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Ely
Ely, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 100585
Experience:  US immigration attorney licensed in state and federal court.
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my son was charged with assault in the uk when he was 15 ,we

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my son was charged with assault in the uk when he was 15 ,we want to go on a family holiday to florida will he be able to use the esta visa waiver programme as his offence was committed when he was a minor. or will he have to apply for a visa and see if he gets accepted ,he will be 20 when we will be travelling to florida,can you help me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply.

I am sorry for your son's situation.

While a UK national enjoys the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA is the screening process for this) which allows a visa automatically at the border, they are still bound by the same criminal record restrictions as other nationalities.

As such, the following individuals may be refused a visa based on a criminal record - those with:

-two more more misdemeanor convictions;
-felony conviction;
-convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or
-a conviction of moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is a very generic definition but generally involves convictions related to fraud, sexual indecency, and assault.

The Web site of the U.S. embassy in London states that a visa is required for anyone who has ever been arrested or convicted for any offense. However, in the end it is on a case by case basis, especially with a juvenile record.

As such, he can attempt to do so and it would be up to USCIS/consular agent to make a decision. If he is denied, he can still attempt to get a visa prior to travel - a B-2 tourist visa, and would have to ask for an I-192 waiver due to the criminal conviction - here.

The conditions for VWP are somewhat stricter, so even if he is denied for this, he may be able to qualify for a B-2 with an I-192 waiver.

Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the reply button to keep chatting, or please rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Ely, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 100585
Experience: US immigration attorney licensed in state and federal court.
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