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

hoppypoppy201

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

To all the concerned above (and Miss Marple =o) )

I have just got back from my 2 week stay in Florida after weeks of worry and anxious thoughts of being able to get into America with my friends and partner as I have a drink drive conviction.
I shall make my story short, I have a conviction from 2006. I read that I needed a visa to enter America so I rang the US Embassy who agreed that I needed one also. I paid the $140 over the telephone, gave them details, passport number, date of flying etc. I never went through with the application and decided to risk it.

As you can see I have returned from my holiday and I must emphasize this greatly to all of you who are worried about being granted entry that you have absolutely nothing to worry about!! DONT get a visa!!! Its a waste of money. You only need a visa if you have been charged of a crime involving moral turpitude which does NOT include a DUI. When you fill in your ESTA, you tick the box of NO, you have not committed a crime involving moral turpitude because you have not.

I went through customs at Manchester with no problems and the American customs were the nicest people I have met. They want you to enter their country and enjoy yourself and they are so welcoming. I was a bag of nerves but I had nothing to worry about.

I hope this puts a few minds at rest and if I can help any further then please dont hesitate to ask. :):):):)

Convicted Driver Insurance

Compare quotes from leading covicted driver insurance specialists in the UK

Get Quotes
 

miss marple

Active member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi Hoppypoppy

You must have been so relieved when you finally got through immigration! I hope you had a really good holiday; you deserved it after all the worry.

Thank you so much for posting; it's really good to know that you didn't have any trouble even though the Embassy had your passport number. This is what has been worrying me but I now feel much more confident about using the visa waiver - that is if we ever manage to scrape together enough money for a US holiday in future.

Well done!
 

kayoko

Member
Re: Getting a USA visa

hiya all,

Bottom-line again is, please dont worry about it and whatever you do, do not inform the embassy. "Moral Turpitude" remember ? It seems to cause a nightmare as far as i can see on this thread. If you have already informed O'bama then thats not my ball-park and i cant say, seems a miss-match on this thread with the outcome.

I went to Florida a couple of months back with the wife and kids, did disney and all that jazz, went to New York last week and didnt give it a second thought - while on a 18month ban for blowing 94 with a £700 fine.

I understand that people worry about these things and thats fair enough, to be honest it did cross my mind, but i didnt worry as knew it would be fine. Just carry on as normal and providing you didnt crash and go down/ injure some poor soul etc then carry on, and you'll be fine - fact guys.


Kay
 

jono1001

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

I was convicted of drink driving in january 2008 and then travelled to the USA in June 2008. I didnt apply for a visa and when aboard the plane ticked no in the moral terpitude box (whatever that means). When i finally got to JFK and to immigration control,the immigration officer asked me "have you ever been arrested" to which i said "yes for drink driving". If i remember rightly i think he said thats dumb and then wished me a good holiday.
 

cockneykid

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi,

I have a single offense for Drink Driving, and want to visit the states. I called the London Embassy who asked me to visit, I did, and was told I needed to pay £250 for a medical. I cant afford it, and wondered if I withdraw my application, and travel under the ESTA route, will I get caught?

Also, has anyone ever withdrew an application?


Thanks,

CK
 

miss marple

Active member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi Cockneykid

HoppyPoppy (see the post above) started an application but didn't complete it, and she travelled under ESTA without any problem. If you read all through this thread you will see that the immigration people have said that a single drink drive conviction is not a "crime of moral turpitude" and does not need to be declared. The US Embassy want you to apply for a visa and pay them a load of cash, but the embassy are not responsible for deciding who gets in and who doesn't - the immigration people are. Personally I would use ESTA, but that's something only you can decide. The US Embassy definitely want you to feel there is an element of risk; whether there actually is or not is another matter.

