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

shouldaknownbetter

Well-known member
The wording changed on the ESTA form in November 2014, and you are no longer directly asked the 'Moral Turpitude' question.
What is now asked is:


  • 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?
  • Have you ever violated any law related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs?
  • Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage or genocide?
  • Have you ever committed fraud or misrepresented yourself or others to obtain, or assist others to obtain, a visa or entry into the United States?
So unless you were involved in a collision involving serious damage to (other) property or serious injury to some (other) person, you can answer 'No' to that section.
It is still tighter if you have to apply for a Visa for some other reason, such as recent travel to countries on the 'concerned' list and you do then have to declare ANY arrests, but as it stands, straightforward drink driving cases do not seem to have an effect on the ESTA route.
There are several conflicting pieces of advice on the Embassy website and in the Immigration website, but reading the ESTA form word for word this is what the current situation is.
I agree Price, the US embassy website information contradicts a lot of the advice on the CBP/ESTA website. Indeed, people who seek advice (for any query) from the embassy are always told to apply for a visa when in fact CBP will issue ESTA's in accordance with the guidelines you've quoted above. My travel has never been affected, nor have I lied.
Whilst the questions no longer ask specifically about crimes of moral turpitude, the CBP website still cites CMT as grounds for refusal and uses their definition of CMT as a guideline for answering question 1, which has really just been rephrased. Maybe the phrase 'moral turpitude' caused too much consternation!!

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price1367

TTC Group
I have to confess that the only other time I have seen the expression "moral turpitude" was in the film Porky's with Beilah Ballbreaker, but if you are under 40 you will probably not have seen it!
 

shouldaknownbetter

Well-known member
I have to confess that the only other time I have seen the expression "moral turpitude" was in the film Porky's with Beilah Ballbreaker, but if you are under 40 you will probably not have seen it!

Ha ha!! No, I've seen it!
I always think of it as one of those archaic legal terms that appeared on a statute 200 years ago!
I think it's interesting that they have reduced the number of questions. As international security is increased, I'd have thought that the number of screening questions would be increased in line, for example, they've dropped the question about having "detained, retained or withheld custody of a child" from their US custodian. Child kidnap is the sort of thing I'd have thought would make a person an undesirable!
 

ZZTopWereHere

Well-known member
It is still tighter if you have to apply for a Visa for some other reason, such as recent travel to countries on the 'concerned' list and you do then have to declare ANY arrests.
As per my previous posts here, that was my case.

Unfortunately, in the end we're still waiting for my wife's visa so we cancelled all our holiday plans a week in advance to avoid incurring in a further waste of money. We were supposed to fly to California last Saturday but all my luck has been counterbalanced by the unexpected delay in getting my wife's visa.

She never had issues recently getting US visas pretty quickly on her passport from the "concerning" (for the US) country where she was born, while now we're still waiting for her visa on her EU passport just because of her second nationality.

In hindsight, that might also be due to the fact that before she would get only 3-month B2 visas, while now hopefully she'll get a 10-year one like myself and the Embassy requires a deeper scrutiny than what was required for the previous visas. So, probably we'll have another 10 years to think whether to arrange another trip to the US after our previous 5 ones.

It's amazing how a criminal like me who has actually visited a "concerning" country more than once could get a visa much faster than someone with a clean record and who has decided to leave her country of birth to settle in NATO countries...

Best regards,
Z
 

w123att

New member
Hi all.

Im Looking at going to America in 2018 for a holiday. (i know long way off yet)

About 2 years go i was convicted for drink driving (dr10) and driving without due care and attention (CD10).

This was due to that i had a accident with some parked cars causing about £2000 of damage.

Would i be able to travel with a ESTA or would i have to apply for a visa due to the damage?

Thanks
 

Michael 12

New member
Hi all
Work wants to send me to san francisco to work in November for approximately 5 years, 6 weeks on 2 weeks back in England rolling. HR are in the middle of sorting visas and medical insurance for the 25 of us that are going. My issue is I have 2 DUI convictions 2003 & 2012, I've had my license back and been driving for over a year. Just starting to get worried that my visa will be declined, you're thought's would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

price1367

TTC Group
You have to declare all convictions on an application for a working visa to enter the USA.there is no such thing as "spent convictions" for this process.
As your last conviction is within the past 5 years they may well want you to undertake a medical as a part of the visa application process.
 

1yearon

Member
Hi guys,

Made a couple of posts here regarding the ESTA with a DUI conviction. I used the popular consensus on here and used the ESTA having had a DUI conviction a couple of years ago, and I made it through JFK absolutely fine. This was even when my boarding pass was "randomly selected" for SSSS (Secondary Security Screening Selection). A bit scary but nothing more than a quick search, bag rummage and passport scan.

