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Ely
Ely, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
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

Resolved Question:

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: 3 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 3 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.

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