I don't think you need to draw attention to yourself by actually withdrawing your application - if you don't complete it within a certain time, it lapses automatically.
 

hoppypoppy201

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi Cocknykid,

DONT GO AHEAD WITH THE MEDICAL!! Its all a money making thing. A single drink drive conviction is NOT classed as moral turpitude so you can answer NO on your ESTA form. Dont worry about withdrawing your application. I did and I was fine. They had all my details of passport number, flight information. etc

Honestly dont worry about!! Enjoy your holiday!!
 

pippet27

Well-known member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi all, I am getting in a right state over this. I have 2 months ban left (assuming I pass the medical :rolleyes:) from 18 months. Have been talking about booking this holiday for the last year but keep putting it off because of this visa situation. I read some posts and think yeah I'll just go, sorted. Then I read somewhere else you will definately get caught and I think oh I'll get a visa!! What to do??? what to do??? I cant really afford the money or the hassle of the visa but the thought of getting turned back when I have 3 kids in tow scares me to death! I am soooooo stressed out :mad:
 

miss marple

Active member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hi all, I am getting in a right state over this. I have 2 months ban left (assuming I pass the medical :rolleyes:) from 18 months. Have been talking about booking this holiday for the last year but keep putting it off because of this visa situation. I read some posts and think yeah I'll just go, sorted. Then I read somewhere else you will definately get caught and I think oh I'll get a visa!! What to do??? what to do??? I cant really afford the money or the hassle of the visa but the thought of getting turned back when I have 3 kids in tow scares me to death! I am soooooo stressed out :mad:
I can only give a personal viewpoint, but if it was me, I wouldn't hesitate to use the visa waiver scheme. I have an email from the Department of Homeland Security (the US immigration officials) saying "I would advise that you apply under the official ESTA site. You will know in a few seconds if you are approved or not. [Question B asks 'Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude']: if all you have on your record is a simple DUI, you must answer NO to that question. DUI convictions are not considered to be a crime of moral turpitude."

As you can tell having read through this thread, the situation is very confusing with the US Embassy telling you one thing and the immigration officials another, so it's not surprising you are worried. You have to make up your own mind, but I honestly think you have nothing to worry about. As the Department of Homeland Security told me "You are worrying for no reason"!
 

kayoko

Member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Apologies now to anyone that might be annoyed or offended with me for this rant:-

For god’s sake, don’t worry about it! Fill in the ESTA as everyone has to do when going to the states and do not mention you got nicked for DD – it is not a crime of “moral turpitude”(look it up PLEASE) DD is not a crime of “moral turpitude”. If you have read horror stories on the net about it, then all i can say 100% is its rubbish. I have headaches from time to time, looked up my symptoms on the net, next thing i know i need to see a specialist and am going to die of a brain tumour. It’s bollocks, that’s the internet for you, pick out the bits that are true and likely.


Fill in the ESTA with no mention of DD, don’t worry about it and enjoy your wonderful holiday.


If you have informed the embassy without doing research, then i can’t comment, you have put your foot in now and are going to get ripped off with costs and worry when it didn’t need to happen.


End of story.


Kay
 

BT_Boy

Well-known member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hello all,

I am planning to travel to the USA in January and have researched this subject thoroughly as I do not want to fork out thousands and get turned away and to say the least - the information I am receiving is touch and go.

I visited the Virgin Atlantic website and came accross the website to apply for the Visa waiver thing.

http://uk.cibt.com/us-esta.php?&utm_campaign=virgin&utm_medium=EU&utm_source=HealthandVisa&utm_content=UStab&utm_term=visit2

I read through it and this came up -

Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for 2 or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was 5 years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?

The wording is conclusive 'Controlled substance': Alcohol isn't controlled.
Moral Turpitude - DD isn't Moral Turpitude.

I am going to travel without a visa in line with viewing this form.
 

miss marple

Active member
Re: Getting a USA visa

I visited the Virgin Atlantic website and came accross the website to apply for the Visa waiver thing.

http://uk.cibt.com/us-esta.php?&utm_campaign=virgin&utm_medium=EU&utm_source=HealthandVisa&utm_content=UStab&utm_term=visit2

I am going to travel without a visa in line with viewing this form.
This website appears to charge you a £20 + VAT service fee in addition to the £9 ESTA application fee. Don't be ripped off – go to the official website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You pay $14 (£9) and get your approval usually within a few seconds. The CIBT website is an absolute con!
 