Just thought I'd add my bit to the thread. Now to have a great few days in New York!
 

shouldaknownbetter

Well-known member
Hi guys,

Made a couple of posts here regarding the ESTA with a DUI conviction. I used the popular consensus on here and used the ESTA having had a DUI conviction a couple of years ago, and I made it through JFK absolutely fine. This was even when my boarding pass was "randomly selected" for SSSS (Secondary Security Screening Selection). A bit scary but nothing more than a quick search, bag rummage and passport scan.

Just thought I'd add my bit to the thread. Now to have a great few days in New York!
That's great news and encouraging for others who maybe nervous about a trip to the US!
Enjoy New York! One of my favourite cities! 👍
 

pablo1982

New member
Hi All,

I have been to the USA many many times, but this year was caught drink driving. I have many friends in the US so visit regularly. The previous poster advised they entered the USA on an ESTA to JFK with no probs...my question is - Did the poster say yes or no on the ESTA form?

Also the info on the CBP website regarding the DUI entry is clear one is fine two is not, but on that one do you declare it?

thanks!!
 

pablo1982

New member
Hi All,

I have been to the USA many many times, but this year was caught drink driving. I have many friends in the US so visit regularly. The previous poster advised they entered the USA on an ESTA to JFK with no probs...my question is - Did the poster say yes or no on the ESTA form?

Also the info on the CBP website regarding the DUI entry is clear one is fine two is not, but on that one do you declare it?

thanks!!
Ok on looking at my current ESTA the questions asked are -

at no point does it ask about a conviction o
[h=2]ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS[/h]
1) DO YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL DISORDER; OR ARE YOU A DRUG ABUSER OR ADDICT; OR DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DISEASES:
  • CHANCROID
  • GONORRHEA
  • GRANULOMA INGUINALE
  • LEPROSY, INFECTIOUS
  • LYMPHOGRANULOMA VENEREUM
  • SYPHILIS, INFECTIOUS
  • ACTIVE TUBERCULOSIS
No
2) 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?No
3) HAVE YOU EVER VIOLATED ANY LAW RELATED TO POSSESSING, USING, OR DISTRIBUTING ILLEGAL DRUGS?No
4) DO YOU SEEK TO ENGAGE IN OR HAVE YOU EVER ENGAGED IN TERRORIST ACTIVITIES, ESPIONAGE, SABOTAGE, OR GENOCIDE?No
5) HAVE YOU EVER COMMITTED FRAUD OR MISREPRESENTED YOURSELF OR OTHERS TO OBTAIN, OR ASSIST OTHERS TO OBTAIN, A VISA OR ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES?No
6) ARE YOU CURRENTLY SEEKING EMPLOYMENT IN THE UNITED STATES OR WERE YOU PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED IN THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT?No
7) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DENIED A U.S. VISA YOU APPLIED FOR WITH YOUR CURRENT OR PREVIOUS PASSPORT, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN REFUSED ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OR WITHDRAWN YOUR APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION AT A U.S. PORT OF ENTRY?No
IF YES:
WHEN
WHERE
8) HAVE YOU EVER STAYED IN THE UNITED STATES LONGER THAN THE ADMISSION PERIOD GRANTED TO YOU BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT?
 

price1367

TTC Group
This has been discussed earlier in the thread. Convictions are asked about, but in a limited way.
Question 2 in your quote covers it;

2) 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?

Apply that question to your drink drive conviction. Was there serious injury to someone or serious damage to property? If no, you can quite happily put no on the form and obtain the ESTA entry. If yes, then you should apply for a visa.
 

ava199

New member
My son is two months into a 14 month ban for drink driving. We have only just realised the implications of this for our holiday in America which has been booked for 10 months.
He needs to visit the American Embassy asap to obtain a visa: the US guidelines say he has to be interviewed and "may" be referred for a medical report which would a further 8 weeks or so. This would mean the end of his holiday as it would take us beyond our travel date.
My son is 19 years old and it was a first offence, with a breath test reading of 69. He was stopped before pulling away from the kerb so there was no erratic driving, damage, injuries or other complications (thank goodness).
Given those facts, has anyone any idea of:
a) the likelihood of him having to have the medical report
b) the likelihood of him being refused a visa altogether.
The Embassy staff are very tight lipped and will not give any info on what the outcome might be. I know each case is different and we will have to wait and see, but it would be nice to hear from anyone who has had any relevant experience.
Thanks for reading!
HI
The U.S. does not deny entry to persons with a "Driving under the Influence" (DUI) conviction, although if there are multiple convictions for this and or other misdemeanors, you could be denied entry.
Generally, any convictions for drug possession can result in denial of entry. If the conviction was long ago, you might contact the U.S. Embassy, Office of Consular Affairs in your country to obtain a waiver. Other misdemeanors may result in denial if they were recent
 

