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Should I use ESTA?

Should I use ESTA?

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Posts: 77, Visits: 2.6K
Hola - 1 Feb 20 2:28 PM
AB2014 - 30 Jan 20 2:49 PM
Hola - 30 Jan 20 2:24 PM
Deb S - 29 Jan 20 11:36 AM
Spip - 29 Jan 20 8:34 AM
Apologies for asking questions that have probably been covered already.
I want to travel to USA to close a business deal in the near future. I'm self employed and have two spent convictions from 2009 - one common assault and one of voyeurism. I was given a fine, a 3 year supervision order (which lasted until August 2012) and was on the SOR for 5 years. The offences both occurred in mid 2008, together. I was found guilty at trial (wrongfully - as the whole thing was an inadvertent mistake, with not bad intentions on my part) and sentenced the following month.
Both convictions have been spent under 1974 act (I'm in UK).

What is the best way for me to enter USA? Should I declare the convictions and travel on a visa - either business or tourist?
Or, should I answer NO to questions on ETSA and hope they don't find out, disclosing nothing upon further questions? Is it possible for them to check my criminal record?

I've read about showing remorse During a visa interview (assuming I disclosed everything) - I'm not remorseful of the crime, but I do have empathy for the victim. Should I lie about this and be remorseful of the crimes?

I was placed on the barring list for working with children and vulnerable adults, with no chance of appeal for at least 10 years. This time has now passed, so is it possible for me to be removed from the two lists now? If so, how do I even start?

I should point out that I visited USA in 2000 before Sept 11th, with no visa requirement - just a landing card that I truthfully filled out as having no convictions. A few brief questions upon entry and I was free to travel.

I'm sorry for the long winded explanations - I'm a newbie here and find all the topics and replies very helpful. So, thank you in advance if you are able to help!

Hi Spip 

Welcome to theForum. 

As Yankee says, if you go down the route of applying for a visa you'll need to provide a copy of your police certificate which will disclose your criminal record (immigration/travel is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act). As there's no link to your criminal record from your passport, people do lie when completing the ESTA form and then travel to the USA without any problems. The only things to remember are that (a) if you get asked about your criminal record by an immigration officer in the US you'll need to continue with the lie (b) if you wish to live/work permanently in the US then the fact that you've travelled on an ESTA may potentially cause you problems. 

With regard to applying to come off the barred list, you'll need to make an application to:

Review Team
Disclosure and Barring Service
PO BOX 181

There's a section relating to DBS barring - representation, reviews and appeals on the Unlock Information Hub site which is definitely worth having a look at. 

Keep us updated.


Hi Debs
Is the same review authority if you were sentenced in Scotland please ? ( if you know )
Thanks in advance

No. The DBS only covers England & Wales. For Scotland, you need Disclosure Scotland.


sorry, just to clarify, is that even if i now live in Eng do you know ?

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