BT_Boy

Well-known member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Oh, just had a look at that! Thank you for saving me my money! I was just about to complete it now and get it out of the way.

Lucky I logged onto here.

I'm surprised by how inconsistant the different American websites are. The US embassy website says you must get a Visa if you have any conviction, but the ESTA website makes no such claim!

As you said I think it's all a fiddle and they should make it alot clearer.
 

spacecowboy

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

This thread is a little old, but the misleading information on it and many other forums regarding travel with a DUI record had me almost at breakdown point before travelling to the US last week. Now i know first hand what the outcome was, I think i am in a good position to share my experience as i am sure there are other good, honest people, who made a small error of judgement at one time in their lives who would like to travel to the US and other places but are worried sick about what impact their DUI has on travel...

I am an Aussie living in Europe and was in Australia for last Christmas for holidays. After a great NYs with friends in Sydney and 8hrs sleep, i decided to drive home the following morning. I felt fine and was sure i was ok. It turns out i wasn't ok much to the delight of the RBT unit i came across on the way home. To my surprise, i was still mid range. I had been on some pretty heavy pain killers at the time which i don't think helped, but still no excuse, I screwed up. Doing something illegal in a police state like Australia, sooner or later you'll get caught.

Instantly i started to contemplate the future consequences as my job involves endless travel... I went to court, represented myself, pleaded guilty, got a 12mth disqualification and a fine. Then left Australia again! Crap holiday...

Fortunately i was just in the process of changing my residency to a country that doesn't recognize non EU drivers license so even if i had a AUS license, i had to start again anyways. So on arriving back to Europe, I did all the necessary tests, paperwork to be issued with a new license. So i was back on the road, legally within 5 months. All good, although i realize i cannot drive in Australia, but i am never there so no issue. I did call the RTA and questioned whether i could use an EU license while my AUS license was disqualified and surprisingly they said yes, but i doubt the NSW police would allow it.

So back on the road, but the big question was still my ability to travel, mainly to the US? Not being able to travel to the US at short notice would've meant losing my job, so it was a major. After reading all the BS around travel forums i was sure i was going to have to apply for a visa as i was no longer eligible to use the VWP. Which would've meant several months for the application, medical, etc... Not to mention the cost. I kept reading and much to my surprise i could not find one case where a person entering the US on the VWP with a simple DUI was denied entry. I read many post by saints who have done nothing wrong telling people in my position that i need a Visa and that we are bad people, but no evidence to their gospel preaching.

I kept reading and found the following articles in the FAQ section on the CBP website and the US Embassy in AUS:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1074/kw/esta
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/736
http://canberra.usembassy.gov/visa_waiver_prog.html

All articles clearly state that the US doesn't deny entry under the VWP for simple DUIs. Not only that, one clearly states that it is a MISTAKE to tick YES on the arrests/convictions question for a DUI and tells you how to rectify your mistake. There is also a link http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86942.pdf which outlines what a crime of moral turpitude is.

So with the above in mind, i could honestly tick NO in the question on arrests and convictions. I flew to the US last Sunday, went through immigration in less than 20 seconds, straight to the car hire desk with my new license and was on the road in the US in no time.

My advice to anyone in my position would be NOT to contact your local US embassy. They will tell you to apply for a visa, send you for an expensive medical, then knock you back because of your DUI, then you apply for a waiver, then succeed in getting a piece of paper you never ever needed. The Customs and Border Control Authority will not deny you entry. If asked if you have ever been arrested on entry, be honest and say yes and they will let you explain. Produce the above docks and state why you didn't declare it on the ESTA form and you'll be fine!

I should also add, that i wrote to a US embassy to ask the question, but they won't even give an answer without an interview and you going on record. Then once denied a visa you are screwed for life, no possible way you can ever use the VWP. I would suggest directing any questions directly to the CBP or call them. They are ultimately in charge of who they let into the US, not a pen pusher at an embassy. I also filled in my ESTA form long before i traveled so they had plenty of time to check my back ground.