elly10

New member
My son is two months into a 14 month ban for drink driving. We have only just realised the implications of this for our holiday in America which has been booked for 10 months.
He needs to visit dui classes Nevada the American Embassy asap to obtain a visa: the US guidelines say he has to be interviewed and "may" be referred for a medical report which would a further 8 weeks or so. This would mean the end of his holiday as it would take us beyond our travel date.
My son is 19 years old and it was a first offence, with a breath test reading of 69. He was stopped before pulling away from the kerb so there was no erratic driving, damage, injuries or other complications (thank goodness).
Given those facts, has anyone any idea of:
a) the likelihood of him having to have the medical report
b) the likelihood of him being refused a visa altogether.
The Embassy staff are very tight lipped and will not give any info on what the outcome might be. I know each case is different and we will have to wait and see, but it would be nice to hear from anyone who has had any relevant experience.
Thanks for reading!
Hi
[FONT=&quot]Canada [/FONT][FONT=&quot]may not[/FONT][FONT=&quot] allow persons with [/FONT][FONT=&quot]DUI[/FONT][FONT=&quot] (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]convictions[/FONT][FONT=&quot] to enter their country. A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you apply for a visa, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or upon your arrival at a port of entry.
[/FONT]
A single DUI conviction is not grounds to deny entry into the U.S. However, multiple DUI convictions or a DUI conviction in combination with other misdemeanor offenses can make a person inadmissible and require a waiver prior to entering the United States.
 

Dexmx

New member
I was refused an ESTA last year just before I was about to travel and had no idea why.
I have a drink/driving conviction from 4 years ago. Was over the limit the next morning. Nobody else involved, no accident. 12 month ban (reduced to 9 months) and minimal fine.
I got a Redress control number. I have just been refused an ESTA again and told that I must obtain a non-immigrant visa.
What I would like advice on, as I can't find it on here, is whether I need an ACRO with police record for the VISA interview.
I have no other convictions, just worrying about how long it will take to get one if I make my appointment for the interview in London now.

Thank you in advance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have found this forum really helpful and reassuring.
 

price1367

TTC Group
I only have limited experience on this, but yes, you would need to get an ACRO before the interview at the US embassy.
My experience was that this took 3 weeks.
If your conviction is now over 5 years old, then I would not expect them to require you to have a medical.
 

Dexmx

New member
I only have limited experience on this, but yes, you would need to get an ACRO before the interview at the US embassy.
My experience was that this took 3 weeks.
If your conviction is now over 5 years old, then I would not expect them to require you to have a medical.

My conviction is only 4 years old. I'll book my appointment at the embassy for 3 weeks and hope the ACRO arrives in time.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated
 

dino101

Member
Hello Everyone,

Finally, I received my visa this time after 2 rejections because of drink driving. I am not a British citizen so, had to tick yes for the conviction question. However, I now feel that I shouldnt have ticked yes because UK police dont share DD conviction information to the US embassy. The only thing one should keep in mind is, if you tick yes and you apply for a visa within a year of conviction, you wont get visa by any means. I dint know this before and I applied twice within a year and I was rejected both of the times. So, my visa story is as follows. For the first 2 times, I applied for a business visa for a conference and I was rejected both the times, as mentioned above. So, this time I applied for a tourist visa and it was more than a year after my conviction. I had my visa interview in the first week of March and after general questions, they asked me about DD conviction, as expected. She clearly said that visa applied within a year of conviction is strict no and now that I crossed a year, I would be sent to medical and I was sent there. The medical appointment I got was after 5 days of my visa appointment. The doctor was polite and made me feel comfortable and he also said that now that I crossed a year, I have high probablity of getting the visa. I received an email from embassy in the fourth week of March that I needed to send my passport to them. That was a sigh of relief for me but I had a fear about the time they would need for processing that and send it back. After 10 days or so, I received an email saying that passport sent to the courier service and ready to collect. Thats it, I was on cloud nine after reading that email and the next day went there to collect and got my visa. But sadly they only gave me 1 year of visa. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing. And I am going to US this August. Yahooooo
Hi Rahul,

It is great news that you finally got granted a visa!

You mention that they asked about your DD conviction, can you elaborate on that please. Did they ask why, how etc?

Also, were you able to take your mobile phone into the building, as some had the chance to get their medical on the same day as their appointment.

I look forward to hear from you.

Thanks

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