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Ely
Ely, Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Counselor at Law. Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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If you have a conviction of obstructing a police officer in

Resolved Question:

If you have a conviction of obstructing a police officer in the uk, do you need to declare this in order to travel to the USA?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: US 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.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

The answer is yes. All criminal convictions have to be declared when applying for a US visa.

Now, whether or not this disqualifies you is a different situation. Please REPLY if you want to chat more about whether it does or not.

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.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi- I already have a visa to travel to the USA because of a drunk whilst in charge conviction 7 years ago- what do I need to do now- do I need to re-apply for a visa? The current one is valid until 2019.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have an existing visa for entry to the usa as a visitor. I applied foR this as I have a drunk whilst in charge of a vehicle charge from many years ago. My visa is valid until 2019. Since then, last year i was fined for a minor offence of obstructing a police officer, in a traffic incident. I need to travel to the USA in the next few months for work. Do I need to infOrm anyone oR do anytHing? Or is my current valid visa enough to travel?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Jay,

Thank you for your reply.

One does NOT have to reapply for a visa if one has a valid visa now, even if one received a conviction since the visa was issued.

There is no mandate to inform anyone for this matter before traveling.

USA does not have to allow one in, but the criminal record is generally only checked AT TIME OF APPLICATION, so this should not be an issue, generally speaking.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Great- so I can travel freely under my existing visa? Do I need to declare the new conviction? Or only if asked at entry- and if so will they refuse me entry then?
Seperately, as its not a crime of moral turpitude, does that make a difference?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Great- so I can travel freely under my existing visa?

Yes.

Do I need to declare the new conviction?

No.

Or only if asked at entry- and if so will they refuse me entry then?

They should not ask you at entry.

Seperately, as its not a crime of moral turpitude, does that make a difference?

This is hard to say. The doctrine of moral turpitude is very case by case basis - see here.

It may or may not be. However, for the purposes of this trip, since one's record will not be reviewed since a visa is already in place, this is NOT an issue.

Only for future visas can this become an issue. One will know in one of two ways:

1) Apply for a VWP via the online ESTA service and be denied; or
2) Apply for a B2 and be denied.

If so, an I-192 waiver would be required for process of a visa.

But again, this is for later. For now, one's visa is valid until 2019. So in theory, this should not be an issue until 2019.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok great, thanks. So I know - are you trained specifically in us immigration law- just want to make sure. is my original visa question a question you've encountered before?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello Jay,

Yes, I am an expert from US, and immigration law is one of my categories, indeed.

I have encountered such situations before. Normally, US does not "check" one's criminal record EVERY TIME, but only at time of visa application/renewal.

So provided that there is not a WARRANT out for your arrest, this should be okay...

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's excellent- thank you so much
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.

A last note of caution: Entry into USA is not a right, but a privilege. Even if you have a visa, entry can be denied for any reason ICE/USCIS/CBP sees fit.

So best not to bring this up, of course.

Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then submit – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please reply to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
When you say best not to bRing this up- does that mean not to mention the obstruction conviction if asked on entry?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Right. One should simply give the passport, press the fingertip scanner, and smile at the border agent.

If you say to them something akin to "Hey, so right, I have a visa, but have a subsequent conviction, but I'm still okay, right..." Except to be taken into a side room.

So of course, it is best not to do so.
Ely and other US Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Understood. Thanks again
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
No problem!