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Thread: Getting a USA visa (travelling to america with a drink driving conviction)

  1. #21
    sdjunk is offline New Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Taken from here;
    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det.../1074/kw/moral

    "Another common error is to answer "Yes" to the question about having been arrested or convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), assuming that driving under the influence of alcohol or simple assault is considered a type of that crime (it isn't.) You can look here for a more detailed description of CIMTs."

    So looks like you wont need to worry. I have taken a print-out of this page to show at US customs if necessary.
    Last edited by sdjunk; 06-08-2010 at 02:27 PM. Reason: font were a bit small. added bit after quote.


  2. #22
    sdjunk is offline New Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Having searched exhaustively I cant find any reports of people being turned away from the US on the VWP for a single drink drive conviction, where they have never disclosed it to the US embassy in London or filled out multiple VWP applications.

    Anyone with first hand experience of this, or a family member? Rather than just "someone said that they knew someone..." ?

  3. #23
    Stupid is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Well I as I have said in an earlier thread, stupidly called the Embassy and went through the whole business to get a visa only to get one for just a year. I am planning on another trip to the states so I now have to go through it all again. The police cert (£35), the trip to London (£80), the appointment at the Embassy which costs $140.00, then they will probably send me to their doctors again (£135.00). I asked the guy on the phone (which costs £1.20 per min) if this was a M T crime. He said all convictions have to be declared and failure to do so could result in being sent right back home. However I have known a few people who have not declared it and got in no worries. Does anyone know for certain if they will send me to their doctors again?

  4. #24
    new_pedestrian is offline Established Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Quote Originally Posted by sdjunk View Post
    Taken from here;
    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det.../1074/kw/moral

    "Another common error is to answer "Yes" to the question about having been arrested or convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), assuming that driving under the influence of alcohol or simple assault is considered a type of that crime (it isn't.) You can look here for a more detailed description of CIMTs."

    So looks like you wont need to worry. I have taken a print-out of this page to show at US customs if necessary.
    I can't begin to tell you how grateful or pleased I am to read that page on the US Customs and Border Security's own website! I've always wanted, like my whole life, to go to America, and I've been gutted at the idea that I might not be able to.

  5. #25
    miss marple is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Quote Originally Posted by Stupid View Post
    Well I as I have said in an earlier thread, stupidly called the Embassy and went through the whole business to get a visa only to get one for just a year. I am planning on another trip to the states so I now have to go through it all again. The police cert (£35), the trip to London (£80), the appointment at the Embassy which costs $140.00, then they will probably send me to their doctors again (£135.00). I asked the guy on the phone (which costs £1.20 per min) if this was a M T crime. He said all convictions have to be declared and failure to do so could result in being sent right back home. However I have known a few people who have not declared it and got in no worries. Does anyone know for certain if they will send me to their doctors again?

    We are in just the same situation as you, having got a pathetic one year visa after shelling out a small fortune. This whole business is a real mess, with the US Embassy and the Custom and Border Protection people having completely different views. Quoting from another website:
    "Admission into the US is administered by the US immigration service. Visas are issued by the US Embassies. These are separate branches of government....remember it is actually the US immigration service who decide who can enter the USA, not the US Embassy."

    The CBP (who provide the immigration officers at airports) have told me that drink driving is NOT a crime of moral turpitude, and that anyone with a drink-drive conviction should tick "no" to the question about criminal convictions on the ESTA application form. They would not make any comment about the US Embassy saying that anyone with an arrest was not eligible to travel under the visa waiver programme, but said "All of our CBP Officers are well trained professionals who know the regulations and are fairly intelligent people. If you have a valid ESTA approval, you should not have a problem entering the U.S. I would advise that you apply under the official ESTA site (
    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov). You will know in a few seconds if you are approved or not. Answer "NO" to the question in subject. You are worrying for no reason."

    So it seems we spent hundreds of pounds and a whole load of hassle getting a visa that was unnecessary.


    However, I do worry that if you have once had a visa it might cause questions to be asked if you later travel under the (ESTA) Visa Waiver Programme! I can't get a straight answer from anyone whether or not this would be a problem, though I take it the comment above - "you are worrying for no reason" - is meant to reassure me. (Easy for them to say.) I'd be really interested to hear what happens if anyone does decide to go through the Visa Waiver Programme once an earlier visa has expired.


    As far as the medical is concerned, Stupid, if your drink drive conviction is less than three years ago I think it is pretty certain that you will be asked to take the medical again. If it is more than three years ago, you might or you might not, it seems. This is from
    http://travel.state.gov/visa/laws/te...rams_3267.html

    "After consulting with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we have determined that consular officers must refer applicants to panel physicians in two circumstances: (1) an applicant has a single drunk driving arrest or conviction within the last three calendar years or two or more drunk driving arrests or (2) convictions in any time period. Consular officers must also refer applicants to panel physicians if there is any other evidence to suggest an alcohol problem. Consular officers must adhere strictly to these guidelines in determining when a panel physician referral is appropriate."