Remember, the former US president GWB has a drink driving record and i think Cheny has 2... Both D...heads but their minor brushes with the law have not affected them one bit. The DHS are looking for rapists, murderers, terrorists, etc, etc... Not the guy that once misjudged when he could drive a car. Repeat offenders and aggrevated circumstances may make you ineligible, but again there is nothing in writing from the CBP to suggest this.

My other advice would be not to drive a car the day after drinking... Although it all worked out fine, the stress of going to court and being treated like a criminal for an honest mistake is not worth it. Certainly not in a police state!

I know Canada take a tougher stance, but unless records are shared you are fine.

Good luck
 

pippet27

Well-known member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Thank you all for the replies, (and even the rant :D) I feel much more comfortable about this now and have decided to go with the ESTA. I'll probably stress until I'm through but so be it. One other question, I've heard people talk about another form to fill in on the plane, is this the same questions or more in detail?
 

miss marple

Active member
Re: Getting a USA visa

You fill in an I-94 that you can see at http://www.usvisalawyers.co.uk/article6add1.htm. Remember to make sure the "departure record" part of the form is given in when you leave.

There is also a Customs Declaration form to fill in on the plane - I seem to remember it asks you whether you are bringing snails or soil with you, among other things!
 

bibbler

Member
Re: Getting a USA visa

This thread is a little old, but the misleading information on it and many other forums regarding travel with a DUI record had me almost at breakdown point before travelling to the US last week. Now i know first hand what the outcome was, I think i am in a good position to share my experience as i am sure there are other good, honest people, who made a small error of judgement at one time in their lives who would like to travel to the US and other places but are worried sick about what impact their DUI has on travel...

I am an Aussie living in Europe and was in Australia for last Christmas for holidays. After a great NYs with friends in Sydney and 8hrs sleep, i decided to drive home the following morning. I felt fine and was sure i was ok. It turns out i wasn't ok much to the delight of the RBT unit i came across on the way home. To my surprise, i was still mid range. I had been on some pretty heavy pain killers at the time which i don't think helped, but still no excuse, I screwed up. Doing something illegal in a police state like Australia, sooner or later you'll get caught.

Instantly i started to contemplate the future consequences as my job involves endless travel... I went to court, represented myself, pleaded guilty, got a 12mth disqualification and a fine. Then left Australia again! Crap holiday...

Fortunately i was just in the process of changing my residency to a country that doesn't recognize non EU drivers license so even if i had a AUS license, i had to start again anyways. So on arriving back to Europe, I did all the necessary tests, paperwork to be issued with a new license. So i was back on the road, legally within 5 months. All good, although i realize i cannot drive in Australia, but i am never there so no issue. I did call the RTA and questioned whether i could use an EU license while my AUS license was disqualified and surprisingly they said yes, but i doubt the NSW police would allow it.

So back on the road, but the big question was still my ability to travel, mainly to the US? Not being able to travel to the US at short notice would've meant losing my job, so it was a major. After reading all the BS around travel forums i was sure i was going to have to apply for a visa as i was no longer eligible to use the VWP. Which would've meant several months for the application, medical, etc... Not to mention the cost. I kept reading and much to my surprise i could not find one case where a person entering the US on the VWP with a simple DUI was denied entry. I read many post by saints who have done nothing wrong telling people in my position that i need a Visa and that we are bad people, but no evidence to their gospel preaching.

I kept reading and found the following articles in the FAQ section on the CBP website and the US Embassy in AUS:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1074/kw/esta
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/736
http://canberra.usembassy.gov/visa_waiver_prog.html

All articles clearly state that the US doesn't deny entry under the VWP for simple DUIs. Not only that, one clearly states that it is a MISTAKE to tick YES on the arrests/convictions question for a DUI and tells you how to rectify your mistake. There is also a link http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86942.pdf which outlines what a crime of moral turpitude is.

So with the above in mind, i could honestly tick NO in the question on arrests and convictions. I flew to the US last Sunday, went through immigration in less than 20 seconds, straight to the car hire desk with my new license and was on the road in the US in no time.

