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Getting USA resident status with criminal convictions in the UK


Getting USA resident status with criminal convictions in the UK

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RN1234
RN1234
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Hi Wildie

Can you please reply to what happened in your situation? Did you apply for the US visa? If so, did you get it? I am asking because my spouse is in a similar situation. Thanks
BenS
BenS
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Wildie - 24 Oct 16 3:59 PM

Hi, thanks for the reply. I have checked deeper and every visa application form requires a Police cert if you answer 'yes' the criminal convictions question. . They have all their bases covered.  We can apply for a waiver, but it's all at the discretion of the Immigration Official, it's purely an arbitrary decision and if we get declined then we have to wait another three years. It really is a joke, but horribly real, that something i did 30 yeas ago can still impact on me.Bonkers.  

Hi - see bold bit in the bit I've quoted.

Does this mean they won't ask for a certificate if you answer "no"?

They clearly have no idea about your record otherwise you would not have been given an ESTA on multiple occasions. I wonder what (if anything) would happen if you tick "no".

The only almost-certainty is if you tick "yes", they will ask for a certificate and most likely refuse your visa, based on your criminal record and the false ESTA information.

Whereas if you tick "no" they may or may not ask for a certificate - if they do then the scenario will be the same as ticking "yes", but if they don't you're all clear. Then in a few years you could become a US citizen and never again have to be bricking it when you enter the country.

Good luck anyhow!
Edited
4 Years Ago by BenS
Wildie
Wildie
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BenS - 24 Oct 16 2:10 PM
In terms of simply visiting the US on holiday, you can keep using the ESTA, it clearly works and they have no idea of your conviction. The US has no access to the PNC. If you are to believe what is written online on forums, many people with far more serious records than you have been there on an ESTA no problem.

As to whether you would need to provide a UK police certificate for the spouse visa, not sure. There seems to be reams of info here: https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/spouse/bringing-spouses-live-united-states-permanent-residents

Which links to this: https://www.uscis.gov/i-130

The form itself has no mention of criminal records, though I don't know if they would want to know later on in the process. You might be able to find out on that website exactly what documents are required. If it turns out that you don't need a police certificate then you'd be in luck. It might be easier for spouses of US citizens (who don't come from the usual "dodgy" countries)?

Hi, thanks for the reply. I have checked deeper and every visa application form requires a Police cert if you answer 'yes' the criminal convictions question. . They have all their bases covered.  We can apply for a waiver, but it's all at the discretion of the Immigration Official, it's purely an arbitrary decision and if we get declined then we have to wait another three years. It really is a joke, but horribly real, that something i did 30 yeas ago can still impact on me.Bonkers.  
BenS
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In terms of simply visiting the US on holiday, you can keep using the ESTA, it clearly works and they have no idea of your conviction. The US has no access to the PNC. If you are to believe what is written online on forums, many people with far more serious records than you have been there on an ESTA no problem.

As to whether you would need to provide a UK police certificate for the spouse visa, not sure. There seems to be reams of info here: https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/spouse/bringing-spouses-live-united-states-permanent-residents

Which links to this: https://www.uscis.gov/i-130

The form itself has no mention of criminal records, though I don't know if they would want to know later on in the process. You might be able to find out on that website exactly what documents are required. If it turns out that you don't need a police certificate then you'd be in luck. It might be easier for spouses of US citizens (who don't come from the usual "dodgy" countries)?

Edited
4 Years Ago by BenS
Wildie
Wildie
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Hi
I have two convictiions that prevent me from entering the USA with out Visa. One for possession of marijuana (1.2 grams) in 1982 and one for Wounding Section 20 1986. Got a 2 year conditional discharge as even the magistrate thought the guy got what he asked for ! Also I was cautioned in 2011 for a row with my neighbour over a fence line. 
I'm a retired school teacher and have been subject to  full disclosure of criminal offences whenever applying for a job in teaching. it has never proved an issue and worked as a teacher for 30 years in England.
My wife is an American citizen and we both want to retire over there. When we have flown there in the past, some 10 times, to see her family we used the ESTA system as we honestly believed my convictions were spent as they were some 30+ years ago.
However this week, when researching US Immigration, it says all convictions arrests etc. must be disclosed and as such I should therefore have applied for a Visa at The Embassy using I-160 and ACPO police certificate etc.
My question is this, as I've clearly contravened their Immigration Laws by 'lying' on the ESTA form by answering 'no' to the drugs question, i guess I've committed a felony crime under their law.
How then should we go about clearing up this mess ? I have an awful feeling that i will be denied a Spouse Visa because I've entered the USA illegally numerous times illegally.
Can anyone out there have any sensible ideas as to how we should proceed / Thanks

    
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