  6. #26
    thicko is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Hi all.

    I thought I would take this opportunity to add my thoughts on the matter.
    I was convicted of drink driving over 5 years ago - total one off. I'm actually a painfully law abiding citizen before and after. I wanted to travel to the US and took the Embassy advice that if you had been convicted of any crime you had to apply to a visa. After much worry and some money I was granted a 10 year B1/B2 visa to the US in rapid time. Handy as I have travelled there probably 10 times since.

    My visa had not yet expired. I have however got married, changed my name and renewed my passport. I am currently in the process of reapplying for the B2 visa. I have been told I should be able to travel on the old visa but I didn't want to take the risk. I cannot believe how much it is all costing - £35 APCO, $140 plus travel - and how much the process has changed. I am currently at the stage of requesting an APCO...then await the Embassy's decision to whether I even get an interview...

    The crazy thing is that I am now really concerned that I will be refused the visa. It seems the process has now become much more difficult, time consuming and clearly in contradicition to the ESTA programme. I felt that having previously held a visa that for the sake of my sanity I would renew it so I didn't worry the entire flight despite it seeming that you can enter the US with a DUI.

    I will post back once I get a final decision. With so much contradictory advice on whether or not to obtain a visa it is clearly a personal choice whether to follow the process or not. Fingers crossed I get another 10 year visa.

  7. #27
    miss marple is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    I wrote to the US Embassy in London outlining our case and asking:
    Please could give me a definitive answer to the question “Can a person legally travel under the Visa Waiver Programme with a single conviction for a drink-driving offence?”
    I have received this reply by email:
    Under U.S. visa law, in cases where there is evidence of alcohol abuse associated with harmful behavior, the individual is considered to have, or have had, a physical or mental disorder. This is because the individual has “a history of behavior associated with that disorder that may pose or has posed a threat to [their] property, safety or welfare or that of others.” An arrest for drink-driving - a single alcoholrelated arrest or conviction within the last five years or two or more alcoholrelated arrests or convictions within the last ten years; is considered some evidence of alcohol abuse associated with harmful behavior. Such evidence is a ground of medical ineligibility under Section 212(a)(1)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Whether an arrest will result in a finding of ineligibility for a visa will depend on the extent to which the arrest demonstrates a pattern of harmful behavior associated with alcoholic abuse. Considerations include the recency and frequency of arrests. Based on the information you have furnished, we recommend that your son apply for a visa.

    Yet again this reply is about whether or not you will be eligible for a visa, not whether you can travel under the visa waiver programme - no one seems capable of giving a straight answer to that simple question! They still only say "we recommend that your son apply for a visa", which is not at all the same as saying "you MUST apply for a visa".

    The ESTA website covers itself by saying:
    If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa before traveling to the United States [instead of using the Visa Waiver Program].


    So I'm still as confused as ever.


    Good luck with your application, thicko - I'm sure you will get your visa OK, but I would be interested to see how long it is valid for! As your conviction was over 5 years ago I would hope you might be lucky and get a 10 year one. I'll look forward to your update.









  8. #28
    bibbler is offline Member
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    Question Re: Getting a USA visa

    Quote Originally Posted by miss marple View Post
    We are in just the same situation as you, having got a pathetic one year visa after shelling out a small fortune. This whole business is a real mess, with the US Embassy and the Custom and Border Protection people having completely different views. Quoting from another website:
    "Admission into the US is administered by the US immigration service. Visas are issued by the US Embassies. These are separate branches of government....remember it is actually the US immigration service who decide who can enter the USA, not the US Embassy."

    The CBP (who provide the immigration officers at airports) have told me that drink driving is NOT a crime of moral turpitude, and that anyone with a drink-drive conviction should tick "no" to the question about criminal convictions on the ESTA application form. They would not make any comment about the US Embassy saying that anyone with an arrest was not eligible to travel under the visa waiver programme, but said "All of our CBP Officers are well trained professionals who know the regulations and are fairly intelligent people. If you have a valid ESTA approval, you should not have a problem entering the U.S. I would advise that you apply under the official ESTA site (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov). You will know in a few seconds if you are approved or not. Answer "NO" to the question in subject. You are worrying for no reason."

    So it seems we spent hundreds of pounds and a whole load of hassle getting a visa that was unnecessary.

    However, I do worry that if you have once had a visa it might cause questions to be asked if you later travel under the (ESTA) Visa Waiver Programme! I can't get a straight answer from anyone whether or not this would be a problem, though I take it the comment above - "you are worrying for no reason" - is meant to reassure me. (Easy for them to say.) I'd be really interested to hear what happens if anyone does decide to go through the Visa Waiver Programme once an earlier visa has expired.