My advice to anyone in my position would be NOT to contact your local US embassy. They will tell you to apply for a visa, send you for an expensive medical, then knock you back because of your DUI, then you apply for a waiver, then succeed in getting a piece of paper you never ever needed. The Customs and Border Control Authority will not deny you entry. If asked if you have ever been arrested on entry, be honest and say yes and they will let you explain. Produce the above docks and state why you didn't declare it on the ESTA form and you'll be fine!

I should also add, that i wrote to a US embassy to ask the question, but they won't even give an answer without an interview and you going on record. Then once denied a visa you are screwed for life, no possible way you can ever use the VWP. I would suggest directing any questions directly to the CBP or call them. They are ultimately in charge of who they let into the US, not a pen pusher at an embassy. I also filled in my ESTA form long before i traveled so they had plenty of time to check my back ground.

Remember, the former US president GWB has a drink driving record and i think Cheny has 2... Both D...heads but their minor brushes with the law have not affected them one bit. The DHS are looking for rapists, murderers, terrorists, etc, etc... Not the guy that once misjudged when he could drive a car. Repeat offenders and aggrevated circumstances may make you ineligible, but again there is nothing in writing from the CBP to suggest this.

My other advice would be not to drive a car the day after drinking... Although it all worked out fine, the stress of going to court and being treated like a criminal for an honest mistake is not worth it. Certainly not in a police state!

I know Canada take a tougher stance, but unless records are shared you are fine.

Good luck
As promised I said I would post when I got back . Sorry for the delay.Well I am Soooooooooooooooooooooo glad I didnt waste any more money with the US embassey in london.They are total robdogs. As I had it first hand from the US embassy that I DID NOT NEED A VISA and despite other GURUS saying they knew I definatley did need a visa,I walked straight through security with not a second glance. The americans DO NOT class a DUI as a criminal offence and have no access to uk records unless they are severe crimes(rapists,murderes etc).As I said I went for the interview in london and paid over £300 for everything before the medical but decided not to go for the medical as I thought it was ridiculous to ask for blood tests 2 years after my DUI. As a nurse specialist I know exactly what they are looking for and no way was I paying for something that I knew wasnt going to detect anything.It is just a money making scam and totally immoral yet people dont want to take risks and go along with it. As the form states it is NOT moral turpitude so you answer no on the visa waiver. PLEASE PLEASE do not waste your money. I dont have any other convictions. If I did I probably would think about getting a visa but not for a DUI so please dont worry.Go and enjoy yourself and dont worry.
My girlfriend was nervous and altough I said I wasnt and because we have seperate surnames we went though different security queues but I got through before her and her daughter.took less than 5 minutes. I hope to drive out there next year but need to check if I can with the DUI showing on my license.
 

pippet27

Well-known member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Thanks for reporting back Bibbler, there are still some of us here worried (me!). On reading through this again I have this morning applied through ESTA and it came back approved so I'm hoping I'll be fine. I know you'll all be thinking "get a grip woman!" but I cant help worrying it's the way I am. I dont go until June so have loads of time to calm down :D
 

Oranguy

New member
Re: Getting a USA visa

Hey all,

Interesting read, about 7 years ago while IN the US. I left a resturant after a few beers and wine to drive a friend home. En route we were chatting and I ended up driving on the 'wrong side' of the road and caused a collision.
I was bagged and failed, very dissapointingly as i was due to return home a week or so later.
Anyway about 6 months later I returned for the court case was convicted of a Mistameanor and paid the fines along with spending a few nights courtsey of the county, this was in lieu of doing community service. I need to get home my first baby was due 2 weeks later. Anyway i came home and havent been back since.

Given however my conviction is from the US my research tells me that they will have record of it at the border. I now need to go for bussiness and cant risk being stopped and banned for x years for not disclosing it. I agree its not a crime of moral perpitute as the ESTA form asks! but I soooooo nervous of taking the risk.
I filled in the form and requested an appointment at the embassy (in Dublin), after reading this form im a little sorry maybe i did that. But every one here had a case from this side of the pond, mine is from USA.
Damn it my head is melted by it, oh if I could change time! Any way anyone have an idea regarding cases and convictions while in the US?:confused:

Convicted Driver Insurance

Compare quotes from leading covicted driver insurance specialists in the UK

Get Quotes
 
Top