland, i.e. you do all the immigration formalities in Ireland, then once you're on the plane you are treated as a domestic US flight and you can be at ease as there are no controls once you arrive in the US. However, even though you don't have to register to travel to Northern Ireland, if you are away for 7 days or more then you would have to register even for internal UK travel. You could legally not register for UK (NI) travel of less than 7 days, but then you would be illegally not registering travel to Ireland (risking 5 years' prison), then do a rather quick visit to the US from Ireland and return to NI and then home within the 7 days.

Basically unless you register for US travel, you would be breaking the law. And if you do register, there is every chance the PPU will inform the relevant authorities and they will know about your record when you arrive in the US.

I am not trying to provide ideas for flouting the law, as I have warned at each step that you are breaking the law and risk 5 years' prison.

I would wait until you're off the SOR, as plenty of people have simply ticked "no" on the ESTA and been allowed in, as the US has no access to the UK PNC, but if the PPU become aware of intentions to travel there they could then inform the US authorities.

As I understand it, you do not need to notify them if you're away from home for more than 7 days, only if you're at a particular location for more than 7 days. You could spend a month touring the hotels of Britain without telling anyone as long as you're not at one for more than a week. The problem is, when does this hotel-hopping activity begin to adopt the character of 'no fixed abode'? That itself is a registration requirement. Are there circumstance where you might actually be better off registering as no fixed abode while staying at your rented\bought address sometimes? To what extent is the fact of a rent or mortgage a tiebreaker to the question of whether you're officially 'at' an address?

But the underlying premises of your post interest me.

An interpol notice is only sent to the declared destination country, for one occasion\declaration?

It is not sent as a blanket warning to all countries as a universal resource (just like a web site would appear to all countries that look it up)?

So, someone making an impromptu (undeclared) trip to the US during their (declared) period in France, has no reason to suppose the US authorities have been notified?

If it's that full of holes, makes me wonder why they bother?

I believe you are correct, in that you don't have to notify simply being away from home - you just have to tell them when you are staying overnight at one location for 7 days or more. So a month-long UK hotel-hopping theory would not appear to be illegal unless, of course, they deem it "no fixed abode" - I've no idea if the definition of no fixed abode is concreted in law or not.

I don't know whether an Interpol warning is uploaded to some all-encompassing worldwide system or whether it would only go to the country to which you notified intended travel. Interesting question.

I don't think an Interpol notice is issued for declared travel to EU countries. It doesn't serve much purpose as an EU citizen cannot be denied entry to another EU country except in extremely limited circumstances - simply having a criminal record is NOT valid grounds to deny such entry. There will be a Schengen Information System (SISII) alert on you when you notify travel to the EU (and a few non-EU countries that are in Schengen). However, this is for information purposes for the destination country and they cannot deny you entry, merely ask you some questions at passport control.

So I'm not sure if there'd be an Interpol notice for undeclared travel to a non-EU country following declared, legal travel to an EU country.

But in general, I would avoid all travel to the US under the SOR. You can chance it once you're off it and haven't needed to notify for a while.

I would think that if you have an "official" address where you pay council tax, that should mean you are not of No Fixed Abode.

According to the Interpol fact sheet here, notices are circulated to all member countries. As there is no guarantee that the information in the notice will be deleted after a set period, that could be a long-term problem. As you say, EU citizens can move freely within the EU, but they should receive any green notices that are circulated. Once we leave, freedom of movement is no longer guaranteed, presumably, so anyone with a green notice against their name might be stranded on This Sceptred Isle indefinitely.

The fact sheet you cited states:

" They are circulated by INTERPOL to all member countries at the request of a country or an authorized international entity. "

Ah but does that mean "one notice goes everywhere, so when it's up it's visible everywhere", or rather: " INTERPOL can pass any message to any member state it sees fit ". In other words "It's within the sum of our operations to send messages everywhere". Or in other words "It's available to us to send messages anywhere, and there's nowhere we haven't sent one before"

Just the kind of endless ambiguity one encounters when researching this!