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Non EU citizen traveling to US with UK penalty notice and caution


Non EU citizen traveling to US with UK penalty notice and caution

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Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Hi Dani

As you know, the question on the ESTA form ask - 'Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority'

To answer honestly, you need to consider whether the offence you committed would be classed as a crime of moral turpitude. Shoplifting isn't considered to be so and therefore on the ESTA form, you would be able to answer 'No'. We have developed some information on our site around this - https://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/travelling-to-the-usa-the-esta-form-and-moral-turpitude/. Alternatively, have a look at the 'Help' section of the ESTA form.

If you were randomly questioned at the airport by immigration staff you would need to also answer 'No'.

If there is any chance that you may be offered the chance to work in the US with this company then you would need to get a copy of your Police Certificate which would disclose your caution and I guess could raise questions from your employer.

To set your mind at rest, Embassies very rarely share information.

Hope this helps


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Mirrorman
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Say nothing.

If you disclose you will be required to get a visa, a process that takes months, costs money and is no guarantee of entry into the USA.
BenS
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The OP is saying they are a non-EU citizen. Do you come from a country where you are ineligible for an ESTA?

When you say "visa", do you really mean visa, or just ESTA? There are plenty of non-EU countries that also qualify for an ESTA (Chile, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Singapore, NZ, South Korea, etc.) - we'd need to know if you actually need a visa due to nationality or if you only mention a visa because of your conviction and you think it makes you ineligible for an ESTA (which it doesn't).

If you qualify for an ESTA due to citizenship then you can get the ESTA and tick NO to the conviction question.

If you need a visa due to your nationality not being on the VWP, then you might need to go to a US embassy - precise details will be on the website of the US embassy in your country of citizenship. It would then be up to them to decide whether you can get a US visa.
BenS
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Hi Dani,

Yes I am a British citizen and I truly appreciate how lucky I am to have this passport, and I don't take it for granted, especially with a criminal record. I'm really sorry about your situation. It's frustrating how your ability to travel, live and work depends on what side of some imaginary line you were born on.

Obviously everything I mention is just my thoughts, should not be taken as proper advice and I am not an expert in the slightest, but if there is 100% no requirement for a police certificate then perhaps you will be OK. Applying for a US visa from Morocco for a Tunisian citizen, the US will probably have no need or thought of checking with a random, distant country that is totally unconnected with your application (the UK), if there is nothing to suggest that you have any connection to the UK.
BenS
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OK so you do need a visa, and the ESTA is irrelevant.

The DS-160 application page (https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/forms/ds-160--online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/frequently-asked-questions.html) states that you would need the following documents to apply for this type of visa:

Passport
Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States, if you have previously travelled to the United States. You may also be asked for your international travel history for the past five years.
Résumé or Curriculum Vitae - You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history.
Other Information - Some applicants, depending on the intended purpose of travel, will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160.

[end quote]

It doesn't mention police certificate. But it states that you would need to visit your nearest US embassy, and who knows what documents they might request. If they request a police certificate later in the process, maybe you can provide a Moroccan/Tunisian police certificate, which will be blank if you have no other criminal history.

If you are applying for a US visa from Morocco, this has nothing to do with the UK. The US would have no idea that you ever lived in the UK unless you volunteer that information or if you have a UK stamp in your passport and they spot it in your interview at the embassy, and ask questions. If so, maybe get a new Tunisian passport so that they don't see any UK stamp.

Is it feasible to omit your studies in the UK from your CV? Then they would have no idea you have anything to do with the UK. The only problem is if they ask you about your studies at the visa interview.
BenS
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Hi Dani,

I can't offer any actual advice, I am not a lawyer, just someone with a criminal record who travels quite a lot. Consider it me "thinking aloud".

The key thing would be to find out for a fact whether they ask for a police certificate when you go for your embassy interview.

A session with an immigration lawyer might help.

Post Edited (BenS) : 05/07/2016 09:06:45 (GMT+2)


dannys
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Deb S said...
Shoplifting isn't considered to be so and therefore on the ESTA form, you would be able to answer 'No'.


Sorry to disagree. Shoplifting is usually considered to be moral turpitude. It would usually be covered by the "petty offense exception" though. As the OP is applying through a DS-160 the question is different.

The offense should be covered by the "petty offense exception" IF the value of goods was less than $1000.

District of Columbia code (depending on charge)

Shoplifting property
Shoplifting
Fines up to $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail

Theft of property valued at less than $1,000
Second degree theft (misdemeanor)
Fines up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days jail time

Theft property valued at $1,000 or more
First degree theft (felony)
Fines up to $5,000 and/or up to 10 years of jail time

"petty offense exception" is

he or she committed only one (moral turpitude) crime;
the maximum penalty possible for the crime did not exceed imprisonment for one year; and
the noncitizen seeking admission was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment longer than 6 months.

Entirely up to the OP how he wants to proceed.

Post Edited (dannys) : 07/07/2016 13:32:31 (GMT+2)


Dani
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I was student in the UK 2 years ago, in a very deep depression, under medication, I was very desperate and thought I worth nothing, i was caught shoplifting and taken to the police station twice, they gave me a penalty notice and then a simple caution. but now I am back on my feet, I found a job with a big american company in morocco and they have decided to send me on a training for two weeks in the US. I don't know what to do, on the visa questionnaire it says 'have you ever been arrested or convicted.. ?'.

is a caution and penalty notice considered as an arrest, shall I tick yes anyways and disclose it ?what are my chances ?..
if I decide not to disclose my record, I red that US embassies do not have access to UK police data, but I am planning to go back to UK too for a visit later, I need to disclose my record to the UK embassy for sure. what if embassies share data, then I ll be in trouble with the US embassy..

please help, I am sleepless ever since my boss told me that I'll be going on training to the US.

thanks
Dani
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thanks BenS
so your advise is anything but disclose about my criminal record. you think that with a penalty notice and a caution I have no chance ? I have no other criminal record in my country or morocco...
Dani
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thanks a lot for your replies.

Hi Deb S,

The thing is, I am a Tunisian citizen who used to live in the UK for studies, and now moved to morocco 2 years ago for work. I don't have a British passport, and If I want to go to the US I need to apply for non immigrant visa and complete a form called DS-160, in this form there is a question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action"

my concern is, I can't answer "no" to this question since the British embassy know about my criminal record in the UK. and I think embassies share information, but I don't I don't know to what extent.
please check the link below it says embassies share data. do you know about anyone who has been trough the same situation, please share it with me. thanks in advance

https://lawquestinternational.com/article/immigration-data-shared-between-nations
GO


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