    As far as the medical is concerned, Stupid, if your drink drive conviction is less than three years ago I think it is pretty certain that you will be asked to take the medical again. If it is more than three years ago, you might or you might not, it seems. This is from http://travel.state.gov/visa/laws/te...rams_3267.html

    "After consulting with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we have determined that consular officers must refer applicants to panel physicians in two circumstances: (1) an applicant has a single drunk driving arrest or conviction within the last three calendar years or two or more drunk driving arrests or (2) convictions in any time period. Consular officers must also refer applicants to panel physicians if there is any other evidence to suggest an alcohol problem. Consular officers must adhere strictly to these guidelines in determining when a panel physician referral is appropriate."

    Hi This is my first post and after reading all the forums on multiple sites I did the honest thing and went to the embassy who sent me away to get a medical.My dilema is I am going to the states in september and going away to europe for 2 weeks end july.I also have exams at university(as mature student( lol) and earliest mediacl is the 12 th august. By the time I have the medical I will have my license back. I have filled in my esta since having the interview which has been approved and checked with the us customs and security boarder control who have assured me I will not have a problem as it is not moaral turpitude.Why does the us embassey in London put people and worry people into getting a visa? I believe as I was quoted "its a money scam"!!! I am worried as dont want to dissapoint my girlfriend and her little girl as it is her 40th birthday suprise-staying at universal hotel and animal kingdom villas. I am worried that as I went to the interview they have all my details and will pass them over to the US boarder control.BUT as I have already spoken to boarder control and they say I dont need a visa what do I do I really cannot afford another £200 when I am being told from the US themselves that I dont need one.I know people will say to be on the safe side but I have printed everything off which states I dont need a visa and have an email from the us customs and boarder control to prove I have enquired about this and the list on the esta says dui is not moral turpitude I dont think I am going to bother.The guy in the US boarder control said if you esta has gone through although doesnt automatically guarentee it is just as likely others could get stopped and questioned as well.HELP

  9. #29
    thicko is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Crazy, isn't it bibbler. I think everyone can sympathise/empathise with your concerns. The more I read about the matter the more I realise there is no difinitive answer - I think you have to go with your gut instinct. Armed with all the paperwork, you "in theory" shouldn't have a problem. It's a matter of weighing up the situation and working out what you could lose. A somewhat pessimistic attidude, I know. However, if your girlfriend and her little girl know exactly why you have chosen the non visa route then if the worst does come to the worst at least they are prepared for the any potential disappointment.

    For me I'd rather pay for the visa and if that doesn't go to plan, plead moral terpitude - I have the luxury of time and being able (with the time) afford the visa. I have now received my ACPO and have sent that to the embassy for checking and hopefully the next stage of an interview.

    BTW bibbler, I started my application on 25th June, I'm going to post back when it is complete so then you can have an idea of timelines if you do decide to do the visa route.

  10. #30
    bibbler is offline Member
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    Default Re: Getting a USA visa

    Convicted Driver Insurance Quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by thicko View Post
    Crazy, isn't it bibbler. I think everyone can sympathise/empathise with your concerns. The more I read about the matter the more I realise there is no difinitive answer - I think you have to go with your gut instinct. Armed with all the paperwork, you "in theory" shouldn't have a problem. It's a matter of weighing up the situation and working out what you could lose. A somewhat pessimistic attidude, I know. However, if your girlfriend and her little girl know exactly why you have chosen the non visa route then if the worst does come to the worst at least they are prepared for the any potential disappointment.

    For me I'd rather pay for the visa and if that doesn't go to plan, plead moral terpitude - I have the luxury of time and being able (with the time) afford the visa. I have now received my ACPO and have sent that to the embassy for checking and hopefully the next stage of an interview.

    BTW bibbler, I started my application on 25th June, I'm going to post back when it is complete so then you can have an idea of timelines if you do decide to do the visa route.
    Thanks for that but my thread does state that I have already been for my interview and they just turned me away with a standard letter saying I needed a medical as it was a DUI. Why do they charge people for an interview when thy know anyone that has a DUI should go for a medical. Anyway all said and done I am taking the advice of the US customs and boarder control over the US embassy in london as it is the US immigration who decide and the two do not link or liase with one another.When we board the plane in manchester the flight list of passengers is forwarded to the customs and boarder control in the US and anyone on the watch list eg offences of serious crime involving moral turpitude are either removed prior to take off but more likely refused entry at the other end. Im not going to plead moral turpitude and they cannot accuse me of one as their own guidlines states with a DUI I can travel on the VWP. I hope your application goes ok but I warn you they will just send you away with a letter to say go and have a medical which you can do on the same day if there are appointments but have to wait 5-7 days for the results. Then you send your passport by courier(another £35 each way) to get your visa. Absolute robdogs. While I was there there were 650 people waiting.(numb 650 was called after I left).Everyone applying for a visa pays on average £100.That is £65000 per day monday to friday going straight into the coffers of good old Uncle Sam. Not bad work if you can get it!!!!!!!!!!!lol. Nowonder they recommend people with drink drive convictions apply for a visa

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